For those who want to improve their skills health through nutritionSome experts believe that superfoods could help.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a list of “Powerhouse Foods and Vegetables” (PFV) that they define as the “foods most associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.”
These foods are commonly described as “green leafy, yellow/orange, citrusy, and cruciferous products.”
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To qualify for the list, foods had to provide an average daily value of 10% or more per 100 kilocalories (100,000 calories) of 17 key nutrients — potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and zinc Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.
After calculating the nutrient density value for a total of 47 foods, the researchers created the following list of 41 foods that are considered PFVs, in order from highest to lowest nutrient density value:
- Chinese cabbage
- beet greens
- romaine lettuce
- cabbage leaf
- beet greens
- mustard green
- dandelion green
- Red pepper
- Brussels sprouts
- spring onion
- iceberg lettuce
- Winter squash (all varieties)
- Grapefruit (pink and red)
- sweet potato
- grapefruit (white)
There were some limitations associated with this study.
According to the CDC’s discussion of the findings, some nutrient-dense items may have been missed.
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It was also not possible to include phytochemical data – which are chemical compounds produced by plants that can increase nutritional value – when calculating the nutrient density value for each food.
Future research is needed to identify specific nutrient-dense diets and to confirm the health effects of a PFV-rich diet, the study authors noted.
Tanya Freirich, a Registered Dietitian in Charlotte, North Carolinawho practices as a lupus nutritionist, said she supports the CDC’s list of recommended superfoods.
“It’s great that we’re focusing specifically on ‘powerhouse’ foods to raise awareness of the importance of eating fresh fruit and vegetables,” she told Fox News Digital.
“All vegetables and fruits contain nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants,” she added. “It’s important to eat as varied a diet as possible.”
However, there are some very healthy foods that weren’t on the list, Frierich noted.
“All vegetables and fruits contain nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. It is important to eat as varied a diet as possible.”
“These foods didn’t meet the study’s criteria, but should still be part of your diet if you enjoy eating them and have access to them,” she said.
“Garlic and onions, in particular, are members of the leek family and offer a host of other benefits that you wouldn’t find in any of the fruits or vegetables on the list.”
One food on the list, grapefruit, could be bothersome to many commonly prescribed medicationsemphasized Frierich.
“While the list is helpful in some ways, it’s not the only thing to consider when making healthy eating decisions,” she said.
“Every single person needs a slightly different approach to nutrition.”
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For people who like the foods on the CDC list, can find them at the grocery store, and can fit in the grocery budget — they can and should eat them, Frierich said.
“If not, prioritize eating a variety of fresh and frozen produce as part of your overall diet,” she said. “If possible, try to fill half your plate with vegetables.”
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For those struggling financially and/or who can’t fit groceries on the list into their budget, Frierich says frozen or fresh produce can also be included a healthy diet.
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