Over the last several years, kale has grown into the limelight for being one of the most nutrient dense vegetables available. It is being served up across the nation at a broad range of restaurants, and is being praised for its amazing health benefits. However, a new study, conducted by the CDC, has found that there are several other leafy greens with a nutrient density higher than kale. Kale surprisingly only ranked 15th, with a 49.07% nutrient density score. Below is a list of the top six leafy greens identified in this study.
1. Watercress – 100% nutrient density
Watercress tops the chart as the most nutrient dense fruit or vegetable analyzed in this study. It has earned itself the crown of being the #1 powerhouse to help fight chronic disease. Watercress doesn’t keep long, so be sure to use it up once you bring it home. The easiest application is to toss it into your salad to add a bit of a peppery flavor.
2. Bok Choy – 91.99% nutrient density
Often referred to as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a lesser know veggie with significant nutrient value. I love sautéing it with carrots and ginger. Then tossing it with rice noodles, bragg liquid aminos, and toasted sesame oil.
3. Chard – 89.27% nutrient density
Chard comes in a rainbow of colors. Try it in fresh juices, smoothies, salads, or sautéed.
4. Beet Greens – 87.08% nutrient density
I have to say, I have cooked A LOT of beets in my adult life, but not their greens. My go-to has always been to throw the greens into the juicer with a bunch of other stuff. Makes for a nutrient packed green juice that will help you power through the rest of your day.
5. Spinach – 86.43% nutrient density
What can’t you do with spinach? The possibilities are endless!
6. Chicory – 73.36% nutrient density
Also another not well known veggie, chicory is found in many mixed baby green salads. Some types of chicory you may recognize are radicchio, frisée, Belgian endive, and escarole. They can be green or purple in color and are very bitter. Add their leaves to salads, or sauté them until tender for any stir fry.
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