June 16, 2024

The 5 Most Nutrient-Dense Vegetables Based on Science

Beet Greens (Nutrient Density Score 87%).
Beet greens are the leaves of beets, colorful root vegetables that grow in the ground. Beet greens are like spinach in texture and taste but have a more extreme flavor. You can delight in these leafy greens raw in salads or prepared like spinach, Swiss chard, or other leafy greens. Like Swiss chard, theyre high in oxalates, so its finest to prepare them to reduce their oxalate material.
Enjoy beet greens steamed or prepared, and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar. You can also sauté them with garlic and onions for a tasty side dish to include to your dinner plate.
Why are beet greens so nutrient-dense? With each bite, you get a healthy dose of vitamins A and C, however they likewise contain decent amounts of minerals such as iron and zinc.

” Watercress supplementation in diet minimizes lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults” by Chris IR Gill, Sumanto Haldar, Lindsay A Boyd, Richard Bennett, Joy Whiteford, Michelle Butler, Jenny R Pearson, Ian Bradbury and Ian R Rowland, 1 February 2007, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.DOI: 10.1093/ ajcn/85.2.504.
” Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces cravings, increases satiety and lowers cravings for tasty food in obese women” by Eva-Lena Stenblom, Emil Egecioglu, Mona Landin-Olsson and Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, 17 April 2015, Appetite.DOI: 10.1016/ j.appet.2015.04.051.
” ANDI Food Scores: Rating the Nutrient Density of Foods.” 16 Mar. 2017, drfuhrman.com/blog/128/andi-food-scores-rating-the-nutrient-density-of-foods.
” Joel Fuhrman Micronutrients Food List– HRF.” healthresearchfunding.org/joel-fuhrman-micronutrients-food-list/.
” Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial” by Candida J. Rebello, MS, RD, Jessica Chu, BS, Robbie Beyl, PhD, Dan Edwall, PhD, Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, PhD and Frank L. Greenway, MD, 1 June 2015, Journal of the American College of Nutrition.DOI: 10.1080/ 07315724.2014.1003999.

Swiss Chard (Nutrient Density Score 89%).
Swiss chard, also called leaf beet, is a leafy green veggie that comes from the very same family as beets. Its leaves have a moderate taste like spinach, but it has a slightly harder texture that softens when you prepare it. Swiss chard is a rich source of vitamin K, although it includes less vitamin C than the leading 2 most nutrient-dense veggies, watercress, and Chinese cabbage, per calorie.
One drawback is Swiss chard is high in oxalates. If you have a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones, its best to avoid Swiss chard because it can increase the quantity of oxalates in your urine and enhance the chances of kidney stones forming. Cooking Swiss chard reduces but doesnt get rid of, oxalates.
Required a fast method to prepare it? Try sauteing Sauté Swiss chard in olive oil up until just wilted (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste prior to serving.

Watercress is a dark green, leafy vegetable that grows in cold, clear streams and rivers, and you can enjoy its peppery taste raw or prepared. Youll maintain more of its vitamin C if you consume this leafy green raw. Swiss chard, likewise understood as leaf beet, is a leafy green veggie that belongs to the exact same household as beets. Beet greens are the leaves of beets, colorful root vegetables that grow in the ground. You can delight in these leafy greens raw in salads or cooked like spinach, Swiss chard, or other leafy greens.

Chinese Cabbage (Nutrient Density Score 92%).
Chinese cabbage is also called Napa cabbage, and its a member of the Brassica family. This green, leafy vegetable has long, pale green leaves with white ribs and a sweet flavor. Since its a cruciferous vegetable, like watercress and broccoli, it includes comparable phytochemicals, a few of which are being explored for prospective anti-cancer benefits.
What you may not understand about Chinese cabbage is its more nutrient dense than regular cabbage, providing more of specific vitamins such as vitamins C, K, and folate, a B-vitamin. Plus, it contains different anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory activity, all for only 9 calories a cup.
To get the most vitamin C from Chinese cabbage, enjoy it raw in sandwiches and salads. If you choose it prepared, include the chopped ribs or leaves to stir-fries with other Asian components. Stir-fry dishes typically have a base of garlic and ginger, which work well with Chinese cabbages mild flavor. Include chicken, shrimp, or tofu for protein.

Watercress (Nutrient Density Score 100%).
Watercress tops the list of nutrient-dense vegetables per calorie based upon ANDI criteria. Watercress is a dark green, leafy vegetable that grows in cold, clear streams and rivers, and you can enjoy its peppery taste raw or prepared. Nevertheless, youll retain more of its vitamin C if you consume this leafy green raw. Watercress includes a kick to salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Together with vitamin C, watercress is rich in vitamin K, crucial for blood clot and bone density, and beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A and an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Even more appealing are the anti-oxidants in watercress, consisting of phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). One study discovered that antioxidants in watercress suppress damage to DNA, a cells genetic material. In the research study, the outcomes were most pronounced in smokers. The cancer-fighting capabilities of watercress are a location that needs more research, you cant go incorrect including watercress to your plate.

Vegetables of all colors are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. You cant go incorrect by adding more vibrant fruit and vegetables to your plate. There are, however, veggies with a higher nutrient material relative to their calories, making them incredibly practical for weight control and health.
Dr. Fuhrman, the designer of the nutritarian diet plan, created the concept of an ANDI (aggregate nutrient density index) to measure the nutrition content of vegetables and fruits relative to their calories. Utilizing the ANDI score, scientists carried out the time-consuming job of ranking 41 fruits and vegetables according to their nutrient density. Lets take a look at which produce tops the list in regards to nutrient density per calorie, based upon the ANDI rating.

Spinach (Nutrient Density Score 86%).
Who isnt familiar with the green, leafy veggie called spinach? Its commonly offered and packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, and like all leafy greens, an outstanding source of fiber.
Like Swiss chard, beet greens, and spinach, spinach is likewise high in oxalates. Its safest to replace a lower-oxalate green such as watercress or kale for spinach if you have a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Spinach also consists of substances called thylakoids that have appetite-suppressing benefits. Plus, spinach is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids which may assist avoid age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, typical causes of visual decline.
Leafy Greens Dominate the List.
You may have observed a pattern. Leafy greens top the list of nutrient-dense foods per calorie. Another benefit of leafy greens is theyre high in natural nitrates, compounds that increase nitric oxide, a gas that helps open capillary. This improves endothelial function, healthy blood vessel function that reduces high blood pressure, and the danger of embolism, another reason to include greens to your plate.
The Bottom Line.
Leafy greens are nutrient-rich and lower in calories and top the list in terms of ANDI ratings. Fill your grocery cart with fruits and vegetables in all colors of the rainbow, however dont forget to add these 5 veggies with the highest ANDI scores.
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