Hello, everybody. If you are anything like me, you are pretty much always in a rush, between work and a social life there’s not really a lot of time for me to eat, let alone eat healthy. So I got curious. What are the fastest way to get nutrients from a healthy source. That’s when I discovered the “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” (ANDI). The ANDI is a system that is used to rate the nutrient levels of fruits and veggies from 1 to 1000. Which I think is a pretty high number.
To determine the ANDI level of any particular fruit or vegetable, the ANDI system takes into account the vitamins, minerals, antioxidant capacities and the beneficial plant-based compounds (think chlorophyll). A high score means the plant contains more nutrients, which means healthier for you, which means faster nutrients in a smaller package, which means you can keep up with that healthy-super-busy lifestyle you’ve gotten so good at rocking.
The first seven items in out list are all leafy greens, no surprise there. In fact the top ten are all green, with carrots sneaking at number ten (with a score of 458). After the top ten the number drop pretty rapidly. Beloved broccoli only comes in with a score of 340.
In case you were wondering, the bottom ten include feta cheese (20), white bread (17), white pasta (16), French fries (12), cheddar cheese (11), apple juice (11), olive oil (10), vanilla ice cream (9), corn chips (7), cola (1). Wait a second, how did French fries top cheddar cheese?
Mustard Greens (Score: 1000)
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Nutrient dense greens. Just give up now and start making yourselves salad for lunch, make your own dressing, toss some fish or chicken on top. Maybe gets some seeds on them.
Collard Greens (Score: 1000)
A staple among southern comfort food, these are actually so good for you. Another thing to mix into your mustard green salad. Collard greens have anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties.
Kale (Score: 1000)
Hello, we call it a superfood for a reason. Kale chips are probably my favorite way to eat kale (and so easy to make at home). Kale is part of the same family of vegetables as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts (the healthier cousin). It’s chockfull of amino acids and antioxidants.
Watercress (Score: 1000)
Aquatic or semi-aquatic watercress is loaded with antioxidants that help slow down aging and delay the appearance of skin aging signs such as wrinkles and fine lines. Watercress sandwiches! Watercress sandwiches!!
Swiss Chard (Score: 895)
This is so easy to grow in your garden it’s absurd. Guard it from rabbits while it’s little and then go from there. Swiss chard helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers, anemia and osteoporosis.
Bok Choy (Score: 865)
This is the green thing you find in all American-Chinese food. That one tiny healthy part of essentially, a boxed heart attack. Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choi is a deep green leafy vegetable that is rich in folic acid and vitamin C that wards off infection and promotes healthy skin.
Spinach (Score: 707)
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A for good eyesight, and iron for the prevention of anemia. Sautee it with onions and feta cheese and roll it in a whole wheat wrap for a healthy version of Greek Spanakopita.
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