The fall is here, and for those of us with kids, school is about to start. As our schedules become more and more hectic, let us not sacrifice our health and nutrition. We all know that a balanced diet is important to good health, but the consumption of certain foods can have far more nutritional benefit than others!

Good nutritional wellness has been shown to prevent or delay chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, obesity, osteoporosis, stroke, and various types of cancer (Schlienger and Pradiqnac, 2009). As we try to incorporate exercise and diet into our daily routine, an improper diet can impede and even prevent one from engaging in a regular exercise regimen. On our next trip down the produce section, let’s challenge ourselves to improve our eating habits by adding colorful veggies to our diet. Add more veggies by including them into your breakfast omelets, sandwiches, salads, snacks, dinner sides, or even be more creative and make a smoothie! We all love our kids, and generally they take on our eating habits that we set for them at a young age. When you unload the grocery bags after arriving at home, know that a healthy diet for you is a healthy diet for the whole family. Here is a list of the different categories of vegetables, and some vegetables we may be overlooking.

Dark Green Broccoli, collard greens, dark green leafy lettuce, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, and watercress, bok choy
Orange Carrots, pumpkin squash (acorn, butter nut, and hubbard), and sweet potatoes.
Dry Beans and Peas Kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans.
Starchy Vegetables Corn, potatoes, peas, lima beans, water chesnuts
Other Zucchini, wax beans, green beans, bell peppers, black brussel sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts

1. On average women need 2-2.5 servings of vegetables per day, and men need 2.5-3.
2. Vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins and nutrients.
3. Generally the darker the leaves of your dark green vegetables, the denser they are in nutrients.
4. Red and Orange vegetables are a good source of antioxidants.
5. Beans and peas are a good source of plant protein and are cholesterol-free.

Elayne,S (2011).Wellness and Physical Therapy: Physical Wellness and Nutrition, 5, 76-77.
Schlienger, J.L., & Pradiqnac, A. (2009) Nutrition Approaches to Prevent Chronic Disease. La Revuedu Praticen, 59(1), 61-65.