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FOOD SCIENCE

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Or maybe I should call today's message WEIRD Science.  That is, when it comes to the way certain foods affect your body anyway.  See, the natural chemicals present in some foods affect your body in weird ways and I'm betting some of those ways, you may have noticed.  Not getting the picture yet?  Then think about some of these.

Ever wonder why garlic makes your breath smell so unpleasant? 
 
Ever wonder why garlic makes your breath smell so unpleasant?  Well, when you consume a garlic clove, it releases an enzyme called allyl methyl sulfide.  (I can barely even pronounce it, LOL.)  That enzyme contributes to garlic's pungent aroma, giving you that "garlic-effect" breath.  Wanna keep the stink at bay?  (Hey, no faster way to spoil a romantic dinner than garlic breath, right?)  Have a lemon nearby or if you're out for dinner, ask your server for some lemon slices on a little saucer if you're ordering something heavy on the garlic.  Lemon juice will help neutralize that odor-causing enzyme and return your breath to a more kissable level.  (Wink, wink!)
 
You may have heard that bananas help other fruits ripen more quickly.  Is it true?  YES.  It's because of a hormone called ethylene, present in bananas.  It triggers and accelerates ripening enzymes in nearby fruits.  So the next time you want to speed up the ripening of a too-hard avocado, place it in a plastic bag along with a banana.
 
Does eating turkey really make you sleepy?  (That's one I've heard before.)  Turns out, there's some truth to it.  Tryptophan, an amino acid present in turkey, salmon and cheddar cheese produces the brain chemical melatonin, which makes you tired and yes, even a little drowsy.
 
Why does eating beans make you so, uh..."explosiive?"
 
 
And oh, oh, here's one I know you're all familiar with.  Why do beans make you uh, pass gas?  (Oh, my!)  Well, there's a compound found in beans called raffinose which is difficult for you body to digest, causing bloat and gas.  Soaking them before cooking will make your beans easier to digest and help alleviate the uh, "explosive" episodes that often follow eating a hearty plate of beans.
 
Ever notice how eating asparagus can give your pee an unusual smell?  (I'm starting to get embarrassed writing about some of this stuff!  LOL.)  But there's a scientific reason for that, too.  Asparagus breaks down into asparagusic acid, which has been shown to modify your urine's aroma giving it a sweet-smelling edge.  Who knew?!  Well, now you do! 
 
I don't know how useful this information will be for you but I still find it kind of interesting.  Hey, who knew that food science could be such weird science?
 
Love,