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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Top 10 Herbs by Nutrient Density

By now, many of you may be familiar with the “ANDI Scores” when you walk into the produce section of Whole Foods Market.

Created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” and ranks a food’s nutrient density on a scale from 1 to 1000.

The ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities, and by dividing the nutrient level of a food by its caloric content (N/C).

For context, kale, a dark leafy green, scores 1000 while soda scores 1.

As provided by Whole Foods Market, here are the top 10 most nutrient-dense herbs and their respective ANDI scores.

1. Basil – 518

2. Cilantro – 481

3. Spearmint – 457

4. Tarragon – 426

5. Oregano – 426

6. Thyme – 422

7. Parsley – 381

8. Dill – 326

9. Chives – 319

10. Peppermint – 293

Other scores include: Bay Leaves – 271, Rosemary – 84, and Lemongrass – 55.

MY TAKE

I think the ANDI scores are an excellent reference tool, especially when you are shopping and are not sure about which food to purchase.

That being said, it is just one assessment and is not the only guide that a person should use when deciding which specific foods to eat.

When it comes to herbs, many of us consume them for their medicinal properties and the health benefits that these herbs provide may not be adequately represented in ANDI score rankings.

Nevertheless, I thought that it would be interesting to show you how the top herbs rank, and the scores may cause you to investigate which herbs you are consuming or ought to be consuming.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows — most notably, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West —  talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can and reading books, I have come to the following conclusion:

You can take almost any food in the world and some health expert will have something good to say about it while a different health expert will have something bad to say about it.

So, what I do is educate myself as much as I can and then make my own decision about whether I should be eating it or not.

The following five organic foods seem to be the most controversial. While books could be written on all of the foods below and by no means am I covering all of the pros/cons of each, I will try to highlight the most salient points.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Organic Apples Contain More Diverse, Healthier Bacteria than Conventional

An apple a day will keep the doctor away.

Thanks to a new study, that saying has taken on even more meaning, particularly for organic apples.

In a recently published paper in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, it was found that organic apples contain a more diverse population of beneficial bacteria than conventional apples.

Researchers analyzed the peel, flesh, seeds, and stem of both organically and conventionally grown apples, looking to find how much and what kinds of bacteria were present. While organic and conventional apples contained the same amount of bacteria, there was a big discrepancy in the types of bacteria found.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — GMOs and Weedkiller Found in Conventional Cereal

If anyone you know is still feeding their children conventional cereal, maybe this piece of news will get them to change their habits.

GMO Free USA, a non-profit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs, just published its results of independent lab tests (verified by DNA analysis) done on Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal.

Here’s what they found:

1) 100% of the corn in the Froot Loops was genetically-modified, containing DNA sequences known to be present in insecticide-producing Bt and Roundup Ready corn. This corn produces insecticides inside of the plant’s cells and cannot be washed off.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink