This group includes bread, rice, pasta, hot or cold cereals, corn, millet, barley, bulgur, buckwheat groats and tortillas. Build each of your meals around a hearty grain dish - grains are rich in fiber and other complex carbohydrates, as well as protein, B vitamins and zinc.
Vegetables are packed with nutrients; they provide vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin and other vitamins, iron, calcium and fiber. Dark green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens, chicory or bok choy are especially good sources of these important nutrients. Dark yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin provide extra beta-carotene. Include generous portions of a variety of vegetables in your diet.
Legumes, which is another name for beans, pea and lentils, are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc and B vitamins. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tofu, tempeh and texturized vegetable protein.
Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Be sure to include at least one serving each day of fruits that are high in vitamin C - citrus fruits, melons and strawberries are all good choices. Chose whole fruit over fruit juices, which don't contain as much healthy fiber.