5. Spinach (Nutrient Density Score – 86.43)
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C.
It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline. Additionally, spinach is a goood source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, pantothenic acid and selenium.
While this mixture of conventional nutrients gives spinach a unique status in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory department, it is the unusual mixture of phytonutrients in spinach that “seals the deal” in terms of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components.
In terms of flavonoids, spinach is a unique source of methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides, and in terms of carotenoids, its difficult to find a more helpful source of lutein and zeaxanthin. The epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids neoxanthin and violaxanthin are also welcomed constituents of spinach leaves.
6. Chicory (Nutrient Density Score – 73.36)
Chicory is a woody, herbaceous plant that has a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to ease digestive problems, prevent heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, prevent bacterial infections, boost the immune system, and reduce the chance of heart disease.
It is also a natural sedative, and can protect against kidney stones, and benefit attempts to lose weight.
Chicory is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron folic acid, and potassium, as well as vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.
Chicory leaves, buds, and roots all have certain beneficial qualities, and the leaves are used in a similar way as spinach in many cultures. The root is often ground into a powder and used as a coffee substitute, which doesn’t negate all of its health benefits. It has been used for hundreds of years as a herbal remedy for many diseases, and continues to prove its worth today.