This Is Hands Down the Healthiest Salad Base You Can Use (It's Not Kale)

Foodie Crush

While opting for fresh-picked greens over a greasy burger is clearly the healthier meal choice, not all salads are created equal. The Huffington Post points to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables, which examined leafy green, citrus, cruciferous, and yellow and orange foods based on their nutrient density for a 2000-calorie diet. In other words, these are the top produce items that pack the most punch when whipping up that healthy salad, especially if you're trying to keep your taste buds and your stomach satisfied. On that note, here's how some of the most popular salad greens ranked, according to their nutritional density.

1. Watercress: Considering that this aquatic plant fulfills 106% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin K, it's no wonder that it landed the number one spot on the CDC's list. It's also got a healthy dose of vitamin A and C along with calcium, iron, and magnesium.

2. Chicory: This endive cousin comes in at second place with a nutrient density score of about 73%, adding generous servings of thiamin, niacin, and zinc to any salad.

3. Kale: It's no surprise that this foodie fave makes the list, thanks to offering a day's worth of vitamins A, C, and K in a single cup (and three grams of protein, too).

Head to Huffington Post for the full list of the best salad greens to use (can you guess how iceberg lettuce ranks?), and share your favorite salad recipes with us in the comments.

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