Q. Hello! I’m 65 years old and could use some help picking the best vegetables that would provide a well rounded lunch and also be relatively easy for me to prepare. . . I’ve been having steamed broccoli, raw carrots, raw purple cabbage, raw radishes and raw celery. I also have an apple and sometimes canned kippers or sardines. I read recently how little nutrients there are in celery, lettuce and such and could use some advice. Thank you!
A. First, let me compliment you for including vegetables in your daily meal plan. Adding vegetables to your meals and snacks will boost your health and manage your weight. While iceberg lettuce doesn’t have as many vitamins, it is a good salad carrier for many other vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, beans, and other favorite fruits and veggies. Celery has some unique beneficial phytochemicals, as do all fruits and vegetables, so eating and drinking a variety of vegetables in all forms provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber that are important to overall good health.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 4-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on your age, gender, and activity level. To help you meet this recommendation, make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal. Consider working with a registered dietitian/nutritionist who can recommend a complete meal plan based on your individual needs.