Make sure the vegetables you eat the most are the most nutritious veggies you can eat.
If you're a broccoli lover, you've picked a winner. From a list of 10 of the most commonly consumed vegetables in the country, broccoli holds the top spot for having the most phytochemicals -- compounds everyone's urged to consume because they protect against chronic diseases. At the bottom of the list? Cucumbers, described by some people as "water you can eat."
The 9 runners-up to broccoli were spinach, yellow onions, red peppers, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers. Red peppers actually beat out broccoli in terms of having the highest levels of antioxidants. The same researchers also have rated 10 of the most popular fruits. Cranberries -- with the most phytochemicals and the most antioxidants -- topped that list, followed by apples, red grapes, strawberries, peaches, lemons, pears, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple.
Food scientists aren't ranking veggies just to satisfy their curiosity, by the way. They're contemplating a bioactivity index (BI) for dietary cancer prevention to help grocery shoppers quickly spot the fruits and veggies that have the biggest health benefits.