I just came back from the kitchen, after gulping down my routine green shake. I can still taste the sweetness of the pear on my lips, coupled with the kale’s light earthly flavor.
You see, every day, I make it a point to ensure that my body is given the fuel it needs – not just to function, but to THRIVE.
I used to ask myself loads of questions back when I jumped head first into this health-seeking journey. How to make sure I’m getting everything I need from my diet? What are the most nutrient-dense foods you can feed on, to keep you going on a weekly basis?
I’ll keep the answer short, and my writing focused.
Let me introduce you to the ANDI index. It stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, and was created by a leading anti-aging physician: Dr Joel Fuhrman. The index ranks foods based on their mineral and vitamin content. It also takes into account the free-radical countering abilities of foods – to put it more simply, their antioxidant content.
Vitamins & minerals are absolutely essential to cell function and growth. They are involved in about everything your organs do: convert food into energy, heal wounds, build neurotransmitters for your neurons to communicate, fortify your bones, improve your white cell count, regulate your body temperature & blood pressure… Their uses are virtually limitless.
I’m sure you understand by now why the ANDI index interests us. More specifically, foods that are high on the index. Fruits & leafy greens utterly dominate the top of the index; remember how I wrote in other posts that plants are the king of food? Now, I am not claiming that a vegetarian regimen is “superior” to other diets, I’m simply suggesting that you munch on several servings of veggies/fruits every day.
Here are the 20 foods, showcasing a decently high score on the index, that I base my diet around. I’ve listed them in no particular order, and I’ve picked them from various food groups. My aim was not to dumbly pinpoint the 20 first foods starting from the top of the index, but rather to gather a balanced mix of slow-release carbs, greens, meat and fish. 😀
Veggies & fruits:
- brussel sprouts
- romaine lettuce
- red pepper
- collard greens
- sweet potatoes
Meat & poultry:
- lean beef
- white fish
- sardines and mackerel (I don’t know how these two rank in the ANDI index, but they’re practical and full of omega 3s, so I’ll still jot them here)
- eggs (eat those egg yolks, cholesterol ain’t near as bad as you think it is)
Someone who centers their diet around these 20 ingredients will most likely have an aesthetic physique and an optimal health. Should you want to browse a more detailed version of the ANDI index, I suggest you click here. Each food is given a score between 1000 and 0, but that doesn’t mean you should eat nothing but foods with scores of 800+… If you did your diet would be extremely repetitive -and vegan too! Additionally, you need to get your fat and proteins from somewhere. That’s where seafood, eggs, meat, and poultry come in handy.