A study recently published in the Center for Disease Control’s Preventing Chronic Disease journal aimed to classify the fruits and vegetables that are super foods. The term coined for these foods was Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (PFV).
The scientist behind the research, Jennifer Di Noia of William Paterson University of New Jersey, developed and validated a classification scheme based on the nutrient density per 100 calories of each food. No less than 17 nutrients were analyzed for each food: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.
As you can see below, leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables dominate the list.
A few observations:
- Who would have thought that watercress would be the top scoring food?
- Only 7 of the 41 items listed are fruits
- Kale is rated much lower than expected
- Notably absent from the list are: raspberries, blueberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, and onion. That’s not to say they are not nutritious. Perhaps their omission is due to the omission of phytochemicals in this study.