How to eat healthier if you absolutely hate vegetables

  • It's easy to preach the benefits of healthy eating without taking into account that some people despise vegetables
  • Discovering tastes and textures that you enjoy may be a challenging journey, but it's possible
  • These tips will help you start eating more veggies 

We keep on harping on the benefits of eating foods rich in antioxidants and fibre, but we get it, the thought of kale can be unappetising and the thought of filling half your plate with veggies may be daunting if you’ve never eaten healthily.

According to research, a dislike for some vegetables may come down to a certain gene which makes some compounds taste more bitter, which is why it's harder for some people to enjoy vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. Sometimes the aversion may stem from your childhood. Remember being forced to eat those Brussels sprouts?

So, you might want to embark on a healthy journey to lose a bit of weight, save some money by cooking at home more often or simply boost your overall health by adding more antioxidants. Luckily, you are not doomed for life if the green stuff isn't your thing. Here are some tips:

1. Add a tiny bit of vegetables to foods you already like

Your journey to incorporate vegetables may be as simple as adding a slice of tomato and some rocket or lettuce to your hamburger, swapping your fries for a side of baked potato, or simply adding a handful of spinach and some mushrooms to your morning omelette. You can even try grating some carrot and zucchini into a mince-based pasta sauce.

2. Try a different texture

If you have vile childhood memories of boiled, mushy vegetables, try stir-frying, oven-roasting or steaming your vegetables until you find the texture that you can tolerate. It might take a bit of time, but vegetables can be very versatile.

3. Don’t be put off by frozen veggies

As a vegetable-hater, you might worry about buying fresh produce, only to chuck it in the bin after a week. But frozen veggies can be a saving grace – and they don’t lack nutrition, either. Keep some vegetables of your choice in the freezer to add to meals as you embark on a healthier journey.

4. Enjoy them first thing in the day

If you know that you won’t have the time to prepare a meal with vegetables later during the day, try and get your nutrients first thing in the morning. Whether it’s avocado and some rocket on toast, or a handful of wilted spinach and tomato in an omelette; it’s a good start.

If you enjoy smoothies, train yourself to enjoy a handful of greens in your favourite fruity blend. You will hardly taste it, but you'll reap the benefits.

5. Play with flavours

It may take time to determine what you enjoy, but vegetables don't have to be bland. Experiment with different herbs and spices, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

READ | Want your kids to eat more veggies? Offer them a variety

WATCH | Is it healthier to eat your veggies cooked or raw?

READ | Is canned or frozen produce bad for me?

Image credit: iStock

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