We all know we should be eating more vegetables. It doesn’t matter what diet plan you’re sticking to (if any), because all of them say the same thing: Veggies, veggies and more veggies. Half of your plate should be devoted to them at every meal, you should throw them in your smoothie, and you should definitely, always eat more of them.
That’s all fine and great, but what if veggies just aren’t your thing? It can be a tough life for all the meat-and-potato lovers out there.
Luckily, there’s a new study that confirms what your mom always told you: Keep trying them, and eventually they may grow on you.
As part of the BBC Terrific Scientific program in the U.K., a group of “young scientists,” a.k.a. school children aged nine-to-11, were split into two sections. One section was asked to eat kale every day for 15 days, while the other group was asked to eat raisins for the same amount of time.
According to the results, the kids who ate kale had a higher likelihood of actually enjoying the stuff by the time the study was up than the kids who didn’t eat it on a regular basis. Of course there were kids who taste-tested the kale and still didn’t like it after 15 days, but they had something else in common: the amount of taste buds on their tongues.
The kale naysayers had more fungiform papillae, taste areas that directly influence how a person perceives flavour. The more you have, the more strongly something will taste, especially if it’s bitter. And we all know that kale — even when it’s massaged right down for that kale Caesar salad you’re trying to trick yourself into eating — can be pretty darn bitter.
According to BBC News, roughly 25 per cent of us supposedly have more of these taste buds, which are essentially at fault for turning us into food divas. As such, we don’t find strong flavours like lemon, spices and bitter vegetables to be… well, super.
So there you have it. If you want to trick yourself into eating more vegetables, you might have to actually eat more vegetables until you whip those taste buds into submission. And if after enough time you find that you still don’t actually enjoy all of that rabbit food, you might just have too many taste buds.
At least you’ll always have fruit.