gag reflex from foods

@shmeedia (1045)
Canada
February 17, 2007 2:10pm CST
anybody know what triggers a gag reflex when eating certain foods, like for me it would be broccoli? is it something in the food that reacts with enzymes in the mouth? something that causes more saliva? chemical reaction or predominantly the brain reacting to a food we think is un-tasty? i can't even describe the taste of broccoli...i just know it makes me gag. i can't say it is too salty, too sour, etc. i just don't like it, and i don't know WHY. if it is chemical, why do some people love broccoli and for me, i just can't swallow it? i have to cut it up in tiny bits and swallow them without chewing so i can't really taste it or feel the texture. as a sidenote, a doctor once told my mom that swallowing broccoli in particular is actually GOOD for us. does this mean that if we chew the broccoli before swallowing it, there is a chemical breakdown from our saliva which diminishes the nutrients? my mom told the doc that i always swallow it without chewing, and maybe there IS a correlation: i have been told by several doctors that my bones are very strong. i hate most milk products, so i need to get my calcium elsewhere, and in foods like broccoli, calcium is supposed to be more powerful when swallowing whole broccoli lol.
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
17 Feb 07
I don't know anything about the whole not chewing thing, But for the most part, gagging is a psychological reflex to something that is not appealing to someone. You can also gag if you are choking of course, but when it happens with a food you do not like...psychological. Of course, that is just one opinion, I am sure there are 100's more and they all may be correct
• United States
18 Feb 07
rofl, yeah that is true I didn't think of the BJ thing. I haven't had this problem so that could be why. Like I said, there are so many different reasons. I don't think there really is one answer, just have been told that for the most part it is psychological.
1 person likes this
@mypigbox (2245)
• China
27 Feb 07
I have not taste any broccoli or not.Some experience of mustard.Usually it bring my tears,just like crying.But after a while,it is comfortable.
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@shmeedia (1045)
• Canada
27 Feb 07
oh, i really cannot get comfortable eating broccoli ;) i have to cut in small pieces and hide it in other food, so i can`t tell it`s there!
@crickethear (1420)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I would say because you don't like it, and so it triggers that response. I know that certain foods to me are yuck, and even thinking about them, I can start gagging.
1 person likes this
@shmeedia (1045)
• Canada
17 Feb 07
well that's what i don't understand. how do i know i don't like this food, when i can't even explain why i don't like it? for example, i don't like milk, and i can say what it is about milk products that gross me out. but i won't gag if i drink it. i can say it is too thick (but drinking 1% milk, i think it's too watery haha), it leaves a strange bacterial taste and film in the mouth. if eating ice-cream made from milk, i feel like i always have to clear my throat, etc.... but broccoli...i have no reason for not liking it. so am i gagging because my brain knows i don't like it, or is it in fact the reverse? since the day i was born, broccoli made my gag, so my brain learnt that i dislike it? interesting. thanks for your reponse!