Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Just As You Suspected: Research Shows A Lot Of Things That Taste Bad Are Good For You

Date:
November 28, 2000
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, dark chocolates, red wine and a lot of other typical Thanksgiving leftovers are proven to contain dietary phytonutrients. These nutrients have been associated with cancer prevention and other health benefits.

Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, dark chocolates, red wine and a lot of other typical Thanksgiving leftovers are proven to contain dietary phytonutrients. These nutrients have been associated with cancer prevention and other health benefits. As a review by a University of Washington researcher showed, because these trace chemicals taste bitter, acrid or astringent the food industry has devoted decades of work to removing these phytonutrients. Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the UW Nutritional Sciences Program, said in a research review published Dec. 1, 2000, by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that when it comes to phytonutrients, the demands of good taste and good health may be wholly incompatible.

"Many people don't like to eat vegetables – and the feeling is mutual," Drewnowski said. "Plants protect themselves against being eaten by secreting natural pesticides and other bitter-tasting toxins. In small amounts, the phenols, flavnoids, isoflavones and other chemicals are proving to be good for us."

Unfortunately, a dislike of these flavors has been ingrained in most people by nature. Humans and other animals have long associated bitter or sour flavors with spoiled or poisonous food. That is why food manufacturers routinely remove these compounds from plant foods through selective breeding and a variety of debittering processes. Drewnowski said this is where science and gastronomy must come together.

The solution, Drewnowski said, is in using the wisdom found in Mediterranean cuisine. For generations, cooks in Greece, Italy and France have coped with bitter vegetables by seasoning them lightly with salt and dashes of olive oil. The oil in particular blunts the bitter flavors of phytonutrients.

The fact that the amount of bitter plant compounds in the current American diet is so small is a reflection of the achievements of the agricultural industry. Debittering foods, either chemically during processing, or by breeding bitterness out of such things as broccoli and zucchini, has been a focal point of the industry for decades.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Just As You Suspected: Research Shows A Lot Of Things That Taste Bad Are Good For You." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128070121.htm>.
University Of Washington. (2000, November 28). Just As You Suspected: Research Shows A Lot Of Things That Taste Bad Are Good For You. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128070121.htm
University Of Washington. "Just As You Suspected: Research Shows A Lot Of Things That Taste Bad Are Good For You." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128070121.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins