Dietary Guidelines Dark-green Vegetable Food Subgroup

Dark-Green Vegetables

Which dark-green vegetables are the best? Usually, a good variety of different vegetables is best. But see which ones are best for you.

Introducing Dark-Green Vegetables

Dietary Pattern guidelines give recommendations for daily dark-green vegetable consumption. Because increasing vegetable intake is a key target. So I’m developing my `Foodary Wellbeing Food Plan`. Which uses food group tables like this to help me with my alkaline Mediterranean dietary pattern. But it can also help you with any eating pattern that you choose.

I’ll start with a few important dark-green vegetables facts. But if you’re in a hurry, you can scroll down to the table instructions. Or direct to the dark green vegetables list.

Dark-Green Vegetables

Scientists generally recognize dark-green vegetables as an important food group for health and wellbeing:

Leaves, especially the dark green ones, tend to be the most metabolically active and most nutritious part of plants and are usually good sources of dietary fiber, folate, carotenoids, vitamin C, flavonoids, and minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.[1]

Also, for many chronic diseases:

eating dark-green vegetables has been associated with a lower incidence of many chronic diseases, including lung and stomach cancers, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and stroke.[2]

Regular consumption of vegetables in the dark green group is strongly associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.[3]

Dark-Green Vegetables List

The headings in the Dark-Green Vegetables List are clickable to change the sort order:

USDA Food Description

The default sort order shows foods in alphabetical sequence. Which helps you locate individual foods that concern you.


This is useful for linking to more nutrition information.

100g (cup eq.)

Most databases and food labels list nutrients for 100g. Yet, dietary guidelines for vegetables recommend consumption of cup equivalents. So this value tells you how many cups equal 100g.

Energy (kcal per 100 g)

Dietary guidelines show recommended eating patterns based on daily calorie intake. So, clicking this helps you find foods with higher or lower energy density.

PRAL (100g)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by weight.

PRAL (cup eq.)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by recommended consumption.

PRAL (100 calories)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by energy.

Search for `understanding food group nutrients` for more details.

Please note that foods listed here include “multi-group” foods that combine nutrients from more than one food group. E.g., Salsa Verde sauce also includes other vegetables. So you must be aware that the value in column 3 shows `100g (cup eq.)` for the dark green vegetable element only. But other values are for the complete sauce.

This means that you use column 3 to see how individual foods can contribute to your total dark green vegetable targets. Then use other columns to improve the quality of your dark green vegetable consumption. However, some people also use these food group lists to assess daily and weekly energy intake and acid load. In which case, you only add “multi-group” foods once. Search for `managing multi-group food nutrients` for more details.

Dietary Guidelines Dark-green Vegetable Food Subgroup

Your Dark-Green Vegetables

You’ve learned about dark green vegetables. So now think about which you like. Then use the list to see how to improve the quality of your dark green vegetable consumption.

Are you still concerned about the impact of dark green vegetables on your health and wellbeing? If so, you should consult your doctor or suitably qualified nutrition professional. But if you need help to prepare for that consultation, please see the feedback links below.

Leave Dark-Green Vegetables to browse other Dietary Guidelines Food Groups.

Dark-Green Vegetables Feedback

If you have any questions, experiences, or opinions about this dark-green vegetables page, please tell me in ALKAscore Issues. You can also chat about any aspect of food in Foodary Discussions.

Dark-Green Vegetables References

  1. Pennington, J.A. and Fisher, R.A., 2009. Classification of fruits and vegetables. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 22, pp.S23-S31.
  2. Cassady, D., Jetter, K.M. and Culp, J., 2007. Is price a barrier to eating more fruits and vegetables for low-income families?. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(11), pp.1909-1915.
  3. Sheats, J.L. and Middlestadt, S.E., 2013. Salient beliefs about eating and buying dark green vegetables as told by Mid-western African–American women. Appetite, 65, pp.205-209.