Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard and Chinese cabbage are extremely nutrient-dense.

However, they are surpassed by a food that is probably not on your radar: watercress.

The power herb thus tops the list of the 41 healthiest fruits and vegetables compiled by Jennifer Di Noia, a professor at William Paterson University.

The list, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, offers a glimpse into the world’s most nutrient-dense foods.

These are ordered according to the amounts of 17 nutrients. These include fiber, potassium and protein, vitamin B12, vitamins A and D and calcium folate.

The food was weighted according to a special scheme. In this case, the proportion of valuable ingredients was compared to the number of calories. The higher the value, the healthier and more valuable the plant is for our diet.

Watercress is the only food that actually manages to cover 100 percent of your daily nutrient requirements per 100 kcal consumption.

This puts other powerhouses such as Chinese cabbage (91.99%), chard (89.27%) and spinach (86.43%) in the shade.

It is no coincidence that watercress secured first place in the rankings. It combines many nutrients, all of which contribute a significant part to our health.

In addition to a significant amount of iron, calcium and vitamin C, there are also 14 important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and secondary plant substances that are even effective against diseases.

Vitamins A and C protect against infections and strengthen the immune system, calcium, potassium and magnesium support bone and muscle building and vitamin K can even prevent cell damage in the brain.

But it gets even better: The antioxidants protect you from DNA damage and can thus minimize the risk of various types of cancer.

In general, it is advisable to use valuable ingredients when cooking. “High-quality foods provide more nutrients per calorie,” explains Di Noia.

“Our findings can help educate consumers on how to get the most nutrients from their food. This can be crucial in reducing the risk of many diseases.”

By the way, the first places in the rankings are all led by vegetables. The best fruits are: red pepper, pumpkin, tomato and lemon.

The original for this article “This is the healthiest food in the world” comes from FitForFun.