We all know that Americans should be eating more fruits and vegetables. But there’s a big difference between eating a handful of carrots or a tangerine, and munching on some leafy greens. The CDC recently ranked 47 of America’s most common fruits and vegetables, and 41 out of 47 tested were determined to be “powerhouse” sources of nutrition.

Each of the fruits and vegetables were analyzed on a scale that measures the amount of fiber, protein, potassium, and vitamins.

But Mason jar, Mason jar on the wall, who is the fairest (and most nutritious) vegetable of them all? As it turns out, the answer is, “all of the vegetables that are green and leafy.” Here are the most nutrient dense vegetables, according to the CDC.

1. Watercress

Watercress in bowl on wooden background

Fresh watercress ready for salad preparation (iStock)

With a nutrient density score of 100, watercress ranks as the most nutritious vegetable to eat. This small, peppery green is a great addition to salads and makes a wonderful tea sandwich.

2. Chinese Cabbage



Chinese cabbage, or bok choy, is more tender than Western varieties but can also be incorporated into soups and stews very well.

3. Chard



Yes another leafy green vegetable at the top of the list. Chard is distinguished by its red-purple stalk and dark green leaves. Though slightly bitter, chard can be used in a ton of ways the numerous nutrition benefits outweigh that slightly bitter aftertaste.

4. Beet Greens



Next time you're enjoying a red fleshy beet, don't throw out the tops. Beet greens are almost as nutritious as chard but pack in more vitamins and minerals than plain lettuce leaves.

5. Spinach

Perfect baby spinach greens


Good old Popeye knew something was special about this tried and true side. Spinach may be one of the most popular leafy greens available but its also rounds out the top five that are great for you.

See more of the world's most nutrient rich veggies and fruits.

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