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The 10 Healthiest Superfoods (Sorry, Kale!)

Image by Darren Muir / Stocksy
June 10, 2014

You've heard about superfoods, but ever wonder which are the healthiest superfoods? Jennifer Di Noia of William Paterson University decided to find out which fruits and vegetables had the highest nutrient content, and her results were recently published in the Centers for Disease Control's Preventing Chronic Disease.

TIME has details of the study:

Di Noia focused on 17 nutrients considered by the food experts at the United Nations and the Institute of Medicine to be important to good health and to lowering risk of heart disease and cancer: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. She then combed the scientific literature to calculate how many nutrients they contained per calorie of energy they provided (based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet); the higher the value, the more of a powerhouse food it was.

To give you an idea of how to interpret scores, watercress scored a perfect 100 (meaning you get 100% of essential vitamins and minerals from one 100-gram serving), while white grapefruit (which scored the lowest of the foods she examined) got a 10.47.

Click through to see the 10 foods with the highest nutrient density scores and see which foods give you the most nutrient bang for your buck.

(Spoiler alert: this will make you want to eat your greens!)

10. Collard Greens

Nutrient Density Score: 62.49

9. Romaine Lettuce

Nutrient Density Score: 63.48

8. Parsley

Nutrient Density Score: 65.59

7. Leaf Lettuce

Nutrient Density Score: 70.73

6. Chicory

Nutrient Density Score: 73.36

5. Spinach

Nutrient Density Score: 86.43

4. Beet Greens

Nutrient Density Score: 87.08

3. Chard

Nutrient Density Score: 89.27

2. Chinese Cabbage

Nutrient Density Score: 91.99

1. Watercress

Nutrient Density Score: 100