Pharmacist Doug: The Five Senses

The Five Senses
- At birth, our ears are capable of discerning more than 300,000 sounds. After years of exposure to loud noises, the tiny hair cells on the cochlea, in the inner ear, flatten and become less sensitive. Researchers have found that living in loud areas can raise the blood pressure by an average of five to eight percent.

- The human eye can distinguish among 500 shades of gray (not merely 50.) As we have seen recently on a commercial, it can spot the light of a candle 14 miles away.

- We have more than 10,000 taste buds spread over our tongues, palates and inner cheeks. Nearly all humans are born with a sweet tooth. Taste can be nurtured and learned. Researchers say 75-80 percent of the flavors we taste come from what we smell. 

Smells are processed by the same part of the brain that handles memories and emotions: the temporal lobe. Therefore, smells are closely connected to memory! Did you know, the right nostril detects more pleasant smells than the left, but the left can detect smells more accurately?

Touch is the first sense we develop in utero and is crucial to survival. Babies can actually die from lack of it. A recent study from Yale University found that people seated on soft chairs during mock negotiations with a car dealer were likely to make an offer several hundred dollars greater than people who were seated on hard chairs.

Enhance Your Senses
- Closing your eyes seems to be a common activity that improves almost all the senses. Breathe deeply and think about the smells around you. 

- Listen to music and gradually turn the volume down, and intentionally concentrate on different instruments or different voices. You can do this with the TV as well. 

- Take blinking breaks throughout the day especially if your work is in front of a computer.

- Alternate focus: Look at a close object then a distant one and then go back and forth alternating your focus. Do this for a few minutes.

- Stop smoking.

- Decrease salt and sugar in your food.

- B vitamins and phytonutrients from carrots, tomatoes, spinach, etc. support your senses as well. 

- A zinc deficiency can cause a dulled sense of smell and taste. You can get supplements or some foods high in zinc are lamb, grass fed beef, pumpkin seeds and oats.

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