Be Healthy: Incorporate these “nutrient dense” superfoods into your diet

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.”


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.


The CDC defines “powerhouses and vegetables” (PFV) as the “foods most associated with reduced risk of chronic disease.” (iStock)

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:

  1. watercress
  2. Chinese cabbage
  3. chard
  4. beet greens
  5. spinach
  6. chicory
  7. lettuce
  8. Parsley
  9. romaine lettuce
  10. cabbage leaf
  11. beet greens
  12. mustard green
  13. endive
  14. chives
  15. Kale
  16. dandelion green
  17. Red pepper
  18. arugula
  19. broccoli
  20. pumpkin
  21. Brussels sprouts
  22. spring onion
  23. Kohlrabi
  24. cauliflower
  25. cabbage
  26. carrot
  27. tomato
  28. lemon
  29. iceberg lettuce
  30. strawberry
  31. radish
  32. Winter squash (all varieties)
  33. Orange
  34. lime
  35. Grapefruit (pink and red)
  36. turnip
  37. turnip
  38. blackberry
  39. Leek
  40. sweet potato
  41. 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.

Cutting out salt can reduce risk of heart disease by nearly 20%, study says: ‘Know What You’re Eating’

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.

watercress food

Watercress ranks first on the CDC list of powerful foods. (iStock)

“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.”

pumpkin dishes

Pumpkin foods also made the CDC’s superfood list. (iStock)

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.”


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.”


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.

​​To read more articles from Fox News Digital’s “Be Well” series, Click here.

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button