Top 10 Nutrient Dense Greens


January 11, 2016 by Living Girl Living Foods

For years now the most viewed articles on this site have been; Seeded v.s Seedless Grapes , Red Beets v.s Golden Beets , and my write up on Kale including the difference between Lacinato Kale and Curly Kale.

It is only right to dive deeper into sharing knowledge on nutrients and my love for vegetables. Thanks to a study by Preventing Chronic Disease, actual numbers have been calculated to show what the top 10 nutrient dense greens are and kale is ranked number 15! I strongly recommend keeping around 5 of these produce items in your refrigerator each week.

Here are the Top 10 Nutrient Dense Greens:

#1 Watercress (nutrient density score 100) – I have previously shared a write-up including the health benefits of watercress plus have given juice recipes using this herb. Here is a quick caption from that post with the health benefits of watercress. “Roughly, 80 grams of watercress equals 42% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin A. It is also high in vitamins and minerals; B, E, Folate, Calcium and Folate.”

#2 Chinese Cabbage (nutrient density score 91.99) – Chinese cabbage consists of two groups;  Pekinensis Group and the Chinensis Group. Pekinensis is Napa Cabbage, Chinensis is Bok Choy (below is Bok Choy).


One Cup of raw shredded Chinese Cabbage contains 9 calories, and is high in Vitamin A & C. I have articles on my site using cabbages in recipes including juices and salads.

#3 Chard (nutrient density score 89.27) – Chard is a tall leafy green vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk that comes in white, red or yellow with wide fan-like green leaves. I love using these as wraps for tacos, sandwiches and even as a dipper. Typically people are use to eating these steamed and/or sautéed. I have recipes on my site using them more for color and texture in raw salads. They are an excellent replacement for other dark greens in juices or other recipes you have. One cup of raw shredded chard has just 7 calories.

#4 Beet Greens (nutrient density score 87.08) – Yes that is correct, the tops from the beet bunches you purchase! If you have been reading my site for a while, you’ve noticed I get really gosh darn crafty with these greens and am not scared to ask at the farmer’s market and grocery stores if they happen to have any aside that customers have asked to be removed. I use beet greens in smoothies, juices, desserts, and salads. They do need to be heavily washed! Beet Greens even contain Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, and Manganese among many other properties.

#5 Spinach (nutrient density score 86.43) – Here is a classic green power food. If you are looking for techniques on how to cut spinach or recipes ideas, check out my previous posts. One cup of raw spinach has 7 calories. It 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 yummy source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline.

#6 Chicory (nutrient density score of 73.36) – Chicory? It is a member of the dandelion family and is often blended into “detox” teas and supplements. It has a somewhat woody and flowery taste. It aids with heart burn, digestion,  arthritis, detoxification of gallbladder, liver and kidneys. In fresh flower form it has blue pedals with some white. I do not have any recipes on my site using this but I am inspired now to share a concoction or meal using this.

#7 Leaf Lettuce (nutrient density score of 70.73) – Red leaf, green leaf, butter leaf…the list could keep going! This is often the type of lettuce we use to making salads at home with and most mixed salads in boxes from the grocery store have a few variations of leaf lettuces in them. I have articles where I share recipes including juicing lettuce. If leaf lettuce, just reading that bores you, I invite you to check out my article where I create a guide for prepping delicious, beautiful and even sassy salads. Never be boring! Everything is an expression of self!

#8 Parsley (nutrient density score of 65.59) – I adore adding this herb to sauces, dips, juices, salads, and even to just simply chew on as a natural breath freshener. Your fresh herbs can easily be stored in air tight containers in your freezer to use all year long. This little green has extremely powerful detoxifying benefits. One tablespoon of fresh parsley has just one calorie, so please do not worry about such things with your greens! You have most likely noticed by now with these green vegetables it is more than ok to eat a large amount.

#9 Romaine Lettuce (nutrient density score of 63.48) – romainelove

YAY one of my favorite lettuces of all time! This is another one I enjoy using as a wrap and dipper. One cup of raw romaine lettuce has 15 calories, it is higher in water content than other types of lettuce such as a leaf lettuce. It may create the feeling of being more full because of this. One cup of raw romaine contains 148% Vitamin A! BOOOOM!

#10 Collard Greens (nutrient density score of 62.49) – A bit similar to chard, the stem however is more difficult to eat and the leaves are also not as soft. These are super for those heavier wrap ideas like sushi, burritos or a fully loaded taco. Many people are use to cooking these just the way they would with chard. Please try something different! If you want to try it in a smoothie I highly recommend removing the stem first. One cup of raw chopped collard greens contains 11 calories. If you are looking for inspiration here is a collection of my writings that relate to this green.


I am sure you all often have at least two of these in your home and besides the Chicory these are items that are easy to find in the grocery store. I know where I live almost all of these greens grow here locally and are extremely affordable at the farmer’s market. Always ask workers at any location what they would do with a produce item if you aren’t sure. The internet has literally millions of recipes, tips and information to share with you right at your finger tips.

I hope this helps those of you who have been asking me exactly just what greens MUST be in your fridge. This is all about making your own personal lifestyle that works for you all the time. It should feel fun, yummy, exciting, colorful, inspiring, just like YOU. Many thanks for taking the time to stop by my site. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉

xo Jess




2 thoughts on “Top 10 Nutrient Dense Greens

  1. nikirath says:

    Super. Love your article. Thanks for sharing. Why don’t I see Kale in the list though?

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