What is a Powerhouse Vegetable?

Almost all nutrition advice includes  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.

Researching powerhouse vegetables

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 vegetables studied, all but 6 satisfied the powerhouse criterion .

these were from 100% to 70% nutrient dense

  • cruciferous –watercress, Chinese cabbage, collard green, kale, arugul
  • green leafy-(chard, beet green, spinach, chicory, leaf lettuce groups

these from 62% to 24% nutrient dense

  • Other greens-collard, mustard, and turnip, kale, broccoli, pumpkin, and brussels sprouts

these 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

less than 10%

  • Raspberry
  • tangerine
  • cranberry
  • garlic
  • onion
  • blueberry

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.

plate of vegetables

Healthy food choices don’t have to be difficult

Less red meat + more vegetables = less cancer

Need ideas for cooking vegetables? Here are cookbooks to consider (Using these affiliate links costs you nothing extra, and the commision helps fund this blog’s mission)

Vegetable of the Day

Eat Your Vegetables

Please share this post and follow Watercress Words as we explore26952564_10213093560871954_4239554644472378905_o

the HEART of health.

                                         Dr. Aletha 


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