Kale is the ultimate celebrity of the health and fitness world… Weight loss programs everywhere rave about it.
However, Kale is actually not the healthiest veggie around according to the latest research.
The CDC recently performed a study rating the 47 superfood fruits and vegetables based on their nutrient density. Shockingly, the almighty kale only made it to the 15th spot on the list.
10 Superfoods Healthier Than Kale
Kale’s nutrient density score: 49.07
.10. Collard Greens
Nutrition Density Score: 62.49
High in vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, collard greens are especially supportive for digestive health.
When selecting collard greens from the store, look for plants with a deep vivid green color and avoid the ones with yellow or browning colors. The healthiest way to eat collard greens is in the raw or lightly steaming for 5 minutes.
9. Romaine Lettuce
Nutrition Density Score: 63.48
High in vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate, romaine lettuce is especially helpful for fighting cholesterol.
When selecting, look for crisp clean leaves that have no dark spots or slimy areas. The edges of the leaves should be free from discoloration. To prepare: remove the outer leaves, rinse thoroughly, and eat them raw!
You can learn more about how to shop for healthy food in our article on clean eating.
Nutrition Density Score: 65.59
High in iron, vitamin K, and vitamin C, parsley is also known for its protection against rheumatoid arthritis.
When selecting, always choose fresh parsley over the dried herbs, because it has superior flavor. Choose parsley that has a deep green color, and avoid the lighter leaves. Parsley has a strong flavor and is excellent for adding to warm dishes, because the flavor tends to hold up well under heat.
7. Leaf Lettuce
Nutrition Density Score: 70.73
High in vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C, plain old leaf lettuce is especially know for its zea-xanthin cancer-fighting carotenoid.
There are many varieties of leaf lettuce, such as butter-head, crisp head, and loose leaf, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. Lettuce leaves should always be crisp, without any spots of slimy blemishes. Buy, rinse in water, and use to make salads or add to green smoothies.
Nutrition Density Score: 73.36
High in vitamin B6, manganese, and folate, chicory is best known for its aid to the immune system.
When selecting, the darker the green, the better. The best way to make it is to boil it for only a few minutes to tame the bitterness. It should also be mentioned that excess chicory should not be eaten if pregnant, because it can cause menstruation.
Nutrition Density Score: 86.43
High in magnesium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6, spinach is best known for anti-inflammatory benefits.
When selecting the leaves, they should look fresh and not wilted or bruised. As with most vegetables on this list, the green color should be dark and vibrant.
4. Beet Greens
Nutrition Density Score: 87.08
High in vitamin C, copper, and iron, beet greens are known for having all kinds nourishment.
Choose smaller beets over larger, tougher ones, and avoid any that are bruised, cracked, or shriveled. Beets are ok to boil, because they will free up acids and cause the beets to have a sweeter taste.
Nutrition Density Score: 89.27
High in vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C, swiss chard is best known for its ability to lower blood sugar.
When choosing swiss chard, make sure it is a dark green color and is being displayed in a cool/chilled place. This ensures the chard remains sweet and crunchy.
This is another one of those rare vegetables that is ok to boil, but only for around 2-3 minutes to keep from losing too many nutrients.
2. Chinese Cabbage
Nutrition Density Score: 91.99
Coming in at number 2 on the list is Chinese cabbage.
High in fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, this food is best known for its cancer-fighting glucosinolates. When shopping for them, the cabbage heads should be firm and dense with shiny colorful leaves.
Eat cabbage raw or steam it for a maximum of 7 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Density Score: 100
All hail the mighty watercress. High in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and beta carotene, it is best known for protecting the heart from various diseases. When compared to kale, watercress is 2x more nutrient dense…
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Alex & Lauren
The Avocadu Crew
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