The 30 Most Nutritious Vegetables That Will Make You Feel Energetic

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Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a plant-based, health-focused cruise around the Caribbean called Holistic Holiday At Sea. For a week, I learned all about the many health benefits of a plant-based diet. I also learned a lot about nutrition in general, and how certain foods are especially helpful when it comes to preventing cancer, heart disease, and even the common cold. We all know that fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans are good for us — but as you might suspect, vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods, and they pack the most healthiness into every bite.

One of the many fun things about Holistic Holiday At Sea was that each night, you came back to your cabin to a few healthy presents. One such present was Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritiarian Handbook & ANDI Scoring Guide. In the book, Dr. Fuhrman uses something he calls the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) to rank the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. The system scores foods on a scale of 0-1000 (1000 being the best), based on the amount of vitamins and minerals each food delivers for every calorie consumed.

Unsurprisingly, vegetables come out on top, as they pack the most nutrients per bite. But some are better than others! Keep in mind that while some of the vegetables at the end of this list might sound like they have low scores (300/1000 for example), they are still the most nutrient-dense foods that exist. Bustle also spoke with Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. ,who's known as The Plant Based Dietician, to back up the benefits of these powerful veggies. So here, ranked, are the top 30 most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat.

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1Cooked Kale

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ANDI Score: 1000/1000

Nutrients: Some of the veggies on here are even more nutritious when they're cooked, and I've marked when that's the case — as in kale (though eaten raw, the ANDI score is still 778). As you've probably heard by now, kale is a great source of protein, Vitamin E , Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron and Magnesium, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

"Kale offers double the benefits with it being both a leafy green as well as a cruciferous vegetable," Hever tells Bustle. "Thus, not only does it contain hearty doses of vitamin K, carotenoids, iron, calcium, and other nutrients common in leafy green vegetables, but it also contains powerful glucosinolates, which helps reduce risk for cancer and supports cardiovascular health."

Other Benefits: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, good for liver health.

2Watercress

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ANDI Score: 1000/1000

Nutrients: You probably don't have it in your fridge, but maybe you should! A good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, protein, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, and Copper, watercress is basically a perfect source of nutrition.

Other Benefits: Acts as a diuretic, helps break up kidney and bladder stones, stimulates the thyroids, good for purifying blood and relieving phlegm.

3Collard, Mustard & Turnip Greens

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ANDI Score: 1000/1000

Nutrients: Greens a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Anti-cancer, lowers bad cholesterol, antioxidant.

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4Swiss Chard

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ANDI Score: 895/1000

Nutrients: Swiss chard is high in Thiamin, Folate and Zinc, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Helps lower blood pressure, antioxidant, anti-cancer, helps manage diabetes, prevents osteoporosis, improves athletic performance.

5Bok Choy

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ANDI Score: 865/1000

Nutrients: Just one cup of cooked bok choy gives you more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin A, and close to two-thirds of your Vitamin C. It's also high in Vitamin K, Potassium, and Calcium.

Other Benefits: Antioxidant, good for bone health, heart health, anti-cancer. Offering "the double benefit of being both a leafy green as well as a cruciferous vegetable, bok choy has powerful phytonutrient compounds that fights cancer and supports overall health," Hever confirms.

6Napa Cabbage

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ANDI Score: 715/1000

Nutrients: Napa cabbage is a good source of fiber, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium.

Other Benefits: Detoxifies the stomach and upper colon, improves digestion, stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, antioxidant, anti-cancer. "Cabbage is considered one of the top economical cooked vegetables per nutrition, according to the USDA. The high content of glusoinolates makes it an excellent cancer-fighting food," Hever adds.

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7Cooked Spinach

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ANDI Score: 707/1000

Nutrients: Spinach is a good source of Niacin, and a very good source of fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. "When cooked, spinach becomes an even better source of absorbable carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and zinc. When concentrated down, cooked spinach is one of the highest sources of protein," Hever adds.

Other Benefits: Anti-cancer, regulates blood pressure, boosts the immune system, supports bone health.

8Arugula

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ANDI Score: 604/1000

Nutrients: Arugula is a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Anti-cancer, antioxidant, good for eye health.

9Green Leaf Lettuce

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ANDI Score: 585/1000

Nutrients: While all lettuce is pretty good for you, green leaf lettuce is the most nutritious on the ANDI scale in terms of the nutrient punch it packs. Getting repetitive here, it's also a good source of protein, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese.

"As a low-oxalate leafy green vegetable, certain minerals, such as iron and calcium, as well as other nutrients are absorbed better in lettuce. Lettuce surprisingly contains high amounts of protein, calcium, vitamins K, A, and folate, and omega-3 fatty acids per calorie," Hever adds.

