We may be head over heels for superfoods like kale and cauliflower, but as it turns out, there's a new winner in town when it comes to nutrients.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which looked at "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables that reduced the risk of chronic disease, kale was ranked #15 and cauliflower was #24.
Each fruit and vegetable was ranked based on foods that provided, on average, more than 10 per cent of 17 key nutrients per 100 calories. Researchers looked at levels of potassium, fibre, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. In total, 47 foods were ranked, with 41 making the list. Raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry didn't make the cut.
“Now that we have a list of foods it can help consumers know what are the powerhouse fruits and vegetables, and maybe choose the more nutrient-dense foods over less nutrient dense ones,” associate professor of sociology Jennifer Di Noia said to TIME.com.
If you go down the list, most of these are no-brainers. We're not surprised dark, leafy greens like chard, collard greens and yes, even kale, are among the healthiest vegetables. And if you're having a hard time eating your daily recommend amount of fruits and veggies (seven to 10), nutritionists say you should stick to fresh fruits, dark green veggies and try keeping 3/4 of your plate filled with fruits and veggies for every meal.
While the CDC notes these powerhouse fruits and veggies won't cure chronic disease, it gives us a good outline of which fruits and veggies actually are worth the shopping trip.
Curious to see which fruit or vegetable is #1? Here are 41 of the most healthiest fruits and vegetables ranked according to nutrient density.