Plant-Based in Real Life

The Daily Dozen: Dr. Greger’s Checklist

What is the Daily Dozen?

Which foods make up Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen? What are the elements that you should be considering every day? The Daily Dozen is a list of twelve categories, including foods, vitamins and activity that you should strive to cover each day to live a long and healthy life.

For a quick, high-level description of these twelve fabulous things, please read my Daily Dozen blog post.


Read on to find out more, and please check out Dr. Greger’s book, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, for great information on how each of the foods listed below can help you live a long and healthy life.

For recipes that help you check all the boxes on your Daily Dozen checklist each day, look no further than The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease.

Download the free Daily Dozen app to your smartphone to keep track of your progress eating the Daily Dozen throughout the day.  Look for it in your app store. 

The Daily Dozen Checklist

Beans: 3 servings

Serving Sizes

¼ cup of hummus or bean dip

½ cup cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu or tempeh

1 cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils


Black beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, edamame, English peas, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils (beluga, French and red varieties), miso, navy beans, pinto beans, small red beans, split peas (yellow or green), tempeh

Berries: 1 serving

Serving Sizes

½ cup fresh or frozen

¼ cup dried


Acai berries, barberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries (sweet or tart), concord grapes, cranberries, goji berries, kumquats, mulberries, raspberries (black or red), strawberries

Other Fruits: 3 servings

Serving Sizes

1 medium-sized fruit

1 cup cut-up fruit

¼ cup dried fruit


Apples, dried apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, clementines, dates, dried figs, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, lychees, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums (especially black plums), pluots, pomegranates, prunes, tangerines, watermelon,

Cruciferous Vegetables: 1 serving

Serving Sizes

½ cup chopped

¼ cup Brussels or broccoli sprouts

1 tablespoon horseradish


Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale (black, green and red), mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens, watercress

Greens: 2 servings

Serving Sizes

1 cup raw

½ cup cooked


Arugula, beet greens, collard greens, kale (black, green and red), mesclun mix (assorted young salad greens), mustard greens, sorrel, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens

Other Vegetables: 2 servings

Serving Sizes

1 cup raw leafy vegetables

½ cup raw or cooked nonleafy vegetables

½ cup vegetable juice

¼ cup dried mushrooms


Artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, carrots, corn, garlic, mushrooms (button, oyster, portobello and shiitake), okra, onions, pumpkin, purple potatoes, sea vegetables (arame, dulse and nori), snap peas, squash (delicata, summer and spaghetti squash varieties), sweet potatoes/yams, tomatoes, zucchini

How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

Flaxseeds: 1 serving

Serving Sizes

1 tablespoon ground


Brown flaxseeds, golden flaxseeds

Nuts: 1 serving

Serving Sizes

¼ cup nuts or seeds

2 tablespoons nut or seed butter


Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Spices: 1 serving

Serving Sizes

¼ teaspoon of turmeric

Any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you enjoy


Allspice, barberries, basil, bay leaves, cardamom, chili powder, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lemongrass, marjoram, mustard powder, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, pepper, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, sage, smoked paprika, thyme, turmeric, vanilla

Whole Grains: 3 servings

Serving Sizes

½ cup hot cereal or cooked grains, pasta or corn kernels

1 cup cold cereal

1 tortilla or slice of bread

½ bagel or English muffin

3 cups popped popcorn


Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, whole-wheat pasta, popcorn, quinoa, rye, teff, wild rice

Beverages: 5 servings

Serving Sizes

One glass (12 ounces)


Black tea, chai tea, vanilla chamomile tea, coffee, earl grey tea, green tea, hibiscus tea, hot chocolate, jasmine tea, lemon balm tea, matcha tea, almond blossom oolong tea, peppermint tea, rooibos tea, water, white tea


Exercise: 1 “serving”

Serving Sizes

90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity

40 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity


Bicycling, canoeing, dancing, dodgeball, downhill skiing, fencing, hiking, housework, ice skating, inline skating, juggling, jumping on a trampoline, paddle boating, playing frisbee, roller skating, shooting baskets, shoveling light snow, skateboarding, snorkeling, surfing, swimming recreationally, tennis (doubles), treading water, walking briskly (4 mph), water aerobics, waterskiing, yard work, yoga, backpacking, basketball, bicycling uphill, circuit weight training, cross-county skiing, football, hockey, jogging, jumping jacks, jumping rope, lacrosse, push-ups, pull-ups, racquetball, rock climbing, rugby, running, scuba diving, tennis (singles), soccer, speed skating, squash, step aerobics, swimming laps, walking briskly uphill, water jogging



Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are essential for your health but do not count towards your daily servings. 

They are included to provide you with an easy way to track your intake. 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D

Remember to download the free Daily Dozen app from your app store to keep track of your progress in each of the twelve areas throughout your day.  

The Daily Dozen in Real Life

Check out How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr. Michael Greger as well ask his The How Not to Die Cookbook, which will help you check all the Daily Dozen boxes each day.