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Wayne Researchers Rank Top 41 'Powerhouse' Fruits and Veggies

An unusual leafy green with a tangy taste topped the list.

Wayne Researchers Rank Top 41 'Powerhouse' Fruits and Veggies

Researchers at a university in Wayne have ranked fruits and veggies in terms of their "powerhouse"-ness, and an unusual leafy green topped the list.

According to ' Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach,' a study by researchers at William Paterson University in Wayne that was recently published in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease, watercress is the best.

The leafy green with a tangy taste was followed on the ranking by Chinese cabbage and chard.

According to the study, it aimed at defining what makes a fruit or vegetable "powerhouse," and ranking those that fit the criteria. The classification was based mostly on the nutrient-density of different fruits and vegetables, considering 17 nutrients generally understood to be important to public health, like potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins, the study said.

The researchers gave each fruit or veggie a score based on the percent daily value each provides in a serving of the 17 nutrients, and then ranked them, the study explained.

In a WashingtonPost.com report, lead William Paterson researcher Jennifer DiNoia, an associate professor of sociology, said this study " is the first classification scheme of which I am aware to define and rank [powerhouse fruits and vegetables]."


The researchers found 41 fruits and vegetables that made the cut, using their criteria. The study reports the following ranking:

1. Watercress
2. Chinese Cabbage
3. Chard
4. Beet Green
5. Spinach
6. Chicory
7. Leaf Lettuce
8. Parsley
9. Romaine Lettuce
10. Collard Green
11. Turnip Green
12. Mustard Green
13. Endive
14. Chive
15. Kale
16. Dandelion Green
17. Red Pepper
18. Arugula
19. Broccoli
20. Pumpkin
21. Brussels Sprout
22. Scallion
23. Kohlrabi
24. Cauliflower
25. Cabbage
26. Carrot
27. Tomato
28. Lemon
29. Iceberg Lettuce
30. Strawberry
31. Radish
32. Winter Squash (All Varieties)
33. Orange
34. Lime
35. Grapefruit (Pink and Red)
36. Rutabaga
37. Turnip
38. Blackberry
39. Leek
40. Sweet Potato
41. Grapefruit (White)
See the study here.

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