Why is it that most of us crave food that’s unhealthy? Takeout, bars of chocolate, cake – these are all the kinds of foods that are hard to resist. After all, once we’ve had a taste of these delicious treats, it makes the thought of nibbling on a piece of broccoli almost unbearable.

However, we’re happy to tell you that it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. Instead, science shows we can trick our bodies and minds into craving healthier snacks.

Why Do We Get Cravings?

Saliva is primarily formed of water alongside tons of different proteins. In addition to aiding digestion, scientists say our spit also influences the way we taste our food. This means that with a little work we can train our saliva to make different foods taste better.

Studies using rats showed the proteins in their saliva could adapt, which impacted the way they tasted their food. The main result was that the rats were able to eat bitter foods without experiencing such a harsh flavor.

Human Studies

Another recent scientific study showed similar results in human subjects who were asked to drink either almond milk or regular milk with a shot of unsweetened cocoa.

Participants were required to rate the flavor; as time went on, scientists found participants started to think the milk tasted less bitter. The researchers also noted that participants’ saliva began to change, which is what triggered their change in taste.

The Key Takeaways

The main thing to remember is that you can train yourself to stand the taste of bitter greens. The more healthy food you eat, the better it will taste to you. However, you should note that these results aren’t permanent.

By this we mean, our saliva only helps with the bitter taste as long as you give it a reason to. This means persevering with healthy foods, or otherwise, your saliva will go back to the way it was. Use it or lose it!