Nutritional rating of 41 fruits and vegetables

watercress

From businessinsider.com July 29, 2016

As long as you go easy on the French fries, you pretty much can’t go wrong making fruits and vegetables a focus of your diet.

But which produce is the most worth your while?

Jennifer Di Noia, a researcher at William Paterson University who specializes in public health,ranked a long list of fruits and veggies based on their nutrient density to see which ones should be classified as “powerhouse” foods: those most strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.

As long as you go easy on the French fries, you pretty much can’t go wrong making fruits and vegetables a focus of your diet.

But which produce is the most worth your while?

Jennifer Di Noia, a researcher at William Paterson University who specializes in public health,ranked a long list of fruits and veggies based on their nutrient density to see which ones should be classified as “powerhouse” foods: those most strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.

She generated scores using 17 nutrients that are key to our health: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Each powerhouse food had to provide at least 10% of the daily value of a particular nutrient to be considered a good source, and the more the better — up to 100%. Those fruits and vegetables with fewer calories and more “bioavailable” nutrients (i.e., how much the body can actually make use of a nutrient once it’s been ingested) ranked higher.

While we all have different dietary needs, the items at the top of this list would be pretty solid additions to almost anyone’s dinner plate. One big takeaway? Eat your greens — they’re pretty much all nutrients and water.

Here are Di Noia’s 41 powerhouse foods, with the most nutritious ranked as No. 1.

41 White grapefruit
40 Sweet potato
39 Leek
38 Blackberry
37 Turnip
36 Rutabaga
35 Pink grapefruit
34 Lime
33 Orange
32 Winter squash
31 Radish
30 Strawberry
29 Iceberg lettuce
28 Lemon
27 Tomato
26 Carrot
25 Cabbage
24 Cauliflower
23 Kohlrabi
22 Scallion
21 Brussels sprout
20 Pumpkin
19 Broccoli
18 Arugula
17 Red pepper
16 Dandelion green
15 Kale
14 Chive
13 Endive
12 Mustard green
11 Turnip green
10 Collard green
9 Romaine lettuce
8 Parlsey
7 Leafy lettuce
6 Chicory
5 Spinach
4 Beet green
3 Chard
2 Chinese cabbage
1 Watercress