The ANDI scoring system measures your diet’s nutrient density per calorie. In this article, I go over a few of the top healthiest foods. I break down their nutrition. Then, I show you how to combine all of them to create a highly nutritious and flavorful easy meal: high-raw vegan collard wraps.
You can watch my video for the top healthiest foods here:
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Rating the Top Healthiest Foods: the andi Scoring System
The ANDI score is a grading system developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”. The ANDI score ranks foods from 1 to 1,000 based on the density of nutrients they have per calorie. ANDI scores are calculated by adding up vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals and antioxidants to determine the top healthiest foods.
Whole Foods Market uses this score to guide consumers on the highest nutrient-density vegetables in different categories. I have chosen 5 categories: the green vegetables, non-green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs, and have picked the top 1 or 2 items from each, to create a wonderful savory meal. This is one of the highest-nutrition meals you could ever consume. I have skipped the fruit category as I do not like to mix fats and fruits for optimal digestion. It is a great idea to consume berries daily, as they are one of the highest nutrient fruits.
It’s amazing to see that most of these foods protect against the major killers in the Western world today: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. To protect yourself and prevent disease, make sure to focus your diet on consuming these top healthiest foods to take advantage of every calorie you have. This does not mean you should eat the same things every single day – be sure to eat a variety of healthy, delicious foods.
10 Healthiest Foods to Eat Every Single Day
As a way to help you eat healthy daily, I have created a free guide + recipe ebook with 10 food categories you should eat every single day.
Now, let’s get into these top healthiest foods!
Top Healthiest Food in the Green Vegetables Category:
ANDI score: 1000
Collard greens are in the cruciferous vegetable family, making them a powerhouse of nutrition. They are high in protein, fiber, vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, several B vitamins, and magnesium. In addition, they are rich in vitamin K, folate, choline, phosphorus, and potassium. Their high antioxidant content helps fight several illnesses.
They are very protective against obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and help with a healthy complexion and hair, energy, digestion, and weight loss. Due to their vitamin K content, they are also protective against bone fractures. Their vitamin K content also helps improve calcium absorption. Furthermore, their choline content helps with sleep, mood, muscle movement, learning and memory, as well as reducing chronic inflammation.
Top Healthiest Foods in the Non-Green Vegetable Category:
ANDI score: 502
Radishes are a great source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium, and riboflavin, as well as copper, B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium. Like collards, they are also a cruciferous vegetable.
The many phytochemicals and antioxidants in radishes protect the body against cancer and fight free radicals. Additionally, their consumption helps rebuild tissues and blood vessels, and keeps bones and teeth strong. They boost the immune system, and help fight heart disease, and stroke.
Radishes help with digestion due to their fiber content, and end burning sensation during urination. They are a natural diuretic, purifying the kidneys and urinary system and relieving inflammation. They regulate blood pressure, relieve congestion, prevent respiratory problems, and also have antibacterial and detoxifying properties. Studies have found black radishes to be particularly detoxifying.
Radishes also help remove bilirubin, which causes yellow skin and eyes due to its build up in the liver. They also inhibit red blood cell damage as they supply oxygen to the blood.
ANDI score: 458
Carrots are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K, B8, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. In addition, they are famously high in beta-carotene.
Consuming carrots helps with reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, lowering risk for macular degeneration and improving eyesight. Additionally, it helps with preventing heart disease, stroke, diabetes (as they are good for regulating blood sugar) and cancer, improve vision, reducing the signs of premature aging, boosting immunity, improving digestion, detoxifying the body, and boosting oral health.
Carrots have antiseptic qualities, can act as laxatives, and as remedy for liver conditions. Lastly, they are great for dry skin, improve stomach and gastrointestinal health.
Top Healthiest Food in the Bean Category:
ANDI score: 98
Edamame are soybeans that are harvested when they are still green and immature, yet edible. They are low in fat, and extremely high in protein, fiber and many other essential vitamins and minerals. 1 cup of edamame has 6% of the RDI for all nutrients, but vitamin D and B12. They are a complete protein, providing about 30% of the daily value for men, and 37% for women. Edamame beans also contain the anti-inflammatory heart protective omega 3 fatty acids.
They have amazing health benefits for the body. Consuming edamame helps strengthen the immune system, improve bone health, heart health, digestive health, and helps with weight management. Their consumption also helps inhibit tumor growth and improves lung function for asthma patients. Lastly, they help with managing age-related skin issues for menopausal women.
