fresh vegetables-lettuce, tomatoes, radishes

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.

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.

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 existence)

Vegetable of the Day

Vegetables Every Day

Eat Your Vegetables

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the HEART of health.


                                         Dr. Aletha