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Vegetables

  • By: Carol E. O'Neil & Theresa A. Nicklas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and help promote good health and aid in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, yet most countries today have a lower consumption of vegetables than is recommended. In the United States, a large majority of individuals do not meet the recommendations for vegetable intake.

Definition

Vegetables are the edible parts of plants, including cultivated or gathered leaves, roots, stalks, bulbs, seeds, and flowers. The word vegetable is usually used traditionally rather than scientifically; and from that standpoint, vegetables include mushrooms, which are fungi, and foods that are botanically fruit, such as cucumbers, peppers, squash, eggplant, and tomatoes. Legumes (pulses), including beans, lentils, and peas, are also botanically fruits that ...

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