The ranking of the most nutritious greens has been published. Many of the most used by Romanians did not even reach the top 10

Edible green vegetables and vegetables enjoy the reputation of being among the healthiest foods we can include in our diet. However, the concentration of nutrients in these vegetables may vary depending on the species. That is why the nutrition and sports website has made a ranking of green leaves, taking into account the content rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Nutritionists analyzed the nutritional value of each food in this category, and the results were surprising:

Spinach, cabbage and kale, for example, have been linked to slowing cognitive decline, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even lowering the risk of certain types of cancer. But they are not necessarily the first in the top of the most nutritious leaves.

In a report published back in 2014, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) ranked 47 fruits and vegetables according to nutrient density — chosen based on whether they were strongly associated with reducing chronic disease, as well as containing 10% or more of the daily value of 17 different nutrients in a serving.

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The CDC has given each product a “nutrient density” score. The report included all types of fruits and vegetables (green, yellow/orange, citrus, etc.), but ranked only green leafy vegetables, starting from the lowest score to the highest score.

18. Iceberg Salad

Of all the green leaf options, iceberg lettuce has the lowest score on the list with only 18.28. However, it contributes to the daily value of nutrients with vitamins C, K and A, folic acid and potassium, and also contains antioxidant plant compounds such as anthocyanins.

17. Cabbage

Cabbage has a nutritional score of 24.51. It contains vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. Although it is lower on the list of nutrient-dense leafy vegetables, raw green cabbage contributes about 56% of the daily value of vitamin K.

Eating cabbage, as with the other cruciferous ones — broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts — helps reduce markers of inflammation in the body.

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16. Arugula

Arugula has a nutritional score of 37.65. It contains folic acid, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.

15. Green dandelion leaves

With a nutritional score of 46.34, a serving of these greens provides 9.5% of the daily value of iron and 12.5% of the daily value of vitamin E.

14. Kale

With a nutritional score of 49.07, kale isn’t even in the top 10 on the list, even though a one-cup serving of kale provides 67.5% of the daily value of vitamin K and nearly 22% of the daily value of vitamin C, as well as lower doses of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A.

13. Chicory

Chicory has a nutritional score of 60.44. One serving can provide 48% of the daily value of vitamin K and between 60-77% of the daily value of vitamin A.

12. Mustard leaves

Specifically, mustard greens have a nutritional score: 61.39, ensuring high levels of vitamins A, C and K.

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11. Turnip leaves

Turnip leaves have a nutritional score of 62.12. Unfortunately, most people only eat turnips and forget about greens, although this part of the root is full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, as well as nearly two grams of fiber per cup.

10. Green cabbage leaves (curly)

Curly cabbage (nutritional score: 62.49) is full of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A and K, as well as antioxidant plant compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

9. Roman lettuce

Romane lettuce has a nutritional score: 63.4, and it’s in the top 10 for good reason. It is rich in vitamin A, providing about 23% of the daily value per one-cup serving. It is rich in plant pigments such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body.

8. Parsley

It has a nutritional score of 65.59.  In one tablespoon of parsley you have half the daily value of vitamin K, a nutrient necessary for blood and bone health. The vitamin C contained helps to comply with the required daily value, and antioxidant plant pigments such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin increase its value.

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7. Leaf salad

It’s a common mistake to think lettuce and leaf lettuce are the same thing because they look almost identical. Leaf lettuce is slightly softer than Roman and has a higher score on the nutrient density scale – 70.73.

Eating two cups of lettuce can provide you with almost the entire amount of vitamin K throughout the day, as well as 30% of your daily value of vitamin A.

6. Chicory

Chicory has a score of 73.36. The vegetable provides a lot of nutritional benefits: from improving digestion and reducing the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, to regulating appetite.

5. Spinach

With a nutritional score of 86.43, spinach is paired with iron. You can get about 9% of your daily value of iron from two cups of spinach, but also 30% of your daily value of folic acid, a nutrient necessary for cell growth and red blood cell formation crucial for pregnant women.

4. Beetroot green leaves

Although everyone focuses on beets and rarely considers the greens at the top, beetroot green leaves are the fourth most nutrient-dense vegetable – score 87.08.

Although it has smaller amounts of vitamin A, folic acid, and calcium, a cup of raw beetroot leaves will give you about 125% of your daily value of vitamin K.

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3. Swiss beet

With a score of 89.27 on the nutrient density scale, a cup of Swiss beets provides 22% of the daily value of iron and vitamin E, 35% of the daily value of vitamin C, 60% of the daily value of vitamin A, and a whopping 477% of the daily value of vitamin K.

2. Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage has a nutritional score of 91.99 and is extremely nutritious. This cruciferous vegetable contains high levels of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and K, and according to a report in Food Chemistry, it also contains high levels of antioxidants.

1. Water cress

With a perfect score of 100, water cress is a green vegetable highly concentrated in nutrients like vitamin K and numerous B-complex vitamins, as well as antioxidants like beta-carotene.

It’s associated with reduced DNA damage and oxidative stress damage, both of which are extremely important as you age. Other research also shows that gooseberry surpasses other cruciferous vegetables in terms of antioxidants and polyphenolic plant compounds.

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