Body & Fitness

It’s not your fault…you hate broccoli

Remember any painful moments around the dinner table, as you were forced against your will to eat broccoli?

Studies have shown that in fact, it’s not your fault you hate the vegetable – you can now blame your genes.

Ever wondered why some people can’t get enough broccoli while others find it virtually inedible?

It’s partly down to a gene known as TAS2R38. This regulates a protein on the tongue that locks on to bitter flavours. Chemicals called glucosinates in vegetables such as sprouts, broccoli, kale and cabbage give them a bitter taste. How well you can tolerate the taste is thought to depend on what variation you have of the TAS2R38 gene.

According to studies in the U.S., around 25 per of women are super-sensitive to these bitter flavours while a quarter can’t taste this compound at all.

These ‘super tasters’ are also more likely to find fatty foods and bitter foods such as dark chocolate, coffee and grapefruit juice unappealing.

This tendency has unexpected benefits — you may be less likely to put on weight.

A study published in the journal Obesity in 2005 found that middle-aged women who could not taste the bitter compound had a BMI 6 points higher on average than women who were sensitive to it.

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