Great misinformation abounds regarding soy products like edamame. The presence of phytoestrogen in edamame is not the same as estrogen. While the steroid hormone estrogen is plentiful in the body, consuming it in large amounts may increase risk of cancer by encouraging cells to multiply. Soy does not contain estrogen. However, animal foods do. This is true for grass-fed and organic animals as well. The phytoestrogens in soy (isoflavones) have shown a protective benefit against hormone-dependent cancers. See more on this here.
You can buy edamame fresh or frozen, and either shelled or unshelled. Be sure to purchase green edamame so that their freshness is maintained. It is also important to buy organic and non-GMO edamame, as much of the soybeans today are GMO, causing a variety of studied harmful impacts to the body.
Top Healthiest Foods in the Nuts and Seeds Category:
ANDI Score: 103
Flax seeds are truly magical little guys! As early as the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed a law making flax seed consumption mandatory in his kingdom!
They contain lignans, which carry antioxidants and enzymes. Flax seeds are a great source of omega 3’s and 6’s in the best, anti-inflammatory omega-3 favoring ratio (see more on the importance of omega ratios here). They are also full of fiber, aiding digestion.
Their many nutrients help maintain cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, lung disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. They even help with hot flashes.
Buying and Storing Tips:
Be sure to grind flax seeds right before use. Otherwise, they will not be absorbed and digested and you will not get their magical benefits. Be sure to keep flax, and all of your nuts and seeds, in the freezer or fridge, to prevent oxidation and make sure they retain all of their nutrients.
ANDI Score: 74
Sesame seeds contain high amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and tryptophan. They are also high in fiber and protein.
Consumption of sesame seeds is beneficial for:
- preventing diabetes,
- lowering blood pressure,
- preventing cancer,
- building strong bones,
- protecting against radiation,
- increasing heart health,
- helping with sleep disorders,
- improving digestion,
- reducing inflammation,
- boosting respiratory health,
- strengthening oral health,
- aiding in healthy growth,
- improving circulation,
- detoxifying the body,
- and lastly, improving mood and reducing stress.
Top Healthiest Foods in the Herbs Category:
ANDI Score: 518
While basil is often looked at as a fragrant herb to add to dishes, it is so much more than a side-kick.
It is packed with vitamin K, manganese, copper, vitamin A, C, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, and even omega-3 fatty acids.
Basil contains a unique variation of flavonoids, which provide protection from radiation and oxidative damage. Basil’s anti-bacterial properties stem from its volatile oils. According to research, basil essential oil has demonstrated the ability to inhibit bacterial growth, which has become resistant to antibiotic drugs. Basil is also highly anti-inflammatory, working similarly to aspirin and ibuprofen to inhibit a certain enzyme that causes inflammation, which helps individuals with arthritis and bowel disease. It is also very protective against heart disease, and blocks free radical damage, which can lead to conditions like asthma and arthritis. Lastly, holy basil, which is related to sweet basil, has been found to greatly improve mood.
ANDI Score: 481
One of the world’s oldest spices native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, cilantro is very high in the vitamins K, C, and A. Additionally, it is extremely high in phytonutrients including quercetin and active phenolic acid compounds.
The plant has been studied for its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering abilities. It helps stimulate secretion of insulin and lower blood sugar, lowers levels of LDL, while increasing HDL (good cholesterol). The volatile oils found in the coriander plant have antimicrobial properties, some of which have been shown to fight salmonella. Eating cilantro is a great way to rid the body of heavy metals.
Now that we know what incredible nutrients our gorgeous meal is going to contain, let’s enjoy it.
The Top Healthiest Foods High-Raw Vegan Collard Wraps
- 1 cup shelled organic edamame beans
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 4 tablespoons raw tahini
- 1 green onion
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 collard leaves
- Sprouts, about 1 cup
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 1/2 daikon radish
- 1 heirloom tomatoe, or any tomato you have on hand
- Cook edamame according to package instructions
- Cool edamame beans, running them under cold water, so that they don't heat up the other ingredients, lowering their nutrient content
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until very smooth
- Taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste
- Wash collard leaves
- Use a very sharp knife to cut a part of the collard leaf stalk. Do this by laying down your leaf on a cutting board, laying your knife flat to the leaf, and carefully cutting across the collard leaf to remove about half the stalk. We do this to make it easier to roll your wraps.
- Cut all veggies to your liking, and put them off to the side.
- Lay about 2 tablespoons of the hummus in the center of the collard leaf. Layer topics on top in a row (see the photo above).
- To roll, fold 1 side of the collard leaf (on the wide side), then fold over both sides (on the length side), and roll like you would a burrito.
- I love cutting the daikon radish and carrots using a vegetable slicer, as I describe in this article: http://soulintheraw.com/2016/10/08/spiralizer-comparison-vegetable-noodler-3-of-soul-in-the-raws-best-spiralized-recipes/
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