I came across an interesting study by Jennifer Di Noia, PhD who set about helping us to define what powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) are and which are the best to eat.

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables are those fruits & veg that provide us with the biggest opportunity of preventing major diseases and illnesses. The trouble is no one really knew which ones are the best to eat, which is why it was so great to come across this list that has been ranked in order of nutrition.

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables have been described as green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus, and cruciferous items, but without any clear guidance on exactly which ones they are how can that helps us?

So Dr Di Noia set about researching the nutrients in different fruits and veg. A list was then compiled in order of strength.

“This article describes a classification scheme defining PFV on the basis of 17 nutrients of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine (ie, potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K)” 

source: Defining powerhouse fruits and vegetables: A nutrient density

You can visit the research to find out the method used.

The list below is a really useful resource for vegetable juicing because it means we now have a way of ensuring the best possible opportunity to start juicing some of the riches vegetables and fruits available to us.

Surprisingly my normal list of kale, carrots and sweet potato were really towards the end of the 41 strong list.

The Top 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables (with percentages)

Watercress 100%
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49

So, to make a powerhouse juice you can use a mixture of any of the top 10 – notice how it really is all GREEN stuff. Green vegetable juicing really does provide the most power.

Bottom 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables (with percentages) ranked in order of nutrition

Grapefruit (white) 10.47%
Sweet potato 10.51
Leek 10.69
Blackberry 11.39
Turnip 11.43
Rutabaga 11.58
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Lime 12.23
Orange 12.91
Winter Squash 13.89

Out of the 41 powerhouse fruits and vegetables grapefruit (white) was on the bottom of the list.

Other vegetables I tend to juice

Kale was 15th with 49.07%
Broccoli 19th with 34.89%
Cabbage 25th with 24.51%
Carrot 26th with 22.60%
Lemon 28th with 18.72%

The first 27 items were all vegetables. Of the bottom 10 items 40% of them were fruit

Fruit didn’t enter the list until lemons at 28, but we don’t all sit and eat lemons for the fun of it. The first “real” fruit was strawberries at number 30. The list then went on to include other fruits.

For me this is another great reason why vegetable juicing is far more important than juicing fruit.

It is just a shame that watercress is in season between April-October so it won’t be around for much longer – not if I want the best grown seasonal vegetable.

What this list has given me is an opportunity to really go to town with my green juices. I have to admit I favour the more sweeter carrot/beetroot juices but now I will do my best to make up great tasting juices using the top 10 list and some fruit (probably pineapple).