A July 2019 study published by the University of Buffalo gives hope to all those parents trying to persuade children to “eat your greens!". The study said:
“We've shown in previous work with rats that changing your diet changes what proteins are in your saliva. Now we're showing that the proteins in your saliva change how you taste."
"If we can convince people to try broccoli, greens and bitter foods, they should know that with repeated exposure, they'll taste better once they regulate these proteins,"
"Our data doesn't provide a number, such as 12 servings of broccoli, however, for people who avoid these foods because of their bitterness, but would like to include them in their diet, they should know their taste will eventually change."
"An additive to [pediatric] medicine to make it less bitter would increase compliance,"
"It's similar to liquid dietary supplements in the geriatric population, which often contain sugar to tame the bitterness. Achieving the same result without sweeteners has obvious benefits."
"Instead of having the cognitive load of learning that a food is safe and having to maintain that memory, instead you know that eventually this bitter food will taste good … It's an elegant physiological shift allowing you to put these foods into your diet."
"The variation around sweets is very small," she says. "Nearly everyone likes a cupcake, but the variation around liking broccoli is enormous.
"This research helps explain why that variation with bitter food exists and how we can get more people to eat broccoli instead of cupcakes."