So I’m fascinated by a new list put out by researchers at William Paterson University and just published in the CDC journal “Preventing Chronic Disease”, ranking ‘powerhouse’ vegetables based on their nutrient content. We all know we need to include lots of vegetables in our diet, and variety is always a good thing, but how cool to know which ones truly pack the biggest punch!

The rankings were done on the basis of fiber content, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D, and other nutrients, then scored and ranked.

What scored the highest? Watercress! I’m definitely going to be planting that in my garden. Leafy greens were unsurprisingly crowding the top 10, but I must say my biggest shock was Leaf Lettuce coming in at #7! Go Leaf Lettuce! And with a garden bursting at the seams with Leaf Lettuce, that is great news.

A couple caveats- I would say EVERYTHING on this list is awesome and should be included in your diet; mostly this list reinforces how important daily consumption of leafy greens is to obtain nutrient density. Also, the study states that certain berries, like blueberries, ranked very low or off the list. This seems strange as we have all been hearing about how blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse. The reason is that they are high in phytonutrients, considered highly protective, but as yet more difficult to quantify, and therefore not included in the metrics used to make this list. So don’t stop eating your blueberries!

Here are the top 10, to see the whole list go to: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm

1) Watercress

2) Chinese Cabbage

3) Chard

4) Beet Green

5) Spinach

6) Chicory

7) Leaf Lettuce

8) Parsley

9) Romaine lettuce

10) Collard Greens