If You're Worried About Which Vegetables Are Healthy, You’re Overthinking It

Eating vegetables is the healthy thing to do; obsessing over which vegetables are “healthy” isn’t. The environmental watchdog organization the Dirty Dozen puts out two lists every year of “dirty” and “clean”  vegetables. It sounds like you should avoid the “dirty” produce in favor of the “clean” stuff, but the truth is that vegetables on both lists have pesticide residue that's considered safe. If some vegetables were actually bad for you, the logical response would be to avoid the “bad” ones, and that’s where this takes a darker turn. There are recommendations to only buy the “dirty” produce if it’s organic, which sometimes results in people not buying the “dirty” items at all. It’s the same thing as rumors being spread that claim microwaving vegetables destroys their nutrients, which — for lack of a better term — is hogwash. The harm in judging some  vegetables as “healthier” than others is that it causes people to avoid foods that are perfectly healthy to eat. Eating healthy isn’t some far-off fantasy and it doesn’t mean dedicating your life to researching and shopping for the “perfect” foods. Before you go adopting some so-called optimal diet, take care of the low-hanging fruit. Most adults should get 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. That’s it….simple. Whether those are fresh, frozen, or microwaved doesn’t matter. It’s all about “eating the rainbow” — making sure that you have a variety. If all your veggies are green, branch out to things like tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower. Do whatever you can to mix it up and get in a good variety. Ultimately, plenty of vegetables is a success when it comes to taking care of yourself. Don’t go looking for a way to turn that into some kind of failure.