The Most Nutritionally Dense Foods; A Doctor and Billionaire Agree

Leap into good health by selecting foods with the highest nutritional density scores. Here a medical doctor and a research-oriented billionaire show you the best foods on the planet for vibrant health and longevity.

Fuhrman ANDI chart. Nutritionally dense foods.

DO YOU know ANDI?

“ANDI” is the acronym for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”, which is the numerical measurement of the nutritional density of food, including its vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and phytochemical composition. The index was developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman of Eat Right America.

[Read how Dr. Fuhrman’s vegetarian diet stacks up to the paleo diet here.]

Selecting nutritional dense foods to eat serves you two major benefits:

1. Your body gets the best fuel for growth, energy and repair; and
2. You get fuller with less calories.

What’s not to like about that?

Well, turns out, (apparently) there’s lots not to like about many of the most nutritionally dense foods, because so few of us eat them regularly. Instead, we go for the dopamine rush of salt/sugar/fat/crunch.

Caramelized popcorn, anyone?

Once your palette is lathered by additive-designed manufactured “food”, the ole garden variety (you know, the stuff that grows on farms) simply can not compete.

It’s like someone who can no longer taste the natural salt occurring in food because he adds salt to everything, and/or is accustomed to boxed, canned foods or restaurant food that invariably have copious amounts of salt added.

If you…

– primarily eat from cans, boxes or in restaurants,
– are overweight,
– sluggish
– constipated
– wrinkled before your time
– have chronic inflammation
– have high blood sugar
– have high blood pressure…

Well, then, consider gradually adding some ANDI foods to your diet.

One easy way to do this is to get a pile of greens into your blender and whip up a morning green drink for breakfast.

I do.

 

Blend Your Greens

Most of the year, I’ve got kale, red chard, arugula, cilantro and various lettuce species growing in my backyard garden.

Each morning, I pitter patter around the house and clip some greens that then get stuffed into my blender, along with hemp and sprout protein powder, chia seeds, blueberries, fish oil, chlorophyll and Indian gooseberry (for high blood sugar).

A long time veggie juicer, I decided to also grind some greens in the blender after I discovered that my very cheap blender does the job adequately.

It’s an Oster brand blender, bottom of the line, as in like 33 bucks. Glass container, cheapo silver base, sharp blades. I was surprised that it liquifies the vegetable matter quite well.

Now, I’m not implying that a cheapo is as good as my Mother’s Vitamix, of which I’m quite fond, but consider this: one costs $33 and the other, $530.

Which is to say, you can cross out the excuse that you’d need to ransom your kids’ education for a blender good enough to liquify your veggies.

 

Dr. Fuhrman and David Murdock, Soul Mates

OK, back to the esteemed Dr. Fuhrman, and I’ll throw in a billionaire as well.

At this point you might have an inkling that Dr. Fuhrman extolls the value and benefits of having a plant based diet.

He has good company.

There’ this billionaire, David Murdock, who has spent millions identifying the healthiest foods on the planet, and they also are primarily plant based.

Mr. Murdock hasn’t ranked the food as does Dr. Fuhrman with his ANDI scale, but the research he sponsored has come up with the 33 healthiest foods on earth, which I list in An 86 Year-old Billionaire’s Recipe for Longevity. (He’s now 90 years old!)

I was interested to learn which food selections made both lists — Fuhrman’s most nutritious and Murdock’s top 33, so below I copied/pasted Fuhramn’s ANDI list and underlined those foods also appearing on Murdock’s list.

Before you scan it, note something I picked up from the Life Extension Foundation’s Dr. Mike Smith, who referring to the ANDI list said this:

“A food source can be given an ANDI score anywhere from 1 to 1,000, with higher numbers indicating more nutrient dense foods. However, following a diet that’s based solely on ANDI food probably isn’t a great idea. Here’s why: The ANDI doesn’t take things like fat content into account. If you were to eat exclusively ANDI foods with scores of 800–1000, you definitely wouldn’t get enough of the good fats into your body.” (Source)

I mention this because, as Dr. Smith suggests, even a plant-dominated diet needs to include the three macronutrients — protein, fat and carbohydrates — even if some of those respective foods are not high up on the nutrient density score.

And now, here’s the ANDI food chart with David Murdock’s healthy food list noted by those foods that are underlined.

Eat Right America’s Nutrient Density Score
Most Nutrient Dense Score Mid Nutrient Dense Score Least Nutrient Dense Score
Kale

Collards

Bok Choy

Spinach

Brussels Sprouts

Arugula

Cabbage

Romaine

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Green Pepper

Artichoke

Carrots

Asparagus

Strawberry

Pomegranate

Tomato

Blueberries

Iceberg

Orange

Lentils

1,000

1,000

824

739

672

559

481

389

376

295

258

244

240

234

212

193

164

130

110

109

104

Cantaloupe

Kidney Beans

Sweet Potato

Sunflower Seeds

Apple

Peach

Green Peas

Cherries

Flax Seed

Pineapple

Oatmeal

Mango

Cucumber
Pistachio Nuts

Soybeans

Corn

Salmon

Almonds

Shrimp

Tofu

Avocado

Skim Milk

100

100

83

78

76

73

70

68

65

65

64

53

51

50

48

48

44

39

38

37

37

36

Walnuts

Grapes

White Potato

Banana

Chicken

Eggs

Peanut Butter

Whole Wheat

Feta Cheese

Whole Milk

Ground Beef

White Pasta

White Bread

Apple Juice

Swiss Cheese

Low Fat Yogurt

Potato Chips

American Cheese

Vanilla Ice Cream

Olive Oil

French Fries

Cola

34

31

31

30

27

27

26

25

21

20

20

18

18

16

15

14

11

10

9

9

7

0.6

[GO here for David Murdock’s list of the 33 healthiest foods.]

Well, that wraps up another post.  Let us know if you think blending your greens might be a good, fast, doable way for you to get high density nutrition.

Just put your “two cents” in the Comments below.

Thanks, and ciao for now.

Share. Someone you know will be thankful.
Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: