Have you heard about powerhouse fruits and vegetables? Powerhouse fruits and vegetables as they are rightly named by the CDC and Prevention journal studies are fruits and vegetables that are most strongly associated with a reduced risk for chronic disease. That’s not to say that all fruits and vegetables aren’t good for you. However, 41 met the criteria to be considered “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables. The criterion includes containing 17 essential nutrients which are important in lowering the risk for heart disease and cancer. These 17 essential nutrients include potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Coming out on top of the list is watercress, being the most nutrient dense vegetable at 100%. Only 6 fruits and vegetables that were studied didn’t’ meet the criteria including tangerines, garlic, onions, cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries. This doesn’t mean that these fruits and vegetables are bad for you or don’t contain valuable nutrients. Now you may be thinking, “What”, blueberries top many other healthy eating lists. The study did not factor in valuable phytochemicals and polyphenols, which these fruits and vegetables contain. So don’t hesitate to continue eating them.
Some good advice to follow when consuming produce is to eat dark leafy green vegetables and focus on including the rainbow of colors when eating produce. But if you are looking for the most bang for your buck, choose the most nutritionally dense produce listed below.
In order of most nutrient density: