Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

3 Super Greens You Haven’t Tried Yet, But Should

Food
3 Super Greens You Haven’t Tried Yet, But Should

What green veggies did you toss into your grocery cart this week? Let me guess: baby spinach, romaine and kale? Me, too.

Nutrition science tells us again and again to eat more dark green leafy vegetables, so we reach for what we know. But a recent ranking of 47 ultra-healthful produce items reveals some surprising front-runners you may not have tried yet.

The 2014 study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, ranks the fruits and vegetables by their concentration of 17 key nutrients: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

The top of the list includes some familiar favorites, like spinach (#5) and kale (#15), as well as a few veggies that might seem exotic, but are actually widely available.

The next time you’re feeling adventurous, look for these three “powerhouse foods” in your produce section:

1. Watercress

This is the blue ribbon super-green that ranked as the most nutrient-dense food among the 47 samples tested. It contains a wealth of fiber and vitamins and because it’s a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and radishes, it also contains special compounds called glucosinolates that can prevent cancer.

If you pick some up at the market today, get ready for a peppery punch! The small, delicate leaves of the watercress plant may look unassuming, but they deliver a strong and sometimes spicy flavor. Try mixing the chopped fresh leaves into a green salad with a sweet vinaigrette to offset the slight bitterness of this verdant veggie.

2. Chicory

This category of leafy vegetables, which ranked 6th among the Powerhouse Foods, includes a few varieties you may never have tried before, like radicchio, escarole and leaf chicory. A single, raw cup of these greens provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin K and a third of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A.

Your grocery store might not have every variety, but any one of them will deliver amazing nutrition and unique flavors. Try curly-cue escarole in a crisp salad with Dijon dressing or vibrant cranberry-colored heads of radicchio, roasted and drizzled with balsamic reduction.

3. Turnip Greens

Do you eat turnip roots? Stop composting those greens! Turnip greens ranked 11th on the list of most nutrient-dense Powerhouse Foods—four places higher than beloved kale. The roots also made the list at #37, so you get a lot of superfood for your dollar when you buy a bunch.

Since turnip leaves wilt quickly when they’re attached to the root, snip them off and store them separately when you get home from the market. Then cook up a side-dish with Southern flair by stewing chopped turnip greens low and slow, with a little plant-based bacon to top them off at the table.

Remember: Any and all greens you enjoy eating deliver terrific nutritional benefits, so don’t skimp on your usual leafy fare. Instead, savor something new. Bon appétit!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

12 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning

What Is The Clean 9 Diet?

11 Healthy Foods Very High in Iron

Can Superfoods Help Boost the Planet’s Health, Too?

Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, aka the doomsday glacier, is seen here in 2014. NASA / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Scientists have maneuvered an underwater robot beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" for the first time, and the resulting data is not reassuring.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Journalists film a protest by the environmental organization BUND at the Datteln coal-fired power plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on April 23, 2020. Bernd Thissen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Lead partners of a global consortium of news outlets that aims to improve reporting on the climate emergency released a statement on Monday urging journalists everywhere to treat their coverage of the rapidly heating planet with the same same level of urgency and intensity as they have the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Airborne microplastics are turning up in remote regions of the world, including the remote Altai mountains in Siberia. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images

Scientists consider plastic pollution one of the "most pressing environmental and social issues of the 21st century," but so far, microplastic research has mostly focused on the impact on rivers and oceans.

Read More Show Less
A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China on Oct. 7, 2010. Jie Zhao / Corbis via Getty Images

By Michel Penke

More than every second person in the world now has a cellphone, and manufacturers are rolling out bigger, better, slicker models all the time. Many, however, have a bloody history.

Read More Show Less