The top 10 powerhouse vegetables

by: Rebecca Sullivan

WHEN it comes to fruit and vegetables, it seems not all are created equal.
With a different vegetable hailed as a superfood every week, it can be difficult to decide which vegies to stock your fridge with.
But a new study from US researchers has set the record straight, identifying the top 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFVs) from a total list of 41 nutritionally dense fruits and veg, published in the Preventing Chronic Disease journal.
Watercress topped the list, with a perfect score of 100, followed by Chinese cabbage (91.99), chard (89.27), beet green (87.08) and spinach (86.43).

Surprised? So were we. The humble broccoli, brussels sprouts, and hipster-favourite kale didn’t even make the top 20.
Foods were granted powerhouse status if they contained more than 10 per cent of the daily recommended intake of 17 different nutrients — potassium, fibre, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K — which are considered necessary to “prevent chronic disease”.
The scores were capped to make sure foods with a huge amount of one nutrient wouldn’t be unfairly advantaged.
The research from William Paterson University is the first time fruits and vegetables have been ranked by their nutritional value, according to the study’s author, Dr Jennifer Di Noia.
But berries — hailed by nutritionists as the healthiest fruit out there —

were left off the list. Although they’re rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals (non-essential nutrients), “there are no uniform data on food phytochemicals and … recommended intake amounts for these compounds are lacking,” Dr Di Noia told The Washington Post . “So the scores are based on nutrients only.”
It’s hoped the list will “provide clarity on the nutrient quality of the
different foods” and help people choose “more nutrient-dense items


within the powerhouse group,” the study results state.

Here’s the full list:
Watercress 100.00

Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89

Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91

Posted by on Jun 15 2014. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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