5 weird eating phenomena explained

Medical News Today examines why some people have such a strong aversion to cilantro, why we experience the “incredible nastiness” of orange juice after brushing our teeth, and more.

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Some weird food experiences can easily be explained by science. Yagi Studio / Getty Images

Have you ever met someone who complained about the taste of cilantro like soap? Did you think that was an exaggeration? Or, how many times have you gone to drink orange juice, only to find it tastes terrible because you just brushed your teeth?

Intrigued by these particular experiences, Medical News Today asked nutritionists and dieticians to shed light on the science behind the sensations.

We spoke with Dr. Jerry Bailey, Certified Nutritionist and Acupuncturist, and Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Physician at Lakeside Holistic Health – and with Stephanie Klein, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist and Clinical Director of Diabetes Prevention and Reversal at Simplex Health.

Cilantro, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is a green leafy vegetable and herb that causes a lot of division. The seeds feature in a range of Indian and Mexican dishes, but for the many people who love this herb, there are just as many who hate it.

The hate, it seems, stems from the chemicals inside cilantro and a variation in the smell receptor genes some people have. These people say that cilantro has a pungent smell and leaves a rather soapy taste in the mouth. This is different from the strong citrus notes that others taste.

“[The genetic variant] OR6A2 may be the olfactory receptor gene that helps in the identification of the soapy odor. So it can serve as a root for the soapy taste of coriander leaves, ”said Dr. Bailey.

He added that some people are very sensitive to a group of chemicals called aldehydes and in particular to (E) -2-alkenals and n-aldehydes, the culprits behind this nasty soapy taste.

Another cause of the soapy taste could be the aroma and flavor compound S-linalool, a major component of the oils in this plant, explained Dr. Bailey.

“Over 60% of scented cleaning and hygiene products contain S-linalool. Pest control professionals use it in the preparation of insecticides, and mosquito repellants also use linalool, ”he said.

Nowadays, some genetic testing sites even give people the chance to see if they are genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro.

Green tea contains many polyphenols, including flavanols, flavonoids, phenolic acids, catechins and tannins. Thanks to its composition rich in nutrients and antioxidants, this tea can provide a range of health benefits.

However, not everyone can or should drink it. Some people, for example, may notice gastrointestinal problems soon after, they even have a mug.

One of the most common problems is nausea, especially if people take tea before breakfast.

Dr Bailey explained that the tannins in green tea can cause stomach irritation, which could explain the discomfort.

“If green tea is brewed too strongly or consumed on an empty stomach, these tannins increase dramatically, which in turn increases the amount of acid produced in your stomach. This increase in excess acid can lead to digestive problems, including constipation, acid reflux, and nausea.

– Dr Jerry Bailey

To avoid this, brew or steep green tea in not too hot water: 160 to 180 ° F is preferable.

“It’s easy to avoid these side issues by not drinking green tea on an empty stomach. Instead, consume green tea with or after each meal, ”continued Dr. Bailey.

He warned that because of this increased acid production, people with acid reflux, stomach ulcers, or other digestive issues should avoid green tea. “As always, be sure to consult a trained functional medicine provider who understands your health before adding green tea to your diet if you are concerned,” he added.

This strange but common phenomenon involves having a fuzzy, chalky, or grainy sensation in your mouth after eating spinach, raw or cooked. In combination with yogurt, the effect can be even stronger.

As bad as it is, this is a harmless effect of consuming green vegetables “loaded with oxalic acid,” said Dr Bailey.

“When we chew spinach, oxalic acid combines with the calcium from spinach and other foods in our mouth. The reaction between these two chemicals leads to the formation of calcium oxalate, ”he explained.

These tiny crystals then float around in the mouth causing this rough, sticky texture to the teeth.

“Calcium oxalate is a small crystal that does not dissolve well in water, which is why many experience this grainy texture in [their] mouths.

– Stephanie Klein

Klein said MNT that this sensation is more common after eating spinach because the vegetable has high levels of a natural compound called oxalic acid or oxalate.

Calcium oxalate“may be familiar to anyone who has had kidney stones, and it is the most common component in these stones, Klein explained, adding,” This is why dieticians advise people with kidney stones to limit rich foods in oxalate, such as spinach. “

Getting rid of calcium oxalate, however, is simple. Dr Bailey recommends boiling or steaming the spinach or squeezing lemon juice over the fresh leaves. In the latter example, the ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, in the juice helps dissolve oxalic acid.

Drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth can leave a nightmarish bitter taste. This can be explained by one thing, a common ingredient that has become notorious for stripping the skin of its natural oils: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

“[SLS] is a surfactant, or what’s called soap. Besides toothpaste, it’s found in a variety of household products, including bubble bath, lip balm, and shaving cream, to name a few. SLS is what creates the lather while you brush, ”explained Dr. Bailey.

The SLS in toothpaste ruins the taste of orange juice in two ways, he continued.

“Firstly, it suppresses the ‘sweet’ receptors on the taste buds, thus rendering you temporarily unable to taste the sweet flavors. Second, since it’s a soap, it breaks down phospholipids, which are agents that block the “bitter” receptors in your tongue. “

“That’s why you only taste the bitterness and citric acid of orange juice, [not] all sweetness, ”added Klein.

To avoid this, Klein recommended using a toothpaste without SLS or drinking the juice well before brushing your teeth.

SLS is also linked to skin sensitivity and irritation in people with skin conditions such as perioral dermatitis.

After eating particularly salty foods, you may have noticed a whitish ring on the inside of your lips or just a general feeling of fullness in your lips. It can happen hours after eating salty sunflower seeds, for example, a common snack in the Middle East.

Although severe swelling accompanied by other local or systemic reactions could indicate something more serious, such as an allergy, a small swelling is not to be expected.

“It’s common for your lips to swell when you wake up if you’ve consumed large amounts of salt the night before,” Dr Bailey said. MNT.

“Increasing salt intake from foods such as salted popcorn, sunflower seeds, chips, or other processed foods with a high salt content results in fluid retention in the body, which can also cause swelling of the eyelids and lips. It can make you look puffy in the morning, bloated and often described as an “allergic face”.

– Dr Jerry Bailey

To eliminate or reduce the effect, Dr Bailey suggested that people avoid having more salty foods later in the evening. He also recommended unsalted popcorn or making vegetable crisps with a food dehydrator.

Klein warned that a handful of popcorn or sunflower seeds shouldn’t cause lip swelling, but it can happen if a person takes in excessive amounts of salt.

“Consuming too much salt causes water retention, which some say can lead to unwanted swelling in parts of the body. The body needs a happy balance of sodium and water in our blood. So too much of one will cause the other to imbalance, ”Klein explained.

“Eating a variety of whole foods will generally provide all of the essential minerals we need in the right balance, ensuring that we maintain a healthy balance in the body,” she noted.

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