Healthy Plate: Vegetables

We are often told to “eat more vegetables” or “eat the rainbow” but I find these advice too vague and thus rather unhelpful.

Here are some more specific guidelines I have learnt and implemented.

The 3 Major Groups of Vegetables

From Dr. Terry Wahls’s Wahl’s Protocol [1], the emphasis is on low-sugar / low-starch vegetables before fruits:

  1. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: The darker green, the better! This group of vegetables are especially rich in B, A, C and K vitamins and some minerals like calcium and magnesium.
    Aim for 6 cups raw or 3 cups cooked.
    Examples: kale, spinach, watercress, collard, chard, bok choy, kai lan, chey sim, sweet potato leaves, kang kong, and other asian greens.
  2. Deeply Coloured Vegetables: Colour is a sign of antioxidant. They should be coloured all the way through like carrots and beets, not just the skins like apples.
    Aim to eat at least 3 different colours and 3 cups raw/cooked daily.
    • GREEN: sprouts, salad greens, celery, green beans, green peppers, asparagus, peas, olives, okra, lime, cucumbers, zucchini, kiwi, melons, honeydew and avocados
    • RED: beetroot, rhubarb, tomatoes, red peppers, cherries, cranberries, raspberries and grapefruit
    • YELLOW / ORGANGE: carrots, pumpkins, squash, kumara, yellow peppers, lemon, pineapples, papaya, apricots, mangoes, peaches and tangerines ­­­­­­
    • BLUE / PURPLE / BLACK: red cabbage, berries (black, blue, rasp- & elderberries), eggplants, grapes, figs, dates, purple kale, olives, plums, various lentils and beans.
  3. Sulphur-Rich Vegetables: sulphur-rich foods nourish cells and mitochondria, and specifically help the body be more efficient at eliminating toxins. Sulphur is also important for synthesising proteins and collagen production. Therefore especially useful for anyone suffering from joint issues and skin disorders. It will make your skin, hair and nails glow!
    Aim for 3 cups raw/cooked daily.
    Some great examples:
    • CABBAGE FAMILY: Broccoli sprouts, Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, wong bok, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, daikon
    • ONION FAMILY: all types of onions as well as garlic, chives, leeks, shallots
    • MUSHROOMS: some people with autoimmune disorders may be sensitive to mushrooms so if you find you have more headaches / fatigue / other neurological (brain) symptoms after consuming mushrooms, avoid them temporarily and focus on the many other sulphur-rich foods above. Try again in a month or two.

1 cup = ~ about 1 handful*

For a more detailed food list, refer to this pdf [2].

How to start?

Although we should try to aim for 3 cups from each group daily (except for leafy greens see above), a good place to start is to fill at least half your plate with vegetables.

Gradually work up from there. If you experience any digestive symptoms like bloating or painful stools, cut back down on quantity and cook them more too.

To make them more palatable, add herbs, spices and aromatics when cooking such as garlic, ginger, onions, dried mixed herbs, turmeric, paprika, curry powders etc. Always choose spice powders over pastes and sauces.

For the first time since 2007, the FDA Has approved a new device to treat obesity. The amazing breakthrough is called a vegetable.
Conan O’Brien

Thanks for reading. Please share this with anyone whom might benefit.

Peace, Love & Healing,

References and Links

  1. “The Wahls Protocol” Book: MS Paleo Diet | Dr. Terry Wahls, MD & Author
  2. Wahls-Protocol-Complete-Food-List.pdf (

Posts in this #Nutrition series:

  1. Planning a Healthy Plate

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