Category Archives: Nutrition

Singing the praises of kale

As I was passing through the salad bar area in Whole Foods the other day, I noticed some new signage over the veggies and fruits. Coming in at the tip-top among the veggies with a score of 1,ooo was kale, one of my new favorite foods.

An ANDI score is a number that represents the nutrient density of a food on a scale of 1 to 1,000 based on nutrient content.

ANDI stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.  Scores are calculated by assessing the micronutrients, of a particular food, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities.

I’ve made the True Food Tuscan Kale Salad recipe by Dr. Andrew Weil so many times that I now know it by heart. Everybody always asks me for the link after I serve it. Even people who say they hate vegetables adore it. I’ve served it to people who have never even heard of kale before.

They love it.

I served kale salad for our family fourth of July picnic at the beach. I served it for Thanksgiving and sent my daughter back to college with an extra container of it for her dorm fridge. It’s on her top three list of “what I miss most about mom’s home cooking.”

I think she may have even approached dining services to ask if they could serve Tuscan kale salad in the cafeteria.

Kale is considered a “super-food” by many. Dr. Suneil Jain, NMD, a naturopathic physician who practices in Scottsdale, sings the praises of kale as a superfood. Here are nine reasons why:

1.  Kale has many anti-inflammatory properties which can ward off diseases like arthritis and heart disease.

2.  It is rich in Vitamin A, C, E, K, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), calcium, iron, manganese, and copper.

3.  Kale delivers 136 grams of oxygen per pound.

4.  Kale has environmental benefits, too. It’s a sustainable food that easily grows in most climates.

5.  One serving of kale not only contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, but it also provides 2 grams of protein.

6.  Kale contains sulphorane which boosts detoxification enzymes.

7. It’s also rich in indole-3-carbinol which has been shown to protect against xenoestrogens, or industrial compounds that can mimic estrogen in the body.

8.  Kale contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which are great protectors against cataracts and good for eye health.

9. Kale also contains omega-3 fats. They can lower the amount of lipids in the body- which means kale can be part of a diet that keeps cholesterol and triglycerides in check.

Top Ten ANDI scores of foods by category