Watercress And More Nutrient Dense Foods That Are Better Than Kale

So each year there is a new hot food in town and healthy eaters are glad to exchange new recipes and convince others of their superfood’s superiority. But while many foods become popular because of the hype, scientists¬†at William Paterson University decided to provide a clear definition of powerhouse fruits and vegetables by studying 47 foods including the super popular kale. They came up with a scheme that classified those foods according to how much daily value they provide per 100 kcal. The classification scheme was based on the 17 nutrients of health importance (reducing the risk of chronic disease) that include potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, and also fiber and protein.

Watercress vs. Kale

Watercress And Other Foods Better Than Kale

From the 47 foods studied only six (blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, tangerine, garlic, and onion) did not satisfy the criterion to be powerhouse foods. The top ten included watercress that came on the very top with a 100 point score (scores over 100 were capped at just 100), Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green, spinach, chicory, leaf lettuce, parsley, and Romaine lettuce.

Kale came in sixteenth scoring 49.07 points followed with arugula, broccoli, pumpkin, and cauliflower. Strawberry is the only berry that has scored as high as 17.59 and a popular weight-loss/healthy food sweet potato finishes last followed only by a white grapefruit.

Here is the table that ranks fruits and vegetables by the mean of the daily values for the aforementioned nutrients:

Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47
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Mona Liz

Mona Liz is a fitness and healthy lifestyle enthusiast with a passion for writing, music, cats, and food.

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