Fruits and vegetables are the foods that should be eaten most often, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For most people, this means more than doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat daily.

How much do you need? Recommended amounts vary for age and gender, but here’s a general guideline: Make fruits and vegetables about half of what you eat, every time you eat. It’s easier than you think!

The following categories of fruits and vegetables are important to eat at least several times a week, because they are rich in vital nutrients:

  • Dark green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and leaf lettuces.
  • Orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn.
  • Dry beans, such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas and black beans.

SOURCE:, July 2007.