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Savory Foods Benefit the Brain

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Healthy eating promoted with umami

There’s no doubt November is about Thanksgiving, which itself is all about the food!  As a result, eating too much is either a major concern, or something we’ve just come to expect.  However, this year’s turkey dinner may have a silver lining according to research published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Investigators looked into umami, one of the five basic tastes (along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter) to see how consuming an umami enriched broth would affect eating habits.  Umami is a pleasant savory taste and is delivered naturally through the amino acid glutamate in foods.  It’s prevalent in most foods but large quantities are found in protein rich dairy, fish and you guessed it TURKEY!  In this study, researchers provided umami in the form of monosodium glutamate.

Participants went through a series of assessments including participating in a buffet style meal while wearing glasses that tracked their eye movement; they even completed a brain scan that measured activity during food selection.  After consuming the umami loaded broth, participants performed better on tests, had a more focused gaze during the meal and showed more activity in the area of the brain responsible for self-regulation (key in food choice decision making).  Senior author Alonso-Alonso believes this study suggests the possibility that consuming an umami broth before a meal could benefit people at risk of obesity by making it easier to make healthier food choices.

If Miso broth is not on your holiday menu, you can still get your umami on by enjoying your turkey after the big day with these recipes!

Looking for something even simpler?  Pop open a bag of our NEW Spinach Miso Crunch Salad Kit and top with left-over turkey for a lunch that’s ready in less than 5 minutes!

Published November 1, 2018

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