People who eat fruit and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. USDA’s MyPlate encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables are an essential part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E, and C. Options like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and garlic provide additional benefits, making them a superfood!
Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease.
Folate (folic acid) helps the body form healthy red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, as well as those in the first trimester of pregnancy, need adequate folate to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.
Eating Vegetables Provides Health Benefits
- The nutrients in vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of your body.
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke, cancer, heart diseases, and type-2 diabetes.
- One to four cups of vegetables is recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need. To find out how much vegetables you need to eat, use the Healthy Eating Planner.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington, DC. Why is it Important to Eat Vegetables? http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables-why.html. Accessed March 8, 2015.