It is always advisable to include plenty of green, leafy vegetables in your diet. They contain lots of fiber and nutrients that benefit your health in many ways. But it is quite difficult to judge which green vegetable is actually good for you. Some say it’s broccoli, some say cabbage, some say kale, and others say something else. Is there any way of actually figuring out which leafy vegetable is actually the best for you? Yes, there is.
How Can Foods Be Ranked?
According to a study published in the Center for Disease Control And Prevention called “Preventing Chronic Diseases,” food can be scored and ranked on the basis of their nutrient content. Their content of fiber, protein, potassium, folate, vitamin B12, Vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and other important nutrients are taken into account when judging them.1
Foods Are The Healthiest?
As many different foods were ranked based on their nutrient profile, it was found that watercress heads the list with a score of 100. It was then followed by Chinese cabbage with a score of 91.99, chard with a score of 89.27, beet greens with a score of 87.08, spinach with a score of 86.43, and chicory with a score of 73.36. Although nutrient profiling is not a new concept, this was the first time it was used to rank various types of fruits and vegetables.2
How Do Fruits Rank When Compared To Vegetables?
When fruits were ranked using the same measures, they did not turn out to be as powerful as vegetables. Red pepper scored the highest with a score of 41.26, followed by pumpkin with a score of 32.23, then tomato with a score of 20.37, and then lemon with a score of 18.72.3
How Did The Researchers Calculate The Score Of Each Fruit Or Vegetable?
To calculate the scores of each food on the list, the researchers assumed that each person consumed a 2,000-calorie diet and 100 grams of each food. This was done to ensure that even if a fruit or vegetable contained a high amount of a certain nutrient, it would not obtain an abnormally high score.4
Is It Beneficial To Rank Foods?
Ranking foods based on their nutrient content is extremely helpful. It gives consumers enough information to make a conscious decision to make nutrient-dense choices when picking their foods. Nutrient density refers to the amount of one or more nutrients that are provided by a certain food in comparison to the number of calories provided by the same food. And consuming nutrient-dense foods is one of the healthiest ways to eat.
- You will be able to get a healthy dose of nutrients without having to stuff yourself.
- You will not have to worry about weight gain as the food you eat will be less in calories.
- Nutrient deficiencies will be out of the question as you will be getting a concentrated amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients.
- Your body will be able to function optimally when you get an adequate dose of nutrients.
- You will embark on a path to improved health and will be able to fight off diseases more efficiently when you have an adequate amount of nutrients in your system.
So Which Foods Should You Eat?
Just because watercress ranked the highest on the list, it does not mean that you should solely depend on it for all your nutritional requirements. You should ensure that your diet has a healthy mix of all the nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. This is because different foods have a higher or lower quantity of different nutrients essential for efficient functioning.
Make sure to include multiple helpings of these foods throughout the day. And if you are into green smoothies or shakes and salads, make it a point to mix it up every single day. Remember, no single fruit or vegetable is sufficient to satisfy all your nutritional requirements.