From decorations to drinks and treats, everything seems to go green for St. Patrick’s Day. This year, consider extending the holiday festivities to your plate by gathering your favorite green fruits and vegetables. Here, we’re breaking down the nutrition facts of a few green favorites to help inspire a nutritious and colorful diet.
What Do Green Fruits and Vegetables Bring to the Table?
Fruits and vegetables are great sources of nutrients like vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and A.1 How nutrient-dense is your favorite green produce? Checking the percent daily value (%DV) can help you determine that by showing how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a total daily diet.2
The Goodness of Green
Listed below are nutrition facts from the FDA for some go-to green fruits and vegetables that could support a healthy St. Patrick’s Day snack:
The %DV of these green fruits and vegetables are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and raw, edible weight portion. Visit the FDA for a full view of the nutritional value of these fruits and vegetables and more.
Plan a Colorful Plate
While we’re taking this opportunity to highlight the goodness of greens, note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends filling your plate with fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors to maximize your intake of important nutrients.6
The Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
From dark leafy greens to reds and oranges, the overall benefits of eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can range from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, to preventing obesity4 –yet many American’s aren’t meeting the recommended amounts.5
According to a 2019 CDC study:
- Only 10% of adults ate the recommended amount of vegetables5
- Only 12.3% of adults ate the recommended amount of fruits5
What Should your Plate Look Like?
Recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables can vary from ½ cup to 4 cups per food group each day, depending on your age, sex, height, weight and level of physical activity.6 Visit MyPlate.gov to see how many fruits and vegetables you should be eating, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by going with greens.