START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

41 Fruits and Veggies Earn ‘Powerhouse’ Label from Experts

41 Fruits and Veggies Earn ‘Powerhouse’ Label from Experts

We’re constantly bombarded by headlines hawking this fruit or that vegetable as being a “powerhouse,” but what does that moniker really mean? Are all plant foods created equal? What’s really healthier, an apple or a banana?

Answering these question is a tricky endeavor—much depends on a given individual’s dietary and health needs. For a person plagued with low potassium, adding a banana a day might do the trick, but for those in need of iron and vitamin C, kale may actually be a better option.

In an effort to cut down on the confusion, Jennifer Di Noia, associate professor of sociology at William Patterson University took data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and used it to determine the overall nutritional content of 47 different fruits and vegetables.

Given that cooking can adulterate the nutrient content of certain foods, Di Noia analyzed each fruit or vegetable in its raw form, measuring the levels of 17 key nutrients identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine as being highly-important for health maintenance: protein, calcium, fiber, thiamin, potassium, niacin, zinc, riboflavin, folate, iron and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Her analysis yielded 41 “powerhouse” foods—defined as offering at least 10 percent of the daily recommended value of each nutrient in a 100 calorie serving (based on 2,000 calorie diet). Here’s the list of top fruits and vegetables, in order:

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)

The six foods that didn’t make the cut for the “powerhouse” list: garlic, tangerine, onion, blueberry, cranberry and raspberry. That’s not to say that these items are unhealthy, or that they don’t provide potential health benefits, they simply weren’t as nutritionally dense as the other 41 foods.

Di Noia emphasizes that her analysis is not the final word on what fruits and vegetables are the healthiest—there are other foods out there that could be considered “powerhouses” of other nutrients—but she says, “expressing the nutrient desirability of foods in terms of the energy they provide may help focus consumers on their daily energy needs and getting the most nutrient-dense items within the powerhouse group.”

Related

How to Cook with Watercress
7 Simple Ways to Add Fruits and Veggies Back into a Senior’s Diet

10 Foods to Pick up During Your Next Trip to the Farmer’s Market
Coffee or Green Tea, Which Drink is Right for You
‘Healthy’ Foods Seniors Should Never Eat
Avoid the Hidden Traps of Food Labels
A Senior-Friendly Grocery Shopping List
Think Twice about Giving Elders Nutritional Drinks and Shakes

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Vegetarian, , , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

178 comments

+ add your own
3:50AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

thanks

6:41AM PDT on Jun 28, 2014

Thanks.

8:34AM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

Thanks

8:06AM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

Thak you

7:22PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

With that I hope, May we improve our eating habits as a whole society ! :)

5:38PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Forwarded

4:18PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Thank you :)

4:17AM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

noted

10:36AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Great list of what to emphasize. Thanksfor the great post.

9:16AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Thanks!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I wouldn't necessarily want a Great Dane in an efficiency, but yeah, good points, all. And one wonde…

I grew up with a beagle and a cat who loved each other for 17 years. We then had Irish wolfhounds an…

I wouldn't have thought that many people believed any of these 'myths'. Doesn't everyone 'know' tha…

Never too late ... Happy New Year all.

we do our cooking in the wisconsin winter with the oven. think pizza, bake cookies, etc. it does c…

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.