If you are one of the many that “hate” vegetables, what can you do to start eating healthier? After all, it’s pretty hard to eat healthy and avoid vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients and fiber, and most are anti-inflammatory. All huge points on the “healthy meter”. What are some things you can do?
First Impressions Are Not Everything
Keep trying different vegetables. When you start choosing healthier options, your taste buds can and will change when it comes to certain foods. Just like with a child, keep introducing foods to your pallet every once and while. This can include introducing it 10+ times.
That being said, there might be some flavors that just are not for you. That’s okay! Just because you need to eat vegetables doesn’t mean you have to love all of them. There are a few I just can’t do, and others have to be a certain way like raw or cooked from fresh, otherwise you can forget it! But also remember just because you don’t like them today, doesn’t mean it’s something you will never grow to love later.
Check out the other tips to help.
Mix It In
Try finding ways to mix vegetables into something you already love. For instance, if you like spaghetti and marinara sauce, try adding some mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini to the sauce. Or how about chili? Why not add corn, zucchini, bell peppers, celery, onion, mushrooms, and so on? You get the picture. Anywhere you can easily add a vegetable without it taking over the flavor, try it.
Cook It Differently
If you are not a fan of mixing in vegetables with your main course, or changing up your favorite chili recipe, then change the way you cook vegetables. People that don’t like vegetables, usually don’t know how to cook them. What does one who doesn’t know how to cook vegetables do to cook them? Microwave frozen veggies. Don’t get me wrong – steaming in a bag is quick and easy and for someone who already know the vegetables they like, it’s awesome! But a lot of times flavor can be lost, the texture is mushy, and usually it won’t have any seasoning.
Steaming can be a healthy way of eating vegetables because there is no added oils or salt, however nutrients (and flavor) can be lost in the steaming process.
If you don’t want to eat them raw, try roasting them in the oven. It’s by far my favorite way! Or if you like grilling, look up grilled vegetable recipes where they are seasoned and marinaded beforehand.
Use the same logic as you would chicken. Boiled chicken is okay but doesn’t have much flavor and is not usually everyone’s favorite way to eat chicken. Same with vegetables. Season them and cook them in a way that preserves flavor. Check out this link to my previous post about Tips on How to Roast Vegetables.
Remind Yourself About the Benefits
For some people it’s more of the “what is this going to do for me” thought process. Think about the benefits of eating vegetables regularly.
Some of these include:
- Increased Fiber which means
- Being regular
- Better heart health
- Better gut health
- Weight management
- Regulates blood sugar
- Mainly from fruits and vegetables
- Helps skin to stay younger
- Cellular repair
- Helps with joint pain
- Helps with muscle pain
- Helps to prevent infections
If you have all these things working for you, then that means added benefits like increased repair time in between workouts, better sleep, etc. There are no downsides to adding vegetables to a meal or your day, only benefits.
Whatever your motivation might be to increase your vegetables, don’t give up. There is only benefits, and although you might not like all vegetables, there are bound to be some you won’t mind or dare I say even love once you give them a chance. Mix it in with other flavors, start small, and even test how you cook them to see if it’s the cooking method that needs a change.
This can be a huge goal for you. Although to some it might seem small, trying new things can be terrifying for others and a huge mental block. Realize the victories and know that trying new things, or re-trying food you might have hated before is still a step in a healthy direction mentally and physically. Keep it up!