Super Foods With Top Ratings

super foods

What is a super food?

What fruits and vegetables qualify as “super foods”? According to information published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), your favorite super foods may not be as “Super” as you think. Of 47 foods studied, all but 6 (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) satisfied the” powerhouse” food criterion set forth in the study.

Many foods that didn’t make the list, however, are still packed with nutrients and micro-nutrients that were not considered by the study. Only 8 nutrients were scored by the study – fiber, folate, zinc, and vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E.

 Here are the scores of the top Super Foods:

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (N = 41),by Ranking of Nutrient Density Scoresa, 2014

Rank Item Nutrient
Density Score
1 Watercress 100.00
2 Chinese cabbage 91.99
3 Chard 89.27
4 Beet green 87.08
5 Spinach 86.43
6 Chicory 73.36
7 Leaf lettuce 70.73
8 Parsley 65.59
9 Romaine lettuce 63.48
10 Collard green 62.49
11 Turnip green 62.12
12 Mustard green 61.39
13 Endive 60.44
14 Chive 54.80
15 Kale 49.07
16 Dandelion green 46.34
17 Red pepper 41.26
18 Arugula 37.65
19 Broccoli 34.89
20 Pumpkin 33.82
21 Brussels sprout 32.23
22 Scallion 27.35
23 Kohlrabi 25.92
24 Cauliflower 25.13
25 Cabbage 24.51
26 Carrot 22.60
27 Tomato 20.37
28 Lemon 18.72
29 Iceberg lettuce 18.28
30 Strawberry 17.59
31 Radish 16.91
32 Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
33 Orange 12.91
34 Lime 12.23
35 Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
36 Rutabaga 11.58
37 Turnip 11.43
38 Blackberry 11.39
39 Leek 10.69
40 Sweet potato 10.51
41 Grapefruit (white) 10.47

a Calculated as the mean of percent daily values (DVs) (based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet) for 17 nutrients (potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K) as provided by 100 g of food, expressed per 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 (indicating that the food provides, on average, 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal).

Don’t let these scores rule your diet, though. This study only considered just  8 nutrients. Notice that avocados, a great source of monounsaturated fats, don’t make this list.  Blueberries and several other acknowledged Super Foods didn’t make the cut, either. Just because they didn’t make this list doesn’t mean you should eliminate them from your diet. I would suggest that you consume all different types of fruits and vegetables to obtain the widest variety of nutrients.

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Boomer has been researching anti-aging methods ever since his daughter's teacher uttered the words, "...And you must be the GRANDFATHER!"

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Boomer has been researching anti-aging methods ever since his daughter’s teacher uttered the words, “…And you must be the GRANDFATHER!”

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