What are the most consumed vegetables in the US?
We all have been taught that vegetables are very healthy and that we should eat them; although, somehow, most kids would rather turn to meat, cheese, sugar, carbs and all the other food that was on their plate. Yes, we as humans don’t really follow advice but rather turn to things that are more delicious and tempting for us. Take, for example, animals. And when I say animals I mean real, wild animals, and not the domestic ones that have been under our dominance for a very long time. I mean, just take a moment to think what we have done with dogs – they are all suffering from the same diseases as humans. And did you ever hear of some zebra in wild being sick with cancer? No, you haven’t, and not just because those cases are not being reported. Can you imagine a mature tiger in the wilderness drinking cow’s milk? No grown wild mammal would do that, it would turn its head away and go to chase some buffalo. That’s right, it will eat only what nature has set for them; it will follow its natural instincts. And we? It seems that we never outgrew drinking milk, but since we can’t be breastfed our entire life, we have decided to drink the milk of another animal. How intelligent of us. What instincts are we following when we are eating candy, chips and other processed food full of artificial flavors and sweeteners, additives, and who knows what? Hey, but we are all just humans; we have our brain that can stop us from doing something stupid, we don’t act by our instincts.
Even though these and many other wrong eating habits are ruling the world, we still eat some healthy food. Vegetables and fruits are being consumed all around the globe, in different meals and combinations. Thanks to our development in technology we have many more choices of food that is coming from far away. So, with all those choices of fruit and vegetables, even from other continents, why are we giving an advantage to processed food, meat or dairy products? Well, I guess it’s got something to do with habits. We develop habits at an early age and they play an important role for the rest of our lives. There are many examples of people turning their lives upside down, changing not only eating habits but life habits as well, but these things happen only when people are faced with some unfortunate circumstances or a disease. It seems that people start to think and change only when life is forcing them in the most brutal ways.
Do this: Think of yourself as a person who is committed to eating right. You may have read many articles about what is really healthy and how one should eat. For example, the most common combination of any meat and vegetables is red meat and potatoes. And did you know that you shouldn’t combine these two, because you are actually combining proteins and complex carbohydrates, and they are going to be digested together for a very long time? You should also check our article about the most consumed fruits in the US if you want to learn how to eat fruit right.
Those who have not come to this page hoping to learn something new about healthy eating will be happy to know that we have the list of the most consumed vegetables in the US. For this list, we used 2015 Study of America’s consumption of fruit and vegetables done by Produce for Better Health Foundation. And those who want to learn something more will be happy to see that we have also provided you with basic nutrition information about each vegetable on our list. That information we’ve collected from Nutrition-And-You and other similar websites about food and diet. The most consumed vegetable in the US, in reverse order:
12. Mixed/Combo vegetables
As mentioned earlier, people like to combine their food according to what is tastier, and not according to what should be combined. That’s why mixed vegetables had to be included in this list – we all know how often they are consumed. Since the vegetables that are mixed can vary greatly, we can’t provide you with their nutritional facts. We can, however, focus your attention once again on how to combine food. When combining vegetables, the same rule can be adopted – don’t mix protein with complex carbohydrates, meaning, for example –don’t combine potatoes and peas. If you thought that by eating a lot of mixed vegetables you are eating healthy – think twice. And don’t even get me started on the quality of raw diets versus traditional cooking.
Broccoli is famous for its very strong antioxidant qualities. It seems that when this was discovered broccoli gained considerable popularity very quickly. Other than that, broccoli has other nutritional values, such as minerals (iron, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, selenium),dietary fibers, folates, minerals and, of course, vitamins (especially vitamin C – boosting the immune system and making your skin look nice; and vitamin A – helping your eyes stay healthy). Substances that are contained in FRESH broccoli have been shown as good protectors against various types of cancer (breast, colon, pancreatic…).
10. Legumes/Shelled Beans
Most popular vegetables that are from the Legumes family are peas, soybeans, beans, peanuts, etc. Each and every one of them is very healthy and has a different nutritional value, so that’s why we won’t talk about them in general. In any case, it is good to see them on this list.
There are many types of peppers and not just red hot chili ones. Whether you are a fan of spicy food or not, you should know that eating them is good for our health. Not only will they clear your sinuses, they will also speed up your metabolism. Also, sweet peppers are rich in many antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene.
8. Pasta Sauce
Once again, we have vegetables on this list for which we can’t provide any nutritional value. You are probably surprised to see pasta sauce on this list, and so are we. But thinking logically, this is a study that aims to show what are the most consumed vegetables in the US, in all combinations and forms – as a side dish, cooked dish, and not only “as is”. And since there are so many types of pasta sauces made from vegetables, and pasta is often consumed in the US, it won’t be right to exclude them. And out of which vegetables is pasta sauce most often made? Tomatoes and mushrooms.
7. Green Beans
Oh well, since the US in one of the largest producers of green beans, it is only natural that Americans consume them in great amounts as well. This vegetable is rich in vitamin B and beta-carotene. But, what makes them special is a mineral called silicon. This mineral is not that often found in other vegetables, and it is important for a healthy bone structure. But please, try consuming green beans fresh and not out of a can!
Corn is proven to be a very good source of vitamins (especially B), dietary fibers, and minerals (iron, phosphorous and magnesium). It is good to know that all types of corn are full of different antioxidants. So, whichever you chose you can’t go wrong – you’ll do something good for your health.
Believe it or not, carrots are good raw for more than the nose on a snowman. You can eat ’em. That’s right, so next time you are in a mood for a snack, just grab a few carrots, clean them and enjoy their real taste and all the healthy benefits they provide. They are full of vitamins (especially vitamin A), dietary fibers, minerals and antioxidants. Making a carrot your everyday snack, you will take good care of your eyes, skin, and reproductive organs.
4. Tomatoes (Excl. Cherry)
Good old tomatoes, and not sweet little cherry ones, have taken the 4th place on this list of most consumed vegetables in the US. It is no wonder they are consumed so much, when they can be eaten in so many ways, and usually everybody likes their taste. Tomatoes can be eaten fresh, in a salad, in a sandwich, or they can be cooked and used in various dishes like the pasta sauce we mentioned above. They are rich in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibers, and have no cholesterol. Importantly, they also contain a flavonoid antioxidant called Lycopene that can protect you while sunbathing (protects the skin from ultra-violet rays).
Onions are more often consumed cooked rather than fresh and unprocessed, like in salads, for example. That is too bad, because they are rich in many substances that are proven to be very healthy for us. Onions are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic functions. Consumption of onions is very much recommended for diabetics, because they are known to lower blood sugar levels.
2. Lettuce/Vegetables Salads
If you are looking for food that almost has no calories, then you have found some choices on this list, and one of them is also lettuce. When we use fresh leaves, we provide our bodies with the necessary dose of vitamin A. And we’ll also get beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, B-complex, folates, copper, iron, potassium, calcium, and manganese. Eating lettuce regularly can help you prevent many ugly “modern man” diseases, such as many types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis… I guess those strong gorillas are not that crazy for making lettuce their meal of choice.
And the most consumed vegetables in the US are potatoes. Are you surprised? Really? Who doesn’t like potatoes – namely in the form of french fries. Since vegetables included in this list can be consumed being prepared in any way, and eaten as a main course or a side dish, it is really not that surprising that potatoes are the most consumed vegetable. Besides being very tasty, they are full of minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins. They barely have fat, but as complex carbohydrates they have calories. Consuming them will help your digestive tract stay healthy.