Hey, you. Healthy Person.
I see you over there, making your green smoothies. Adding kale and zucchini and celery and carrots.
I see you at night time, loading up your salad to go with your salmon. Throwing in avocado and cucumber and tomato and even more kale.
I’ve got some bad news for you, Healthy Person.
Nutrition-wise? You’re doing it wrong.
This week, the most popular fruits and vegetables of the world were entered into the food equivalent of the Miss Universe competition. They were officially ranked on their nutritional value by US researchers from William Paterson University. Apparently, this is the first time fruits and vegetables have ever been ranked by nutritional value, which seems odd, but whatever.
Researchers looked at 17 different nutrients – including protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fibre, potassium, all the different vitamins, etc – and ranked the fruits and veg highly if they contained more than 10% of the daily recommended intake of the nutrient.
There were 41 fruits and veg all up, and scores for nutrients were capped, so one food wouldn’t necessarily be at the top of the list if it had a ridiculous amount of one particular nutrient.
So… here are the top ten. And I bet you wouldn’t have picked them. Largely because there’s no kale in sight.
10. Collard green
Kicking off the top ten, we have collard greens, who are part of the happy cabbage family. These guys are high in vitamin C, soluble fiber, calcium and manganese, as well as various other nutrients. They’re very popular in the US and are best served with other leafy green veggie salads, or steamed and added to sushi rolls.
9. Romaine (or Cos) lettuce
And here I was thinking that lettuce was full of water and not much else… oopie. This stuff is high in fibre, manganese, potassium, iron, and several vitamins. You know the drill – add it to a sandwich or a salad for maximum tastiness.
Who knew that parsley was so good for you? I’ve really underestimated this little herb. It’s got a heap of Vitamin C and iron, and is excellent for your digestive system. Chop it up and use it to garnish your soups and pastas, or add it to a salad.
7. Leaf lettuce
I’ve never even heard of chicory, but apparently it’s high in calcium, vitamin A and potassium and is excellent for your digestion. Also, it’s a member of the sunflower family, which is very cute. It’s a tricky one to cook, so be careful when steaming it so that it doesn’t turn out too bitter.