Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Which group of veggies are the most nutritious?

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Color wheel



Veggies that are rich in color are the most rich in nutrition. Did you know vegetables are broken into five subgroups based upon their nutrient content? 

Below is a listing of the subgroups as well as examples of vegetables within each subgroup. It is important to get veggies from a varity of subgroups.

Dark green vegetables: bok choy, broccoli, collard green, dark green leafy lettuce, spinach
  • Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in fiber and good sources of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron and calcium. Research suggests that the nutrients found in dark green vegetables may prevent certain types of cancers and promote heart health.
    • Recipe ideas: Salad (Arugala, spinach, romain), Lettuce wraps (Romain, large leafed dark green veggies), add to soups (collard greens, kale, mustard greens), stir fry (broccoli), steam (collard greens, kale, spinach).
Orange vegetables: butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes 
  • Are orange colored by natural plant pigments called "carotenoids." Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.
  • One study found that people who ate a diet high in carotenoid-rich vegetables were 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder common among the elderly, which can lead to blindness.
  • Carotenoids also may be good for your heart. One study found that men with high cholesterol who ate plenty of vegetables high in carotenoids had a 36 percent lower chance of heart attack and death than their counterparts who shunned vegetables.


Dry beans and peas: black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils, tofu

Starchy vegetables: corn, green peas, lima beans (green), potatoes

Other vegetables: artichokes, onions, tomatoes, asparagus, bean sprouts, mushrooms, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower



Source: Produced by ADA's Strategic Communications Team, http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/leafy.html
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn595w.htm

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