The enormous Global Burden of Disease Study identified inadequate vegetable intake as our fifth-leading dietary risk factor—nearly as bad as our consumption of processed meat—and the typical American diet as the primary cause of death and disability.

In point of fact, eating more plants may aid in the prevention, treatment, or reversal of some of our most common causes of death, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. It may also improve not only our body weight, blood sugar levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also our emotional states, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, a sense of well-being, and our ability to perform daily tasks.

The healthiest foods on the planet are dark-green, leafy vegetables, so I recommend eating two servings per day. Whole foods provide the greatest amount of nutrition per calorie. Greens were found to be associated with the strongest protection against major chronic diseases, including a risk reduction of up to 20% for both heart attacks and strokes for each additional serving consumed daily, out of all the food groups examined by a Harvard University team.

In addition, I recommend consuming two servings of other vegetables each day and one serving of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli each day in my Daily Dozen. Crucifers may help to prevent lymphoma, boost liver detox enzymes, target breast cancer stem cells, reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression, prevent DNA damage and the spread of metastatic cancer, activate defenses against pathogens and pollutants, and help to prevent lymphoma. The part liable for these advantages is believed to be sulforaphane, which is shaped only in cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane is a promising anticancer agent that may also help manage type 2 diabetes, protect our brains and eyes, reduce inflammation in the nose from allergies, and treat autism.

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