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Vegetables

Vegetables

Vary your veggies.

What foods are in the Vegetable Group?


Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as part of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Based on their nutrient content, vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups: dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.

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How many vegetables do you need?

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Why is it important to eat vegetables?

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Beans, peas, and lentils are unique foods

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How many vegetables are needed?

The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. For women, the amount can also depend on whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan. For general recommendations by age, see the table below. 

What counts as a cup of vegetables?

In general, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy salad greens can be considered as 1 cup from the Vegetable Group. The table below lists specific amounts that count as 1 cup of vegetables towards your recommended intake.
 

More About the Vegetable Group

Note: Click on the top row to expand the table. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to turn your phone to see the full table.

 *These are general recommendations by age. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan.

Daily Recommendation*
Toddlers 12 to 23 months ⅔ to 1 cup
Children 2-4 yrs 1 to 2 cups
5-8 yrs 1½ to 2½ cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 1½ to 3 cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
Boys 9-13 yrs 2 to 3½ cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 4 cups
Women 19-30 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
31-59 yrs 2 to 3 cups
60+ yrs 2 to 3 cups
Men 19-30 yrs 3 to 4 cups
31-59 yrs 3 to 4 cups
60+ yrs 2½ to 3½ cups

  Amount that counts as 1 cup of vegetables
Dark-Green Vegetables Broccoli 1 cup, chopped or florets, fresh or frozen
Bitter melon leaves, chrysanthemum leaves, escarole, lambsquarters, nettles, poke greens, taro leaves, turnip greens 1 cup, cooked
Amaranth leaves, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli raab (rapini), chard, collards (collard greens), cress, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress

1 cup, cooked

2 cups, fresh

Raw leafy greens: Arugula (rocket), basil, cilantro,  dark green leafy lettuce, endive, escarole, mixed greens, mesclun, romaine

2 cups, fresh

Red and Orange Vegetables Carrots

2 medium carrots

1 cup, slices or chopped, fresh, cooked or frozen

1 cup baby carrots

Pimento/Pimiento 3 whole

1 cup
Pumpkin, calabaza 1 cup, mashed, cooked
Red and orange bell peppers

1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, fresh, or cooked

Red chili peppers ¾ cup
Sweet potato 1 large sweet potato, baked 

1 cup, sliced or mashed, cooked
Tomatoes 1 large tomato

2 small tomatoes

1 cup, chopped or sliced, fresh, canned, or cooked
100% vegetable juice 1 cup
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, kabocha) 1 cup, cubed, cooked
Beans, Peas, and Lentils Dry beans and peas and lentils (such as bayo, black, brown, fava, garbanzo, kidney, lima, mung, navy, pigeon, pink, pinto, soy, or white beans, or black-eyed peas (cow peas) or split peas, and red, brown, and green lentils) 1 cup, whole or mashed, cooked
Starchy Vegetables Breadfruit 1 ½ cups, cooked
Cassava ¾ cup, cooked
Corn, yellow or white 1 large ear of corn

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Green peas 1 cup fresh or frozen
Hominy 1 cup, cooked
Plantains ¾ cup, cooked
White potatoes 1 medium white potato, boiled or baked

1 cup, diced, mashed, fresh or frozen
Other Vegetables Avocado 1 avocado
Bamboo shoots 1 cup
Bean sprouts 1 cup, cooked
Cabbage, green, red, napa, savoy 1 cup, chopped or shredded raw or cooked
Cactus pads (nopales) 5 pads

1 cup sliced
Cauliflower 1 cup, pieces or florets raw or cooked, fresh or frozen
Celery

1 cup, diced or sliced, raw or cooked

2 large stalks (11" to 12" long)

Cucumbers 1 cup, raw, sliced or chopped
Green or wax beans 1 cup, cooked
Green bell peppers

1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked, fresh or frozen

Lettuce, iceberg or head 2 cups, raw, shredded or chopped
Mushrooms 1 cup, raw or cooked
Okra 1 cup, cooked
Onions 1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked
Summer squash or zucchini 1 cup, cooked, sliced or diced

Why is it important to eat vegetables?

Eating vegetables provides health benefits — people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Nutrients

Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. (Sauces or seasonings may add fat and calories.)

Nutrients

Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Nutrients

Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, acorn squash, kohlrabi, and yucca.

Nutrients

Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.

Nutrients

Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.

Nutrients

Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more easily.

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Health Benefits

All food and beverage choices matter – focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.

  • As part of an overall healthy diet, eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Adding vegetables can help increase intake of fiber and potassium, which are important nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
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Start Simple with MyPlate App

Build healthy eating habits one goal at a time! Download the Start Simple with MyPlate app today.

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MyPlate on Alexa

Get MyPlate nutrition tips for your baby or toddler on Amazon Alexa devices or the free Alexa app.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025