Eat Your Veggies

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Adding the right amount of vegetables to your diet can single-handedly fight strokes, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES.  This one simple rule is the most powerful and important way to fight aging.  But to get the maximum anti-aging protection and disease prevention, you need to not only eat the right number of servings per week, but also include variety, and lots of it.

Eating about 14 cups of vegetables per week, from a wide range of veggie groups, raises blood levels of many protective antioxidants. In addition to their well-documented ability to fight and reduce the risk of disease, antioxidants may help preserve your long-term memory and learning capabilities, even as you get older.

Numerous studies also link a higher veggie intake to a reduced risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Convinced, but still struggling to work all this produce into your real-life diet? Then the following tips will help you to simplify things with a breakdown of the five essential veggie “groups,” and a cheat sheet for quick reference, and seven days of actual meals. You’ll be fulfilling your 14-cup quota in no time.

Easy ways to sneak in veggies

  • Swap noodle soup for bean or lentil
  • Serve chicken or fish over a bed of corn or wilted greens instead of rice
  • Use salsa or marinara sauce for dipping
  • Add mashed beans or chopped mushrooms to lean ground beef or turkey
  • Trade half your pasta portion for chopped veggies

The ideal veggie schedule

Your goal is 14 cups a week!  This may seem like a lot, but it’s easier than it sounds. Researchers have divided the entire vegetable spectrum into five “groups” (yes, beans are a veggie!) and broken down your exact weekly needs.

Dark greens

You need: 2 cups per week

Spinach; broccoli; romaine; mesclun; collard, turnip and mustard greens

Payoff: Better lung health, stronger bones, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation and a healthier brain.

Orange vegetables

You need: 1 ½ cups per week

Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin

Payoff: Better vision, blood sugar control, and lung health; high in cancer-fighting carotenoids.


You need: 2½ cups per week

Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, tofu

Payoff: Lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

Starchy vegetables

You need: 2½ cups per week

White potatoes, corn, green peas

Payoff: The nutrients in this group range from vitamins A, C, B6, and folate to potassium and magnesium, and each vegetable is rich in unique antioxidants, such as cancer-fighting isoflavones in peas and blood pressure–lowering kukoamines in potatoes.


You need: 5½ cups per week

Artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, wax beans, zucchini

Payoff: This eclectic group ensures a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that protect every system in your body, including beta-carotene in bell peppers and quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory, in onions.

One week at a glance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
LUNCH 1 c Greens 1/2 c Orange Veggies 1 c Greens & 1/2 c Beans 1 c Wildcard 1 c Wildcard 1 c Wildcard 1/2 c beans
DINNER 3/4 c Starchy Veggies 1/2 c Beans 1 1/2 c Wildcard 1 c Beans 3/4 c Starchy Veggies 1 c Orange Veggies 1c Starchy Veggies & 1 c Wildcard

Eat like this!

You will soon find that eating meals that incorporate all five vegetable groups into a perfect 7-day veggie schedule is pretty easy. When making meals just choose the group and look for its category so you can make choices. Once you get the hang of it, adding more vegetables to your meals will be a breeze.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !