Our senses diminish as we age, but there are ways to combat the reduced senses of taste and smell at mealtime to provide ongoing nourishment and satisfaction.
What Affects Our Appetite?
Taste buds that have been injured – by hot coffee, for example — regenerate more slowly as we age. Ill-fitting dentures, tooth pain, problems swallowing, digestive trouble and memory problems can also diminish taste, leading to loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness and other issues.
But taste isn’t the only sense that impacts appetite. A weakened sense of smell, from aging as well as from medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure drugs, can also decrease the ability to taste and enjoy food.
Dessert First – an Innovative Solution to Diminished Sense of Taste
As long as your doctor has ruled out medical causes for your diminished sense of taste, and if you do not have diabetes or other health issues affected by diet, a “Dessert First” approach to mealtime may be for you.
As its name suggests, “Dessert First” means you start with a few bites of your favorite sweets – even before you have your salad. Eating dessert first can awaken your taste buds and stimulate your appetite.
Sweets tend to be high in calories and fat. While doctors tend to discourage this combination in most consumers, a little culinary decadence may be okay for older adults if it stimulates their appetite for healthier foods.
Some desserts are as nutritious as they are delicious. Foods that contain fresh fruit, such as smoothies, are a fantastic way to get vitamins and minerals while still satisfying a sweet tooth. Banana ice cream and yogurt parfaits are healthy and easy to eat. Dark chocolate provides some health benefits, as it is high in some nutrients and a powerful source of antioxidants. Healthline says that dark chocolate can even stimulate blood flow, reduce blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and boost brain function.
After a few bites of mouth-watering cakes, cookies, pies, ice creams or other desserts, your appetite is ready for freshly prepared salads, sandwiches and soups with the right balance of seasonings and spices to whet your appetite. Adding an extra dash of low-sodium seasonings brings up the natural flavors of food to make them more appetizing.
The Manse on Marsh offers a never-ending assortment of mouthwatering breakfast, lunch and dinner options in addition to what their executive chef describes as “an abundance of desserts.” Low-sugar desserts and dessert alternatives are also available. At The Manse on Marsh, special dietary requests such as “Dessert First,” are always granted.