Many people claim to hate the texture or taste of mushrooms. However, if you can get past this, you could be doing your health a big favour. Mushrooms are not only a good source of protein, they are rich in B vitamins and are the only vegetable to naturally contain Vitamin D. To give the healthy fungi another shot, try using it as an ingredient in burgers to help disguise their texture.
Celery is a commonly disliked vegetable. However, the crunchy veg is packed with nutrients (vitamin K, potassium and folate), is low in calories and can help lower blood pressure. To reap these health benefits, try sneaking some celery into your diet by adding to blended soup. Not only will this help disguise the texture of celery, but with the accompaniment of other tasty ingredients you will hardly know it’s there.
When you consider their smell and appearance, it may not seem surprising that sprouts are an unpopular food. Yet sprouts are an extremely healthy source of vitamins K, C and omega-3 fatty acids, are high in cancer-fighting substances (glucosinolates), and can even taste good when prepared right. To up their appeal, choose fresh sprouts rather than frozen, and be careful not to overcook them as this is what causes that trademark smell.
Whether it’s the smell, the texture or those hidden bones, many kids hate fish and this can be something that sticks with us well into adulthood. However, fish is not only a great source of protein, but the oily kinds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can contribute to a healthy heart and brain. To give fish a second chance, try serving it with a healthy marinade to enhance the flavour, or try a more “meaty” fish such as tuna steak.
Marmite is famous for having its haters. However, the savory substance is an extremely healthy, versatile and diet-friendly spread. Not only is it low in fat and calories, but marmite is packed with B vitamins which are good for the nervous system, mood and energy levels. If you want to give it a go but find the taste too strong, dilute marmite by adding to a savory sauce, or try making marmite muffins or bread.
Although some people hate tomatoes in any form, there are others who dislike the raw fruit but will happily tuck into tomato sauces or salsa. The good news is research has suggested that the antioxidant lycopene is better absorbed by the body when eaten in processed and cooked tomatoes than the fresh, raw variety. As lycopene is great for fighting heart disease and cancer, carry on tucking into tomato products all you like – just try to opt for the low sugar options when possible.
As with sprouts, broccoli’s reputation has been ruined for many of us by our common exposure to badly cooked forms of the veg. However, try ditching the soggy, boiled broccoli for a better recipe and you may find you actually change your mind. To reap the antioxidant benefits of this healthy veg, try lightly roasting broccoli with olive oil, garlic and seasoning for a crunchy, flavourful meal accompaniment.
While tofu is not a dietary essential, the product is a staple of the traditional Japanese diet (considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world) and is a great protein alternative for those wishing to reduce their meat intake. Tofu not only has great cholesterol-lowering properties, but it contains phytoestrogens which can help alleviate symptoms of the menopause. To give tofu more flavor, try marinating with soy sauce before cooking. Alternatively, if you don’t like the texture but want the health benefits, try adding soy milk into your diet instead.
Many people dislike the texture of avocados, however this healthy fruit is extremely high in vitamin E, potassium and essential fatty acids and is great for skin and heart health. To add avocado into your diet, try mixing the fruit into a tasty guacamole dip and serving with grilled pita bread wedges or crudités. Alternatively, try blending with lemon juice, oil and seasoning to make a healthy alternative to mayonnaise.
Hate that stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture of peanut butter? You’re definitely not alone. In fact, there is even a name for this phobia – arachibutyrophobia. However, while it is not an essential dietary component, peanut butter does have many health benefits including its abilities to lower cholesterol and help ward off heart disease. To dilute the taste and stickiness of the spread, try mixing peanut butter into a satay sauce or adding to a salad dressing.