Other Benefits: Helps support bone and joint health, supports arteries and connective tissue, aids sleep, anti-anxiety.

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10Chicory Greens

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ANDI Score: 516/1000

Nutrients: It looks a lot live endive, but it's even higher in Thiamin, Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Good for digestive function and heart, anti-cancer, helps arthritis pain, supports kidney function, relieves constipation, helps anxiety.

11Radish

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ANDI Score: 502/1000

Nutrients: Radishes are a good source of Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Folate, and Potassium.

Other Benefits: Helps dissolve mucus and phlegm if you're sick, also clearing sinuses and soothing sore throats.

12Basil

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ANDI Score: 518/1000

Nutrients: Basil is a good source of protein, Vitamin E, Riboflavin and Niacin, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, pain-reducing, anti-cancer, anti-stress, good for liver health.

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13Brussels Sprouts

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ANDI Score: 490/1000

Nutrients: They're famous for a reason — though, as we saw above, greens deserve the reputation even more. Brussels sprouts good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and antiviral, helping especially to prevent breast and colon cancer.

14Cilantro

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ANDI Score: 481/1000

Nutrients: Keep some in your house as a garnish, because cilantro is a good source of Thiamin and Zinc, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper , and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Lowers blood sugar, protects against UTIs, prevents food poisoning, lowers stress, supports regular menstrual cycles.

15Turnips

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ANDI Score: 473/1000

Nutrients: Turnips are a good source of Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin C, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Aids digestion, cleans the teeth, and helps clear the blood of toxins.

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16Cooked Carrots

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ANDI Score: 434/1000

Nutrients: Carrots are even healthier when you cook them! A good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Thiamin and Potassium, carrots are a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: A detoxifying food, good for the health of the liver and digestive tract, helps kidney function and helping kill bacteria and viruses, good for eye health.

17Parsley

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ANDI Score: 381/1000

Nutrients: A good source of protein, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: A natural cleanser, tonic, breath freshener, reduces coagulants in the veins, fights anemia, helps clear kidney stones.

18Broccoli Rabe

ANDI Score: 366/1000

Nutrients: All broccoli is good — but rabe is a particularly dense source of Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, and Copper, and a very good source of fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Anti-cancer, antioxidant, intestinal cleanser, antibiotic, antiviral, helps stimulate the liver.

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19Kohlrabi

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ANDI Score: 352/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Good for digestion, nerve and muscle function, blood pressure, iron deficiency, weight loss, bone strength, vision health.

20Dandelion Greens

ANDI Score: 347/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Anti-cancer, strengthens bones, good for digestion and heart health.

21Cauliflower

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ANDI Score: 315/1000

Nutrients: A good source of protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Helps purify the blood, good for treating bleeding gums, kidney and bladder disorders, high blood pressure, constipation, anti-cancer, and antioxidant.

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22Endive

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ANDI Score: 284/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Helps inhibit ovarian, rectal, and bladder cancer; good for eye health.

23Radicchio

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ANDI Score: 271/1000

Nutrients: A good source of fiber, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Natural sedative and pain-killer, good for eye health.

24Cooked Red Bell Pepper

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ANDI Score: 265/1000

Nutrients: A good source of fiber, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Normalizes blood pressure and improves the circulatory system.

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25Pumpkin

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ANDI Score: 249/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Good for eye health, blood pressure, prostate health, sleep. "The abundance of carotenoids in pumpkin helps make skin glow, increasing perceived attractiveness in scientific studies, and improves immune function. As a starchy vegetable that is high in fiber, pumpkin is satiating and supportive for weight management," Hever adds.

26Butternut Squash

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ANDI Score: 241/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and according to The Food Doctor, squash's seeds are also apparently great for helping to expel roundworms and tapeworms ... should you ever need to do that.

27Mushrooms

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ANDI Score: 238/1000

Nutrients: A good source of fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Selenium.

Other Benefits: Helps thin the blood, lowers cholesterol, and supports immune function. Shiitake mushrooms in particular are said to contain potent anti-cancer elements. "Mushrooms are high in the difficult to find trace mineral, selenium, necessary for thyroid function and as a key antioxidant. Mushrooms offer multiple mechanisms by which they support overall immunity as well as cardiovascular and anti-cancer protection," Hever adds.

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28Jalapeno Pepper

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ANDI Score: 217/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Antioxidant, boosts metabolism.

29Asparagus

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ANDI Score: 205/1000

Nutrients: A good source of Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, and a very good source of fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium.

Other Benefits: Helps stimulate the kidneys, serves as a mild laxative, antibacterial.

30Sweet Potato

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ANDI Score: 181/1000

Nutrients: A good source of fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Manganese.

Other Benefits: Treats inflammation of the digestive tract, ulcers, and poor circulation; a detoxifying food.

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