The Ten Green Superfoods

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

watercress, superfoods

Watercress; photo courtesy of Wendell Smith via Flickr

  • The ten green superfoods: According to a recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which evaluated 47  superfoods or “powerhouse fruits and vegetables,” highly popularized kale placed only as #15 with 49.07 points out of 100 for nutrient density. Here are the ten best green superfoods, that researchers say offer a greater nutritional value for you to consider: #10 Collard greens with nutrition score: 62.49, #9 Romaine lettuce (63.48), #8 Parsley (65.59), #7 Leaf lettuce (70.73), #6 Chicory (73.36), #5 Spinach (86.43), #4 Beet greens (87.08),#3 Chard (89.27),#2 Chinese cabbage (91.99), #1 Watercress (100). Watercress, as the winner, contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams — two compounds that keep your skin glowing and youthful. The beauty food is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which can potentially fight cancer, according to research. An eight-week trial study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a  daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (approximately two cups) could reduce DMA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. Exposure to heat may inactivate PEITC, so it’s best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices, and sandwiches. See the full list of fruit and veggie superfoods with their nutritional scores here.
  • Autism is on the rise in the U.S.A.: According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published recently, one in 88 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The new estimates, based on data from 2008, show a 23 percent increase in autism diagnoses since the last report in 2002, when about 1 in 150 kids were estimated to have autism and in 2006 the prevalence increased to 1 in 110. The report suggests that the largest increases were seen among Hispanic and black children. Also, autism is almost five times more common in boys than in girls. As Coleen Boyle, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities explains: “While more children are being diagnosed by age 3, 40 percent were not diagnosed until after age 4 and we are working hard to change that.”
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