3 Extraordinary Veggie Groups to Emphasize

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3 Extraordinary Veggie Groups to Emphasize

On Instagram and Facebook I recently ran a poll to see what my readers and followers were interested in learning more about.  In case you missed it, the options I presented were:

  1. Beginner level detox tips for home and self-care products
  2. Making real food choices
  3. Healthy lifestyle choices
  4. Mindset regarding health & lifestyle
  5. Homeschooling info.
  6. Basic day in the life of Deanna and her family
  7. Mix of all


Every single topic was requested at least a few times, though many were interested in more beginner level home and self-care product detox tips, so I’ll definitely be adding more of that.  If you didn’t already chime in with your interests, PLEASE share them in the comments below and don’t be afraid to mention others you may not see on the list.


Today, I’m going to hit on #2 – making real food choices – a bit.  I’m a strong believer that veggies are an essential part of a HEALTHY diet!  They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!!!  In a world where we are exposed to more toxins than ever, we need those antioxidants and the fiber to help our bodies cleanse!  We also live in HIGHLY stressful times, which is extremely depleting for our bodies, so we need plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help our bodies recover and maintain homeostasis as much as possible.


There are sooooo many varieties of veggies, yet we often stick with the same basic ones.  Even I have to remind myself to seek out new varieties from time to time as I can easily get in the same grocery-buying rut.  I won’t get too into depth on this here right now, but as often as possible, it’s best to choose local, organic, and seasonally fresh produce.  These are likely to have retained the most beneficial nutrients!  If you can’t do this all of the time (or even most of the time), please do consider the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who identifies the top 12 produce items likely to be contaminated with pesticides.  If you buy non-organic items, consider peeling the skins when possible (especially if they are on the Dirty Dozen list).  They also now have an expanded list, including pesticide residue data for 4 dozen+ produce items.  Additionally, the EWG has created a Clean Fifteen List, identifying the safest veggies to buy non-organic (just beware of a few which are frequently GMO’s).  You will see that many of the “clean” items are those with thick skins that are often discarded.  Buying organic means your produce has not been grown with GMO seeds nor been treated with (typical) pesticides.


Now for my list…


3 extraordinary veggie groups to emphasize in your diet


1. Sulfur-rich veggies

Sulfur is a critical nutrient for our bodies.  It is highly important we include dietary sources of sulfur to ensure we get enough.  Veggies are not the only source of this mineral, but it is plentiful in many common choices.   Sulfur is an excellent antioxidant and plays a role in many vital bodily functions and processes.  For instance, it is necessary: to support proper detoxification and effectiveness of glutathione (our MASTER “built-in” antioxidant); for maintaining healthy hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints; and for other biological processes, such as metabolism(without getting to sciency here).


Cruciferous veggies, such as, broccoli, broccoli sprouts (particularly high in an enzyme called sulforaphane with anticancer benefits), cabbage, arugula, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower, as well as alliums like onions and garlic are rich sources of sulfur.  I include a few servings of some of these each day!


2.  Leafy Greens

As you can see above, many leafy greens are a nice source of sulfur, but they are really so much more!  And honestly, if you’ve ever gradually worked your way up to generous amounts of daily leafy greens, then you likely know how great they can make you feel and may not need any other reasons to consume them.  Let me share a few reasons anyway…  Raw leafy greens are an excellent source of folate.  If you’ve ever had your genetics tested and you have MTHFR (like myself), you have an even greater need for folate.  Folate is important for: healthy fetus development, supporting DNA production and brain health, protecting against heart disease, production of red and white blood cells and platelets, and metabolic processes like methylation.  Dark leafy greens are also a source of vitamin K1, important for proper blood clotting.  Vitamins A, E, and K found in these vegetables require healthy fats for their absorption, so please don’t forget to eat some high quality, healthy fats with your greens!  You’ll also get some vitamin C, other B vitamins, fiber, important trace minerals, and antioxidants!  They even include small amounts of ALA, an omega 3 fatty acid (known as the anti-inflammatory fatty acid).  Though don’t rely on them as your only source of omega 3.  Chlorophyll is another benefit of this delicious food.  It is known for aiding in cleansing the liver and lymph system and being and anti-inflammatory!


spinach, arugula, kale, watercress, fresh herbs (MY FAVORITE!!), swiss chard, frisee, collard, mustard, and beet greens, etc.  I like to eat several servings of greens a day, which is really easy to do when eating fresh salads.


3.  Rainbow of Colors

When we eat veggies of many different colors, we get a wider array of nutrients and antioxidants from them! It’s also a bit like eating nature’s candy (my kind of Skittles).  Additionally, they make meals pleasing to look at! Have fun with using various colors — make it your artwork!  {heart eyes emoji}  For these, I’ve included fruits too, as they can provide lots of great color too.


Obviously, this last group is inclusive of the other two, but I think they deserve their own groups and emphasis within the rainbow, nonetheless.  I often like to think of leafy greens and/or sulfur-rich veggies as my base and the colors as supplemental!  They take it all up a notch!


tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, raspberries, radishes, strawberries, pomegranate, cherries, beets, cranberries, apples.


carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, oranges, cantaloupe, peppers, mangoes, cauliflower, apricot, peaches, turmeric, pumpkin.


peppers, carrots, lemons, grapefruit, summer squash, banana, pineapple, ginger, tomatoes.


herbs, peppers, bok choy, celery, limes, avocado, honeydew melon, broccoli, asparagus, beans, snap peas, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, romanesco, and more above.

Blue, Indigo, & Violet:

blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage, grapes, plums, figs, carrots.

Even white veggies have lots of beneficial nutrients:

cauliflower, onions, garlic, fennel bulb, daikon radish.


So, now that you’ve got lots of suggestions for consuming these 3 extraordinary veggie groups, it’s time to hit the farmer’s market or grocery store with fresh eyes, right?  What new items will you be adding to your list?  Aim to try a new produce item on a frequent basis and look for the seasonal items.  Lots of great fall produce is hitting the shelves!  Watermelon radishes are one veggie I love seeing show up at this time of year because of the wonderful color and mild bite they add to salads.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me eating them lately!  Lastly, don’t forget to reply to the poll if you haven’t already.  And if you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter (where you’ll get a kick butt snack guide, which includes veggies too), make sure you go do that too!


Deanna Wilcox

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