What are the benefits of vegetables in a healthy eating pattern?
Including vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well stroke and cancer. USDA's MyPlate includes all vegetables and 100% vegetable juice in this group. Vegetables can be raw or cooked, and they can be fresh, frozen, canned or dehydrated. This offers a wide variety of options for meeting daily and weekly intake recommendations.
MyPlate divides vegetables into the following subgroups: dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables. Foods from every subgroup do not have to be consumed daily; instead, they can be incorporated into a weekly eating pattern for optimal health.
|Age||No. of servings|
|Children||2–8 years||1–1.5 cups|
|Girls||9–18 years||2–2.5 cups|
|Boys||9–18 years||2.5–3 cups|
|Women||19–50 years||2.5 cups|
|Women||51+ years||2 cups|
|Men||19–50 years||3 cups|
|Men||51+ years||2.5 cups|
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy eating pattern and are excellent sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. These nutrients are vital for overall health and maintenance of body systems:
Find out more about the relationship of a healthy eating pattern and activity to overall health by visiting the Healthy Eating page.