Healthy Benefits of Adding More Vegetables to Your Plate |  Family

Healthy Benefits of Adding More Vegetables to Your Plate | Family

Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. No one has cholesterol. Eating a diet rich in vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet can reduce the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease; diabetes; certain cancers; weight gain by lowering the total calorie intake; and low bone mass, as vegetables contain many nutrients that are important for bone health, especially vitamin K, which is found in green leafy vegetables.

In addition, potassium-rich vegetables can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and can help reduce bone loss. Higher potassium vegetables include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (pasta, sauce and juice), green beets, soybeans, lime beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans and split peas. Having enough folate in your diet helps with heart health. High folate vegetables include beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, romaine lettuce and tomato juice.

Any vegetable or 100 percent vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables count in your daily intake in fresh, frozen, canned, cooked or dried / dehydrated form. Try them chopped, sliced ​​or mashed.

Vegetables are organized into five subgroups based on their nutritional content:

• dark green (eg broccoli and spinach)

• red and orange (eg carrots and squash)

• starchy (eg potatoes)

• Legumes (eg beans and peas)

• “other” (eg green beans, beets)

Generally, adults need 2½ cup equivalents of vegetables every day. School-age children need 1½ cup, and teens need 2½ to 3½ cups. 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the vegetable group.

Fill up with frozen vegetables for quick and easy microwave steaming. Store a bowl of sliced ​​vegetables in the refrigerator. Try broccoli, cucumber slices or red or green pepper strips.

Buy vegetables that are easy to cook. Pick up bags of pre-washed lettuce greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes to a salad in minutes.

Plan some meals around a main course with vegetables, such as a stir-fry or soup. Add vegetables to dishes you are already preparing, such as stews or lasagna. For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Have a good time and be safe.

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