Top 10 Vegetables With the Most Nutritional Bang for Your Buck

a couple inspect a product at a grocery storeLeafy greens are touted as being good for you, and now here's added incentive to pick them up at the supermarket or farmer's market: They're among the best buys in terms of getting the most nutritional bang for your buck.

If you want to watch your wallet and also buy fresh vegetables that provide pretty good nutrition, below are the choices that offer the best combination of those factors, says Jennifer Langston of Sightline Institute, a nonprofit sustainability think tank, who developed the rankings with her co-worker Eric Hess.Here are their rankings of the best, cheapest veggies:
  1. Cabbage
  2. Collard greens
  3. Mustard greens
  4. Turnip greens
  5. Carrots
  6. Cauliflower heads
  7. Brussels sprouts
  8. Broccoli florets
  9. Spinach
  10. Cauliflower florets
So if you want to spend only so much money on fresh vegetables, go green -- as in cabbage and leafy greens. They'll bring the most nutrition for relatively little money.

You may wonder why sweet potatoes didn't make the Top 10 or why broccoli is lower on the list. After all, both made The Best 10 Foods list created by the food police at Center for Science in the Public Interest. It's because they're relatively pricey. The list above emphasizes foods based on both cost and nutrition.

Here's how Langston and Hess came up with these rankings: They tracked down the price-per-cup of various produce items, as revealed in a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They also got the nutritional scores for various produce items, as determined by the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) rating method used by the Whole Foods chain and others. They then divided each vegetable's ANDI score by its price per cup.

Bottom line: It's not enough to just buy the cheapest vegetables. Try buying the cheapest vegetables that offer the best nutrition for the price. For the Top 10 fruits, go here.

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