In order to live a longer healthy life, the long lived people consume nutrient dense diets, consisting of foods that their bodies are able to absorb and utilize the most nutrients from. Dr. Joel Furhman in his book Eat for Health created the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) which is a score assigned to whole foods that contain the highest nutrients per calorie.
The ANDI Score goes from 1 to 1000 with 1 being a soda pop. The top ten foods that our bodies will get the most nutrients from per calorie are Kale, Collard Greens, Watercress, Bok Choy, Spinach, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Mustard Greens, and Parsley.
Unfortunately, those are the foods that Americans, and Western Culture in general consume the least of … yet by no small coincidence, they are the very foods we see the long lived people consuming again and again in our travels to the longevity villages.
So, what can you do? Start adding greens in your morning fruit smoothie, if you only add in a small amount to begin with you will not taste the greens and within a week you will find yourself craving more greens, reaching for more salads over processed foods and noticing a change in how you look, how you feel, and you will find the extra weight melting off your frame. Watch for our favorite longevity recipes, including green smoothies beginning next week.
Beginning now, ask to substitute greens as a side with your dinner or lunch at a restaurant instead of fries or coleslaw. At a buffet, fill your plate with dark leafy greens and top with raw fruits and vegetables, tofu, beans or rice. Skip the processed foods and foods smothered in sauces.
By making this small change in your daily diet, looking for the low calorie, nutrient dense whole plant foods to fill your plate instead, you will be headed down the path to longevity like the long lived people … remember “By birthright we are all entitled to live A Longer Healthy Life!”
Diane Haworth and Michael Varbaek, Longevity Researchers www.ALongerHealthyLife.com