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We all know how to look for the calories, fats, and sugars in our foods, but did you know there is also a Nutrient Density Index that will tell you how your food choices rate on the micro-nutrient scale? It’s name is ANDI.
ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index,” a scoring system that rates foods on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities. ~Whole Foods Market
With this handy, dandy scale you can know where your favorite foods ranks and possibly see what foods you may want to start eating more of to add more nutrients into your diet.
I came across the ANDI scale during my IIN Health Coach studies. I had actually never heard about this before, but thought it was really interesting and wanted to pass it along to you.
Just like all other diets and lifestyles, a Nutritarian is someone that strives to find the best quality foods to be eating. They use the ANDI scale to help them find the most micro-nutrient and macro-nutrient foods possible for the diet.
Dr. Fuhrman as written a great article about how and why he created Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. In it he explains that learning and knowing about the nutrient density of your food can help someone to loose weight. The more nutrient dense food you can consume, the more satisfied you will be and the less calories you will consume.
Now, if I were to list all the ratings for each veggie, nut, and grain, this post would be EXTREMELY long, but I will list a few for you so you can see what I’m talking about.
How Does Your Food Add Up The ANDI Nutritional Scale
For a more detailed list, you can visit the Whole Foods site. There you will find the complete ANDI Guide.
Vegetables ANDI Score
- Collard Greens/Mustard/Turnip 1000
- Kale 1000
- Swiss Chard 1000
- Bok Choy 865
- Spinach 707
- Carrots 458
- Mushrooms 238
- Green Peas 63
- Fresh Cranberries 207
- Strawberries 182
- Grapefruit 125
- Orange 98
- Watermelon 71
- Edamame 98
- Great Northern Beans 77
- Lentils 72
- Black Beans 61
- Chickpeas 55
Nuts & Seeds
- Flax seeds 103
- Chia Seeds 46
- Pumpkin Seeds 39
- Pecans 33
- Cashews 27
- Old Fashioned Oats 53
- Wild Brown Rice 43
- Whole Grain Cornmeal 22
- Bulgar 17
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The Nutrient Equation
Dr. Fuhrman has also put together this simple equation:
This means, your HEALTH is predicted by your NUTRIENT intake divided by your CALORIE intake.
Along with daily water intake, our bodies need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These three elements is what makes up our calories. We need both nutrients and calories from our food to live a healthy lifestyle. So, Dr. Furhman’s thinking is that the key to optimizing or health is making sure the food we are eating is nutrient rich.
My Thoughts On the ANDI Scale
The ANDI scale, for me, is extremely interesting. Some of my favorite foods to eat actually ranked pretty low, so to speak, on the scale. Foods like spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cashews, but that’s OK. It’s just a scale. A tool that I can use to further my knowledge of what’s healthy to eat and maybe what foods I could be eating more of.
If you noticed, all the foods on the ANDI scale are all from nature. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. This just shows me, again, that plant-based foods play a HUGE roll in a healthy diet. It’s in my humble opinion that you could never go wrong eating nutrient-rich plant foods, no matter what their score is.
How About You?
Have you ever heard of the ANDI score before? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thanks for stopping by & have a healthy, happy day!