COVID Knock Out Your Sense of Smell? Try These Cooking Recipes
Having anosmia (loss of sense of smell and taste) due to COVID just plain stinks. The simple pleasure of savoring your favorite meals is missing, leaving you with a bad taste—or rather no taste—in your mouth.
Don’t despair, however. You can try at-home remedies to help, including using recipes for individuals with anosmia.
Anosmia From COVID Still a Threat
Research shows that 40 to 50% of people with COVID develop anosmia, but most regain their sense of smell and taste within six months.1
Anecdotal evidence via Amazon reviews of Yankee Candles, a company that makes popular scented candles, also provides insight into the prevalence of COVID-related anosmia.
Nick Beauchamp, a political scientist who analyzed more than 10,000 Yankee Candle reviews on Amazon and published a peer-reviewed paper about his findings, says that the number of reviews noting that Yankee Candles don’t have a smell, which could indicate anosmia, has mirrored the rise and fall in COVID case counts since November 2020.2
As of October 2022, the negative Yankee Candle reviews were showing an uptick, which could mean COVID is surging—and so is the risk of anosmia.
What You Can Do
If you believe you have anosmia, try stimulating your olfactory nerves through smell training. This process involves smelling different essential oils such as rose, eucalyptus, cloves and lemon twice a day for 10 seconds. Your ability to smell should improve within a few weeks.
Another option is to get cooking with anosmia-specific recipes that use texture, acidic flavors and bright colors to stimulate your senses. Check out monell.org/anosmia-recipes for delicious ideas, including The Anosmia Sandwich—“a whimsical, open-face number,” according to its creator, of ingredients like beets, curry sauerkraut and sweet potatoes—or download the free “Taste & Flavour” digital cookbook for 17 culinary delights that British chef Ryan Riley helped create.
To be safe, you’ll want to follow up with Pinnacle ENT’s expert team to ensure your senses are functioning the way they should. Request your appointment today!
1 Kye Jin Tan, B. et al. (2022). Prognosis and persistence of smell and taste dysfunction in patients with covid-19: meta-analysis with parametric cure modelling of recovery curves. BMJ. https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj-2021-069503
2 Chan, W. (2022). ‘Zero scent’: could negative reviews of smelly candles hint at a Covid surge? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/13/zero-scent-candles-covid