Almost all nutrition advice recommends including and increasing fruits and vegetables in our diets. Treatment of several chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity includes eating these foods. Some experts believe that their use may even prevent chronic diseases, even cancers. Health benefits have been attributed to the green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus and cruciferous varieties.
A recent study, cited below, tried to determine exactly which fruits and vegetables were most likely to do this.
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 of these nutrients per 100 grams ( 3.5 ounces) of each food.
It’s interesting that some foods commonly considered “healthy” did not meet the criteria; out of the 47 foods studied, raspberry, cranberry and garlic along with tangerine, onion and blueberry failed . And the grand champion? Watercress, of course. Followed closely by Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green and spinach. (see chart at end of article for the complete list).
So, besides the fact that fruits and vegetables taste good, here is another good reason to eat them.
Need ideas for cooking vegetables? Here are cookbooks to consider (affiliate links)