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The World’s ‘Healthiest’ Food –

It’s official: Watercress has been deemed the “healthiest meals” on this planet. Based on a examine revealed by the CDC that examined 17 different nutrient markers (i.e., potassium, fiber, protein, and calcium) of 41 “powerhouse vegetables and fruit,” watercress scored the very best amongst them by way of its “nutrient density” rating, making it formally the “healthiest meals” on this planet with an ideal rating of 100.

Watercress is not the one leafy green known to offer powerful nutritional benefits, nonetheless: The highest 5 meals on the checklist had been all types of greens. So as of nutrient density scores, this consists of Chinese language cabbage (91.99), chard (89.27), beet greens (87.08), and spinach (86.43). Forward, we delve into the advantages of watercress and why noshing on leafy greens commonly will help enhance well being and shield in opposition to continual sickness.

(And, pleasant however required reminder: This rating system is solely meant to measure the nutrient-density, not worth, of assorted meals. If you happen to hate leafy greens, we’re all for that. Everyone’s definition of “healthy food” looks different, and the extra we encourage diversity in meals, the extra everybody wins. Okay, onward!)

4 advantages of watercress that make it essentially the most nutrient-dense leafy inexperienced

1. Promotes bone well being

Based on Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, writer of My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes, watercress positively deserves its excessive popularity from each a diet and taste POV. For starters, she factors out that the excessive vitamin Ok content material of watercress, paired with its calcium ranges (120 milligrams per 100-gram serving), will help promote bone well being. For context, the same-size serving of complete milk comprises 123 milligrams of calcium.

Moreover, watercress comprises a substantial quantity of vitamin Ok, one other nutrient very important for bone well being. Deficiencies on this vitamin can result in weakening bones—suppose fractures, poor posture, again and/or neck ache, and the early indicators of osteoporosis. Typically talking, the beneficial adequate intake (AI) for vitamin K is 120 micrograms for grownup males and 90 micrograms for grownup girls. (One cup of chopped watercress comprises 85 micrograms of vitamin Ok.)

(And, pleasant however required reminder: This rating system is solely meant to measure the nutrient-density, not worth, of assorted meals. If you happen to hate leafy greens, we’re all for that. Everybody’s definition of “wholesome meals” seems to be totally different, and the extra we encourage variety in meals, the extra everybody wins. Okay, onward!)

2. Helps cardiovascular well being

Watercress can even play a job in supporting cardiovascular well being. “[Watercress] gives a wide selection of antioxidants which will assist decrease our risk for heart disease,” Sheth says. “Due to its mineral content material—calcium, potassium, magnesium—and nitrates, watercress might assist with blood strain.” One cup (34 grams) of chopped watercress comprises 112 milligrams of potassium (which is almost one-third of the quantity of potassium in a banana), seven milligrams of magnesium, and about 37 milligrams of nitrates.

Of observe: Because of the excessive focus of vitamin Ok present in watercress, anybody taking blood thinners ought to seek the advice of their docs earlier than including rather a lot watercress to their food regimen. “Vitamin Ok performs an essential position in blood clotting, and any drastic modifications in vitamin Ok consumption by way of food regimen can have an effect on the treatment’s impact,” Sheth says.

3. Decreases the danger of growing most cancers

Watercress contains isothiocyanates, which can assist forestall most cancers by aiding the physique in eliminating potential carcinogens,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietitian, diet skilled, and writer of upcoming e book Everyday Snack Tray. Isothiocyanates, she provides, are small molecules that cut back the activation of and enhance the cleansing of carcinogens.

4. Promotes eye well being

“Watercress can even assist with eye well being due to its carotenoids and vitamin C content material,” Sheth says. One cup of chopped watercress comprises 15 milligrams of vitamin C (about one-fifth of the vitamin C in an orange). Whereas there isn’t any particular beneficial every day allowance for consuming carotenoids—like beta-carotene or alpha-carotene—a cup of chopped watercress comprises 649 milligrams of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, thus serving to enhance eye well being.

Some advantages of the extra leafy greens on the checklist

Though watercress ranked primary, the opposite 4 high nutrient-dense meals on the checklist additionally comprise appreciable well being advantages. Keep in mind: Chinese language cabbage, chard, beet greens, and spinach all had been inside only a few factors of watercress.

Cabbage is filled with minerals, together with magnesium and calcium; chard comprises excessive quantities of nutritional vitamins Ok, A, C, and E, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Beet greens, in the meantime, are an excellent supply of iron, and spinach is excessive in folate, a B vitamin that analysis exhibits will help forestall the event of Alzheimer’s Illness, and potassium, a vital nutrient for muscle exercise. However probably one of the best half about spinach is that it could possibly simply be added to a wide selection of meals—suppose smoothies, soups, pasta, and sauces—for added vitamins and simply go undetected by the pickiest eaters.

So, how ought to we actually really feel about inexperienced juices? An RD spills the tea:

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