Vegetables: The Ministry of Health recommends an intake of at least three servings of vegetables per meal.

    • What else is written in the Brazilian Food Guide about vegetables?
    • Serving sizes for vegetables
    • Dietetic and cooking techniques: vegetables
    • Cultural and historical curiosities about vegetables
    • Scientific information about vegetables
    • A healthy, appropriate and caring diet
Vegetables are edible seeds, roots, stems, leaves, bulbs, tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plants. Some examples of vegetables are green peas, which are seeds, chayote, which is a fruit, and carrot, whose stem develops underground. Vegetables also include some edible flowers.
The edibility of a vegetable depends not only on it not being toxic (poisonous) but also on the food habits of a country or region. Regarding Brazil, there is a wide variety of vegetables or vegetable parts that could be consumed daily but are not because of ignorance or prejudice. The fact is that Brazilians are eating much less vegetables than their requirements and the variety of vegetables eaten is also decreasing. Brazilians eat only one-third of their vegetable requirements. This has become a serious health problem because vegetables, together with fruits, are important dietary sources of vitamins, minerals and fibers. A diet low in these nutrients results in increased susceptibility to non-communicable chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, cancer and obesity, and nutrient deficiencies, such as anemia and vision problems.
As incredible as it may seem, vegetables are among the foods that are easiest to produce – they can be produced even in the backyards of houses in big cities. So the question remains: why is our intake of vegetables decreasing? Additionally, many of the vegetables sold in grocery stores have been produced with an increasing amount of pesticides that are harmful to our health and the environment. For this reason, it is wise to buy vegetables that have been produced nearby and make sure no pesticides were used. This encourages local production and protects your health with fresh and healthy foods.