Why can't I taste my food? 7 causes for loss and changes in taste

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Tasting food is one of life's greatest pleasures. For anyone who enjoys eating, there’s nothing scarier than the idea of losing that experience. The thought of bacon and butter feeling like clumps of tasteless mush is enough to send chills down your spine.

But taste loss can happen. If this has ever happened to you and you've wondered why can't I taste my food, here's everything you need know.

Why can't I taste my food pizza (Credit: Pexels) Tasting food is one of life's greatest pleasures (Credit: Pexels)

Why can't I taste my food?

Unfortunately, there are a few things out there that my explain why you can't taste your food.

READ MORE: 7 common food that can have weird effects on your body

Here are seven causes that can ruin food forever.

woman tasting an ice cream Lots of things can affect your sense of taste (Credit: Pixabay)

1. Fast Food

Few things are better than the chemical rush of a really excessive fast food feast. Unfortunately, over-indulgence can affect more than just your waistline.

The high levels of sugar and fat present within fast food can alter the way your brain processes taste. As a result, ‘normal’ food tastes far less enjoyable than it should.

What is the KFC chicken recipe (Credit: Alamy) Fast food can have an impact on your ability to taste (Credit: Alamy)

2. Alcohol

Though a late-night booze-induced food binge is one of life’s great joys, there’s more to alcohol than meets the eye. While it doesn’t affect the taste buds directly, alcohol numbs texture receptors in the mouth.

READ MORE: This is what happens if you swallow gum

This means that any food with an important textural element becomes significantly less interesting.

why alcohol can impact your taste Alcohol numbs texture receptors in the mouth (Credit: Pixabay)

3. Sugary Drinks

It’s not just fatty foods that are waiting to ruin eating forever.

If we indulge too often, our taste receptors can become so used to excess sugar that any foods with normal natural levels of the substance seem significantly more dull than their artificial counterparts. This means that anything without mountains of sugar can just end up tasting bland.

why cant I taste soft drinks Soft drinks can impact our taste receptors (Credit: Pixabay)

4. A Punch in the Face

It turns out that cowardice isn’t the only reason to avoid fist fights. Any violent blow to the head can tear the olfactory nerves responsible for smell - which in turn can drastically affect taste.

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Though these nerves can repair themselves naturally, more often than not the damage is permanent.

Why can't I taste my food (Credit: Pexels) Being punched can ruin your ability to taste (Credit: Pexels)

5. Smoking

There are few self-inflicted habits that you can indulge in that are worse for your sense of taste than smoking. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco damage the microscopic hairs that coat the inside of the nose and move mucus along the nasal tract.

This can lead to taste-numbing sinus infections and to tar coating the mouth and nose. Not a recipe for flavour.

Being punched can ruin your ability to tast Smoking affects your sense of taste (Credit: Pexels)

6. Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning up is sadly an inevitable part of adult life. However, it might be a good idea to take extra care next time you open the bleach.

READ MORE: Is it safe to eat food a fly landed on? Food hygiene expert sets record straight

The harsh chemicals present in many cleaning products can do serious damage to smell and taste receptors, especially if used in unventilated areas. If you can, make sure you open a window.

Cleaning chemicals sense of taste Cleaning chemicals can be dangerous (Credit: PA)

7. Loss of Sight

You might think that not being able to see anything wouldn’t matter in the slightest when you’re scoffing something delicious. However, scientists have recently discovered that the colour of food and our perception of it greatly affects how food tastes.

Losing either of these advantages can therefore have an enormous impact on your overall experience of eating.

READ MORE: Can food make you hallucinate?

Unfortunately, some causes of taste loss are completely unavoidable. However, anyone seriously worried about the possibility of ruining burgers forever can follow this advice and remain happily tasting. It’s much better than the alternative.