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Facts About Food: Vegetables


As a kid, you may have avoided them like the plague, but just like your mom told you, vegetables really are good for you. Vegetables are organized into five subgroups based on their nutrient content: dark green, orange, starchy, dry beans and peas and other. Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. For a snapshot of specific recommendations for your age/sex group, click here.


Eating a diet rich in vegetables (and fruits) provides numerous health benefits because vegetables:

  • Help reduce the risk for stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Play an important role in reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • May protect against mouth, stomach and colon-rectum cancer, among others.
  • May reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Also play a key role in helping to decrease bone loss.


  • Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and have no cholesterol.
  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans and split peas.
  • Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Fiber from vegetables is also important for proper bowel function.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells and is especially important for pregnant women.
  • Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
  • Vitamin E helps protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from cell oxidation.
  • Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps teeth and gums healthy, and aids in iron absorption.

For more information on the benefits of vegetables, click here

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