But be careful. The top powerhouse vegetable has been linked with a deadly disease.

We all know that you’re supposed to consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and that some fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than others, but a new study has made it easier for us to decide which greens, yellows and reds to consume by ranking powerhouse fruits and vegetables, according to their nutritional content.

However the top ranked food – watercress, is linked to a rare, but potentially deadly, water born disease called liver rot.

Last year Times Live reported that the parasitic disease, which is so rare that medication had to be imported from the US, killed a woman from Plettenberg Bay after she ate watercress.

A safer, and easier to obtain, alternative is the 5th ranked item on the list of powerfoods – spinach. For a high protein, low GI recipe that incorporates this unassuming powergreen into your diet, check out our recipe: The Perfect High Energy Meal.

The researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey rated the foods, according to the amount of 17 critical nutrients each food contains.

“Higher-ranking foods provide more nutrients per calories,” lead author  Jennifer Di Noia told the Washington Post. “The scores may help focus consumers on their daily energy needs, and how best to get the most nutrients from their foods.

The foods that made the top 15 of the powerfood  fruit and veg list can be seen in the image below.

powerhouse fruit and veg top 10

Fruit didn’t rank highly on the list, dominated by greens. Red Pepper appeared in 17th place while pumpkin only achieving 20th place in the article published in the journal – Preventing Chronic Disease.