Vegetables, legumes, and beans: why should you eat them?

Most Australians only eat half of the recommended vegetable intake per day. The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor are here to explain the vegetables, legumes, and beans food groups.

What’s in the vegetable group?

There are many different types of vegetables, and there are many parts of the plant (leaves, roots, seeds) that include beneficial nutrients.

Legumes are the seeds of the plant that are eaten in both immature and mature form.

Immature form: Green peas and beans

Mature form: Dried peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

The main subgroups for vegetables are:

Dark green:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Snow peas.

Root vegetables:

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Turnip.

Legumes/Beans:

  • Red kidney beans
  • Soybeans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Tofu

Other:

  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Capsicum
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Green peas
  • Green beans.

If you choose to eat canned vegetables, opt for those in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt.

How many should I eat?

Adults should be eating at least 5 serves from the vegetable group every day. Evidence shows that there are significant health benefits to eating 5 serves of vegetables, which is about 80 grams per serve. Frozen vegetables also count towards the 5 serves.

What are the health benefits?

Most vegetables are low in fat and calories and don’t have any cholesterol. They are an important source of many vital nutrients. Eating a diet rich in vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of a heart attack and stroke and can even protect against certain types of cancers.  Vegetables that are high in potassium are particularly effective at lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of kidney stones.

About Zara McMorran

Zara McMorran

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