Almost all nutrition advice recommends eating more fruits and vegetables.
Nutrition experts recommend fruits and vegetables in the treatment and prevention of several chronic diseases – diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancers. The greatest health benefits have been attributed to the green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus and cruciferous varieties.
A 2014 research study tried to determine exactly which fruits and vegetables were most likely to keep us healthy.
They defined “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” as those highest in nutrients, specifically the minerals potassium, calcium, iron and zinc and vitamins A,B,C, D, E and K. They looked at the percent daily value (DV) of these nutrients per 100 grams ( 3.5 ounces) of each food.
The Food and Drug Administration defines foods providing 10% or more DV of a nutrient as good sources of the nutrient, or nutrient dense.
What were the results?
Of 47 foods studied, all but 6 satisfied the powerhouse criterion .
from 100% to 70% nutrient dense
cruciferous -watercress, Chinese cabbage, collard green, kale, arugul
green leafy-(chard, beet green, spinach, chicory, leaf lettuce groups
from 62% to 24% nutrient dense
Other greens-collard, mustard, and turnip, kale, broccoli, pumpkin, and brussels sprouts
from 22% to 10% nutrient dense
Yellow/orange-carrot, tomato, winter squash, sweet potato, allium -scallion, leek,
citrus-lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit
berry- strawberry, blackberry groups
Raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry were all less than 10%.
So, besides the fact that fruits and vegetables taste good, here is another good reason to eat them.
You can read a summary of the article with a list of all the vegetables studied with their nutrient density at this link-
Preventing Chronic Disease | Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach – CDC.
Need ideas for cooking vegetables? Here are cookbooks to consider (affiliate links)