Why are vegetables important?

Vegetables provide vitamins, such as vitamins A and C, and folate, and minerals, such as iron and magnesium. They are naturally low in fat and also provide fiber. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 3 to 5 servings of these foods a day.

What counts as a serving?

1 cup of raw leafy vegetables

1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw

3/4 cup of vegetable juice

Here are some selection tips:

-Different types of vegetables provide different nutrients. For variety eat:

dark-green leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli);

deep-yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes);

starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas);

legumes (navy, pinto, and kidney beans, chickpeas);

other vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green beans)

-Include dark-green leafy vegetables and legumes several times a week - they are especially good sources of vitamins and minerals. Legumes also provide protein and can be used in place of meat.

-Go easy of the fat you add to vegetables at the table or during cooking. Added spreads or toppings, such as butter, mayonnaise, and salad dressing, count as fat.

-Use low fat salad dressing.


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