Smells are amazing. Just one whiff of apple pie can take you back to your grandma’s kitchen when you were 8 years old. However, scents do even more than remind you of a person, a particular place, or a moment in time. They can stimulate important mental and physical functions. Here are a few things that scents do for your body, according to the Bottom Line Newsletter:
- Scents can help control appetite: In a study of over 3,000 people, those who sniffed banana, green apple, or chocolate scents when they felt hungry lost an average of 30 pounds in 6 months. Sniffing these foods often, and sniffing your meals before you eat them, will make your brain think you’re eating more, and it’ll suppress your appetite. Why? Because half of taste is actually smell. So if you’re smelling more, your mind thinks you’re tasting more, too.
- Scents also increase your energy level: Some aromas that do this include:
- Jasmine. It increases beta waves in the brain, which is a sign of alertness.
- Peppermint works on your sensory nerves and also increases alertness.
- They reduce anxiety. Fresh, natural scents are calming. For example, smells like green apple and cucumber affect the limbic system – which is the emotional center of your brain. So, if you know you’ll be in a nerve-wracking situation, washing your hair that morning with apple-scented shampoo will help you remain calm.
- Smells can help improve your memory. People who sniff floral scents are 17 percent more likely to remember new information. So, sniff a floral odor when you want to learn something new, and then sniff it again when you want to recall the information. This is called “state dependent learning.” In other words, the information you learn when you’re in a certain mental state will come back to you when you put yourself back in that same state of mind.