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Eat more dark-green veggies for St. Patrick's Day and Beyond

February 22, 2019

Eat more dark-green veggies for St. Patrick’s Day and Beyond


            Most Americans age 2 and older do not eat the recommended amounts of vegetables. Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories and fat, so it is important to add more vegetables to your meals and snacks.

Vary Your Veggies

            The most common eaten vegetables are potatoes and tomatoes according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is important to vary your veggies throughout the week by eating from the five vegetable subgroups: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas) starchy and other vegetables. (See table below) These vegetables are grouped together based on their nutrient content. Most Americans do not eat enough of dark-green, red and orange vegetables, and beans and peas. Try to focus on fitting more dark-green vegetables into your day.

4 ways to add more dark-green veggies


Vegetable Subgroup


Dark-green vegetables

Broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens (including romaine lettuce), collards, bok choy, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, green herbs (parsley, cilantro)

Red and orange vegetables

Tomatoes, carrots, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, red peppers (hot and sweet), winter squash, pumpkin

Legumes (beans and peas)

Pinto, white, kidney, and black beans; lentils, chickpeas; lima beans (mature, dried) split peas; edamame (green soybeans)

Starchy vegetables

Potatoes, corn, green peas, lima beans (green, immature), plantains, cassava

Other vegetables

Lettuce (iceberg), onions, green beans, cucumbers, celery, green peppers, cabbage, mushrooms, avocado, summer squash (includes zucchini), cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, bean sprouts, olives, asparagus, peapods (snow peas), beets

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