Friday, September 24, 2010

Andi/Mandi scores for better nutrition

After including the recipe for the green smoothies yesterday, I felt it would be a good idea to tell you why I think it is so important to include collards, kale, spinach and even mustard greens when making smoothies. I know some might find these odd ingredients and it might take a little getting used to, but including greens gives a smoothie a huge nutritional boost. Maybe even more of a boost than you realize.

When I read Joel Fuhrman's book, "Eat to Live," I was very impressed by the way he based his theories about healthy eating on scientific study. One of the things he came up with was a system for measuring the nutritional density of any given food. He put foods on a scale of .5 to 1000 and kale and collards are right at the top of the list. They are nature's most nutritious foods. You get more vitamins, minerals and nutritional benefits from greens than any other food. Not only do they have more nutritional benefits but they top the list of all foods by a large margin.

Soon after reading the Fuhrman book, I stopped by Whole Foods and realized they post the ANDI scores of foods throughout their stores so this scoring has become a widely recognized system for measuring the nutritional food density.

To help you understand by using the numbers, kale has an ANDI score of 1000. Bananas have an ANDI score of just 30. The score for blueberries is 130, carrots -- 240, apples -- just 72, so you can see that when you add the greens, the value of the calories you eat a smoothie jumps dramatically.

I might not be explaining it very well but the book really goes into detail and the Whole Foods website does a good job giving information, too.

Does adding greens effect the taste -- not very much. Interestingly, cooking greens intensifies their flavor but eating it raw doesn't add too much taste, just nutritional value. You really taste the fruit, especially the banana, but the greens don't seem to add anything but ANDI points. Now, I wouldn't make a smoothie without adding the greens. Find out more about ANDI/MANDI scores by going to or and I think it will make a difference how you view the lowly kale, collards or other nutritionally dense green.

1 comment:

  1. That is so interesting. When you think of it, that is a big nutritional boost and if it doesn't change the taste of things, why not?
    Thank you for sharing, I will follow up on the links you provided.
    Hope you have a great weekend,