When it comes to eating healthy, you know to load up on the foods that are packed with nutrients—the ones that give you the most nutritious bang for their caloric buck. Researchers from William Paterson University helped you out on this front. They looked into the nutrient content of 47 fruits and vegetables in an effort to find the foods that are true powerhouses… and which so-called superfoods aren’t quite so super. The “powerhouse” criteria: If the food had, on average, 10 percent or more daily value of 17 nutrients (iron, folate, vitamin C, etc.) per 100 calories.
Here’s what they found: Calorie per calorie, the MOST nutritious foods are watercress, Chinese cabbage, chard, and beet greens. And in a devastating blow, they found six foods that don’t actually meet “powerhouse” standards after all: raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, onions, and blueberries. We know, we’re slightly devastated also.
But look. That’s not to say that you should cut these fruits and veggies from your diet. Raspberries and blueberries, after all, are especially loaded with nutrients—but since they are also high in fructose, you can get a lot more nutrients for 100 calories if you stick with the greens.
In the end, a healthy diet is all about balance, and blueberries, raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, and onions are ALL better than gobbling up refined and processed foods or anything with added sugar. The biggest takeaway here? Toss some watercress, Chinese cabbage, chard, or beet greens into your shopping cart the next time you hit the grocery store. Your body will thank you.