Take a minute, close your eyes, and imagine you are in a grocery store.
You are walking over to the produce section, and you see a rainbow of colors. Wow, gorgeous pineapples, bananas, peaches, and mangoes are on the shelves. You pick up and squeeze an orange in your hands and take a celery stick and break it in half to hear it snap.
But wait a minute.
All these beautiful foods are here, but you wonder why you didn’t smell an overwhelming fragrance of fruits and veggies when you walked in?
Well, here’s the deal.
There are two unfortunate reasons why.
However, once you know them, there are several things you can start doing right now to overcome them.
The first reason is that most of the fruits and veggies in the grocery store are picked too early. And therefore, they aren’t ripe and haven’t started producing their fragrant aroma, yet. Some fruits are picked when unripe because they can continue to ripen off the plant. These include apples, mangoes, guavas, and bananas; however, how effectively are they maturing in a cold, dark (no sunlight) grocery store?
It’s a good idea to frequent your local farmer’s markets for ripe and in season produce. Farmers are constantly in tune with the foods they grow. They can tell you all about wholesome, fresh fruits and veggies. Take a few minutes and ask them about color, texture, smell, and taste of the produce before you buy. That way, you can get to know what’s real and ripe, and what’s not.
The other reason you might not smell all the aromas in the grocery store has to do with this little term called Organoleptic. “Or-gan-o-lep-tic” is the science of using our senses to assess the quality and nutritional value of foods. Consequently, we should be able to use this organoleptic ability to seek out foods that are high in nutritional value.
Yes, you have superpowers that are built in to keep you on the prowl for great tasting nutritious foods.
Artificial fragrances (as well as fake foods) dampen our ability to tell if food is high in certain necessary nutrients i.e. ripe and healthy. Cologne and synthetic fragrances used in the home (including scented candles, air fresheners, and cleaning products) all hinder our ability to smell. These artificial scents are harsh chemicals that cause slight damage to the delicate nerve endings in our nose. They work by masking the natural scent with an oily chemical coating on the nerve ending – tricking our bodies into thinking we’re smelling something nice.
Of our five senses, our sense of smell guides us the most in making choices about what we like to eat. Our sense of smell is so powerful that it also shapes our mood. It can bring up old memories that we forgot we even had. You remember that time when your grandmother baked her special apple pie just for you? You would if you smelled a sweet apple pie right now.
Furthermore, bitter tasting herbs can give you a jumpstart on digestion, and having a keen sense of smell can do the same. In a study by Yeomans [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16545846], we find that once an odor is experienced concerning food, our bodies react in a way that prepares us for digestion. This preparation allows us to digest food better and ultimately maintain a healthy balanced weight.
So here are five ways to limit your exposure to toxins that harm your mucous membranes. In the long run, you’ll increase your sense of smell so you can innately go after foods that are rich in vital nutrients. And maybe more importantly, so you can be naturally repelled by fake foods that aren’t good for you.
- Using essential oils in place of perfume
Use about three drops of pure essential oil on a cotton ball and dampen the ball with water or coconut oil. Dab the cotton ball on your skin. You’ll want to test out the oils to make sure they are not irritating to your skin. Lavender, Grapefruit or Geranium are lovely sweet oils to start.
- Light incense or handmade candles (with essential oils) in your home.
There are many recipes online to make your scented candles. Or you can try Nag Campa incense, which is a nice earthy blend to bring calming and a relaxing scent into your home.
- Use soaps, shampoos, and lotions without artificial fragrances (Coconut oil is an excellent alternative)
Raw, organic coconut oil is the perfect all in one moisturizer for your hair and skin.
- Clean your home with white vinegar and water or lemon juice instead of harsh cleaners
Although vinegar is not a strong antibacterial, it is a very safe and effective cleaner for your home.
- Cut fresh flowers for your home or office
Having live plants in your home can cleanse and purify the air. If you are having company over or need a pick me up, try cut flowers from your garden to freshen up your home.
All of these ideas make your home more natural, beautiful and safe for your senses.
With these five simple practices, you can start to enhance your natural sense of smell. Practice strengthening your sense of smell. You may just be able to choose healthy foods based on your attraction to them. Removing more toxins from your environment is a great place to start to live a little more holistic life.