Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach

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Nutrient density scores ranged from The proposed classification scheme is offered in response to the call to better define PFV and may aid in strengthening the powerhouse message to the public.

Messages might specify PFV to help consumers know what they are and choose them as part of their overall fruit and vegetable intake. As numeric descriptors of the amount of beneficial nutrients PFV contain relative to the energy they provide, the scores can serve as a platform for educating people on the concept of nutrient density. Expressing the nutrient desirability of foods in terms of the energy they provide may help focus consumers on their daily energy needs and getting the most nutrients from their foods.

The rankings provide clarity on the nutrient quality of the different foods and may aid in the selection of more nutrient-dense items within the powerhouse group. Foods within particular groups were studied; thus, other nutrient-dense items may have been overlooked.

Because it was not possible to include phytochemical data in the calculation of nutrient density scores, the scores do not reflect all of the constituents that may confer health benefits.

Warranting study is the utility of approaches defining PFV based on the presence regardless of amount of nutrients and phytochemicals.

Although nutrient density differences by powerhouse group were examined, a true validation of the classification scheme is needed. Future studies might identify healthful diets and examine correlations with PFV or look for correlations between intake of PFV and health outcomes 3. This study is an important step toward defining PFV and quantifying nutrient density differences among them.

On the basis of the qualifying nutrients, 41 PFV were identified. The included foods may aid in improving consumer understanding of PFV and the beneficial nutrients they provide. When a range of values was reported, the lowest value in the range was used as the weighting factor.

The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.

Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content. Javascript is disabled or is not supported by your browser. For this reason, some items on this page will be unavailable. For more information about this message, please visit this page: Volume 11 — June 05, June 05, Page last updated: June 05, Content source: Surface crusts and filled pores occur in weakly aggregated soils.

Surface crusts prevent infiltration and promote erosion; filled pores lower water-holding and air-exchange capacity and increase bulk density, diminishing the conditions for root growth. Specific problems that might be caused by poor function: Aggregate stability is critical for infiltration, root growth, and resistance to water and wind erosion. Unstable aggregates disintegrate during rainstorms. Dispersed soil particles fill surface pores and a hard physical crust can develop when the soil dries.

Infiltration is reduced, which can result in increased runoff and water erosion, and reduced water available in the soil for plant growth. A physical crust can also restrict seedling emergence. Wind normally detaches only loosely held particles on the soil surface, but as blowing soil particles are accelerated by the wind they hit bare soil with sufficient energy to break additional particles loose from weakly aggregated soil.

This action increases the number of particles that can be picked up by the wind and abrade a physically-unprotected soil surface. What you can do: You can improve the aggregate stability of your soil by increasing levels of organic matter or applying specialized chemical compounds, such as anionic polyacrylamide PAM.

Practices that keep soil covered physically protect it from erosive forces that disrupt aggregation, while also building organic matter. Any practice that increases soil organic matter, and consequently biological activity, improves aggregate stability.

However, it can take several growing seasons or years for significant organic matter gains. In contrast, management activities that disturb soil and leave it bare can result in a rapid decline in soil organic matter, biological activity, and aggregate stability.

Aggregates form readily in soil receiving organic amendments, such as manure. Improving aggregate stability on cropland typically involves cover and green manure crops, residue management, sod-based rotations, and decreased tillage and soil disturbance.

Aggregate stability declines rapidly in soil planted to a clean-tilled crop. Pasture and forage plants have dense, fibrous root systems that contribute organic matter and encourage microbial activity. However, grazing and fertility must be managed to maintain stands and prevent development of bare areas or sparse vegetation. Conservation practices resulting in aggregate stability favorable to soil function include: Conservation tillage systems, such as no-till with cover crops, reduce soil disturbance, and provide and manage residue for increased soil organic matter and improved aggregate stability.

Additionally, surface roughness provided by crop residues protects soil from wind erosion.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)