Nutrient Dense Foods


When it comes to eating and gardening, I am a firm believer in Nutrient Dense Foods. Dr. Joel Furhman has developed the following list of foods and their nutrient density so that we can all make better choices in our diets.

Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores 

Collards1000Cantaloupe100Skim Milk36
Bok Choy824Kidney Beans100Walnuts34
Spinach739Sweet Potato83Grapes31
Broccoli/Rabe715Black Beans83White Potato31
Napa Cabbage704Sunflower Seeds78Bananas30
Brussel Sprouts672Apple76Cashews27
Swiss Chard670Peach73Chicken Breast27
Arugula559Green Peas70Eggs27
Cabbage481Cherries68Peanut Butter26
Butterhead Lettuce412Flax Seeds65Whole Wheat Bread25
Romaine Lettuce389Pineapple64Feta Cheese21
Broccoli376Chick Peas57Whole Milk20
Carrot Juice344Oatmeal53Ground Beef20
Cauliflower295Pumpkin Seeds52White Pasta18
Green Peppers258Mango51White Bread18
Artichoke244Cucumber50Apple Juice16
Carrots240Soybeans48Swiss Cheese15
Asparagus234Pistachio Nuts48Low Fat Yogurt14
Strawberries212Corn44Potato Chips11
Pomegranate Juice193Brown Rice41American Cheese10
Tomato164Salmon39Vanilla Ice Cream9
Blueberries130Almonds38French Fries7
Iceberg Lettuce110Shrimp38Olive Oil2

Please notice that all of the non-starchy veggies and many of the fruits rank over 100 in the above chart. Dr. Fuhrman suggests that although raw foods are better for us by 30%, it is also good to cook them, at times, in soup form so as not to lose the nutrients that go into the water, so that we can eat more of them and so that we break down the nutrients since many times we don’t chew them well enough and the nutrients can go right through us.

I find that a better way to eat more of them, is to either blend them in a blender to make raw soups or to juice them (I will give you a list of my favorite kitchen gadgets in a future post). It is easier to drink a lot more veggies and fruits than it is to eat them and, also, when you blend or juice them, it masticates the pieces sooo small that you will also receive all of the nutrients when you digest them.

So, next time you plan your garden or your meals, please be sure to reference this list, above, to make sure that you are getting as much nutrition as possible from the food that you choose.

About Julie

A loan officer of 15 years, a gardener of 40 years, raised on a 1200 acre ranch raising 300 head of sheep. Creative and intuitive, she envisions beauty and makes it a reality whether with sewing, cooking, knitting on her knitting machine, in her home or in the garden. She is blessed to live with her best friend as her husband and she has always felt as one with God, nature and with animals and would turn to the mountains for strength and now lives her life, totally content in the Rockies at 8700 elevation.


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