We’d like to introduce you to our friend, ANDI. While ANDI isn’t an actually person, we assure you that it’s something you WANT to make besties with.
Because the standard American diet is laden with disease-causing foods—30% of calories coming from animal products and more than 55% from processed foods—Dr. Joel Fuhrman developed ANDI (aggregate nutrient dense index) in order to highlight which foods have the highest nutrient-per-calorie density.
Over the years, we have been drawn to raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. Plant-based everything, really. Being introduced to the ANDI scale was a godsend and has led us to foods and food combinations that give us the most nutritional bang for our veggie—and fruity—buck. After all, eating veggies in a willy nilly fashion isn’t good enough. Who knew?!
It’s important that the majority of the food we consume be high on the ANDI scale.
We had no idea that this thing of amazement existed, but we did suspect that iceberg wasn’t really lettuce at all . . . at least not in the sense that it contained anything of real nutritional value. What we didn’t know was that kale and collard greens were more valuable than romaine, which we have always reached for in a salad. No more though. Now our staples consist of dark green, leafy, woody cruciferous greens. If we stay in the ANDI 1000 range for the base of all of our foods, real miracles begin to occur within our bodies. An adequate consumption of micronutrients—vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals—without excessive caloric intake, is the key to achieving our best health. It’s no secret that “we are what we eat”: consuming the ultimate nutrient density options does for our body what breathing in fresh air does for our lungs. The nutrient density in our body is proportional to the nutrient density of our diet.
According to Dr. Fuhram, micronutrients fuel proper functioning of the immune system and enable the detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms that protect us from chronic diseases. With so many people engaging in mindless “plate to mouth” health plans (and killing themselves because of it), ANDI provides a method that helps you fuel your body with the most nutritionally power-packed food options (donned in invisible capes, they actually work in our bodies to fight off disease and illness).
You can continue to count empty calories, and read confusing labels, or tabulate elaborate points systems, or you can make ANDI your best friend forever and start choosing foods that deliver the most nutrients for each calorie you consume . . . when it comes to fueling our bodies, it doesn’t get any better than that.