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How to Love Vegetables More in Just a Few Weeks

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Research suggests there may be a way to train your tongue to love the good-for-you foods you're not so fond of. It works on kids. Could it work for you?

It's all about repeat exposure. In a study of elementary school students, the more the children were exposed to the taste of vegetables they disliked, the more their mouths learned to enjoy them.

Repetition Equals Great Taste
In the student study, it took just a couple of months of weekly sampling (and encouragement from teachers) to produce a change of heart about the vegetables. True, it's a study in kids. But other research has suggested the approach may work in adults, too, because -- just like kids do -- adults tend to experience food neophobia -- a dislike for the taste of foods that are new. Once those new foods become familiar through repeated exposure, they often start tasting good instead of bad. (Did you know? The average tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. Answer these seven other questions to test your body smarts.)

A Nudge in the Right Direction
Ready to learn to love those healthy fruits and vegetables you just never developed a craving for? You could retrain your taste buds in as little as 2 weeks of healthy eating, according to RealAge experts and YOU: On a Diet authors Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD. It's a small commitment to make in exchange for a diet full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you actually enjoy eating. If you need more motivation, here are some good reasons to eat your vegetables today:

RealAge Benefit

Training your taste buds to love foods that thwart aging can make your RealAge at least 3 years younger. Take the RealAge Test!


Repeated taste exposure increases liking for vegetables by low-income elementary school children. Lakkakula, A. et al., Appetite 2010 Oct;55(2):226-231.

Actively patrolling your health can make your RealAge as much as 12 years younger. Take the RealAge Test  Copyright 2010 RealAge

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