This is the perfect food for science that few people consume

Eating a balanced diet is key to having favorable health conditions. Eating foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins will help prevent the development of diseases, many of them chronic, such as diabetes or hypertension.

According to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases such as high blood sugar or cancer.

Fruits and vegetables, for example, are important components of a healthy diet and their consumption helps prevent various discomforts for the body. This multitasking entity recommends consuming at least 400 grams of these foods daily to obtain the nutritional benefits that the body requires.

Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) indicate that insufficient intake of this type of product has a serious impact on deaths from heart disease, cancer and cerebrovascular accidents.

According to scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, fruits and vegetables should account for half of the diet a person consumes per day, while the rest should be made up of whole grains and proteins such as fish, chicken, legumes and nuts.

Within the framework of healthy eating there are also some medicinal plants that can provide vitamins and mineral salts, for example. One of them is watercress, which stands out precisely for its high content of these essential nutrients.

A study conducted by the Center for Preventive Chronic Diseases (CDC), decided to calculate the percentages of nutrients in raw foods according to daily needs of people.

The investigation allowed to determine the 47 foods with the highest content of healthy nutrients endorsed by the FAO. In total, 17 essential nutrients were defined from foods such as vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, and alliums such as onions, garlic, and leeks.

The essential nutrients taken into account for the analysis were potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

The purpose of the analysis, according to the scientists, was to define, as accurately as possible, the percentage of calories and amounts of nutrients that these foods had per 100 grams without having passed through the kitchen.

In the list there were 41 foods that were named by scientists as Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables and among the best ranked green beets stand out, which met 87.08% favorability compared to the nutrients analyzed. There is also spinach (86.43%), chicory (73.36%), leaf lettuce (70.73%) and parsley (65.59%). A little higher chard (89.27%) and Chinese cabbage (91.99%).

Watercress has nutrients and mineral salts. – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

However, the investigative work concluded that a plant of the cruciferous family such as cabbage, arugula or broccoli, was the one that took the honor for being one of the foods with the highest nutritional value. It is the watercress that led the list with more than 8% difference compared to second place, according to an article published in the newspaper The vanguardfrom Spain.

With a characteristic bitter taste, this plant, which is normally incorporated into salads, sauces or vegetable creams, obtained 100% of nutrients per 100 grams of weight. These leaves provide a characteristic flavor to foods, but they are also recognized for their therapeutic effects and for this reason they are often used to treat weakness, anemia and respiratory conditions, indicates an article published in the health and wellness magazine WebConsultations.

Watercress leaves contain 94% water and the rest of their organic composition contains high and concentrated doses of nutrients. They stand out above all for their high amount of vitamins and minerals, in addition to having very little fat level.

However, specialists say that it is a product that is not widely consumed in the world, rather than being available in various varieties.