Kale? Nope! Blueberries? Not even on the list!
The #1 most nutrient-dense food is … Watercress!
Watercress wins a perfect score out of 47 fruits and vegetables.
We often read about avocado, kale, chard, blueberries, acai and broccoli as nutrition’s superfood darlings. According to research, however, only one of those foods make it into the top 10.
Jennifer Di Noia, associate professor of sociology at William Paterson University examined 17 nutrients that the United Nations and the Institute of Medicine designated essential for good health and for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. She then calculated the nutrient per calorie ratio. The more nutrients per calorie, the higher the score.
The essential 17 nutrients evaluated were potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.
The results may surprise you.
Let’s start with the foods that did not make the cut. Out of the 47 foods studied raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, onion, and blueberries did not meet the criteria. Shocking!
Why aren’t the usual suspects, like blueberries, on the Top 10? Most possibly because the phytochemical data so heavily associated with foods like blueberries and tomatoes was “not possible” to include. Phytochemicals are the compounds that plants produce, such as flavonoids and lycopene, that are proving to be effective in disease prevention but are not required by the human body to sustain life.
Di Noia’s research is compelling and her list of Powerhouse Foods demonstrates how nutrient dense foods are in connection to the energy they provide. Think you need a mutli-vitamin? Perhaps start with the #1 most nutrient-dense food: Watercress.
The Nutrient PowerHouse Top 10
1. Watercress 100
2. Chinese cabbage 91.99
3. Chard 89.27
4. Spinach 86.43
5. Chicory 73.36
6. Leaf lettuce 70.73
7. Parsley 65.59
8. Romaine lettuce 63.48
9. Collard green 62.49
10. Mustard green 61.39
To see the ranking of all 41 foods that made the cut, Click Here