If you have ever been to a Whole Foods grocery store, you may have noticed the ANDI scores scattered throughout the store. The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) was created by Joel Fuhrman, a family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 0 to 1000 based on nutrient content. The scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities. Whole Foods has adopted this scoring system as a means to help their customers understand what foods contain the most nutrients.
One of the highest scoring greens, with a rating of 1,000 points, is watercress. This was a surprise to me because it seems like such a meek little veggie compared to brocolli which doesn't even make the top 10 list. I had never even purchased watercress until I found this out, but am now doing so. I'm certainly not implying that the lower scoring vegetables and fruits shouldn't be consumed, but it has made me more aware of what I'm feeding my family and what we should be getting more of in our diet.
The ANDI scoring system is a great tool to use but it's important to know how to use it and apply it to your own diet. For example, if you chose only to eat foods from the Top 10 list on the scale, your diet would be too low in fat, which has a lower score, but is essential for good health and longevity. So, it's important to know what your body requires and make adjustments accordingly.
The foods you choose to put into your body regularly should meet the Gold Standard mentioned already. Now, there will be times that you 'slip' or even 'fall' away from what's best for you. And, that's alright as long as you get back up, dust yourself off and pick up where you left off.
I have a tendency to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater' when I make a poor food choice. I say to myself "Well, I've already eaten 3 cookies, I might as well go have something fried, or pizza." Admittedly, that's not the right approach to take. It's so easy to take a downward spiral from there and just go crazy. Instead, I could say to myself, "I just ate 3 cookies. I know that wasn't the best choice, but I think I'll have a green smoothie now."
That kind of thinking will lead to better food choices, balance and disallows negativity and guilt to be the guiding force behind what's consumed. That kind of thinking leads to Eating Pure Gold, one step at a time.