Vegetables and Fruits | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan …

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity. Tips for increasing your intake.

Vegetables and Overall Nutrient Richness

There are also a dozen key minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Are vegetables as indispensable for macronutrients and minerals as they are for vitamins and calories? At WHFoods, we have no doubt that the answer here is “yes!” But with macronutrients and minerals, our reasoning is a little different than it is for vitamin and calories. For a mineral like zinc, 6 of our Top 20 foods still belong to the vegetable group: spinach, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, green peas, and beet greens. However, the doorway to zinc is opened even wider by our non-vegetables, since 70% of our zinc Top 20 come from other food groups (i.e., not from vegetables).

For many other minerals and for macronutrients like protein, this same situation occurs: vegetables do play a role, but the doorway to Healthy Eating is opened wider by other food groups. Even for a macronutrient like fiber, the doorway is opened a little wider by our Beans & Legumes group than by our vegetables.

We think it’s also important to point out that these non-vegetable food groups can come at a greater calorie cost; in practice, the most realistic way for you to make room for their greater calorie levels is by making an unusual big-to-do about vegetables! Vegetables are indispensable for accomplishing this task: they give you the flexibility you need to enjoy balanced intake from all of the food groups– including nutrient-rich yet higher-calorie food groups like Nuts & Seeds.

For many other minerals and for macronutrients like protein, this same situation occurs: vegetables do play a role, but the doorway to Healthy Eating is opened wider by other food groups. We think it’s also important to point out that these non-vegetable food groups can come at a greater calorie cost; in practice, the most realistic way for you to make room for their greater calorie levels is by making an unusual big-to-do about vegetables! Vegetables are indispensable for accomplishing this task: they give you the flexibility you need to enjoy balanced intake from all of the food groups– including nutrient-rich yet higher-calorie food groups like Nuts & Seeds.

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