Healthy Eating in Recovery- Food Choices and ANDI

Continuing with our re-education regarding eating well in recovery, did you know that not all fruits and veggies are created equal? Plenty of people have this misconception that a salad of iceberg lettuce and carrots is just as beneficial as a sautee with kale, radish and edamame. This is so far from the case.

Foods are rated on the ANDI scale, which stands for ‘Aggregate Nutrition Density Index”. ANDI is a scoring system that rates foods on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrition content (nutrition density). ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phtyochemicals, and antioxidant capacities. For example, collard greens boast a 1000 ANDI while lettuce only rates a 585-that’s almost 500 less for lettuce. Listed below are several food groups and their ANDI scores, although there are other groups such as nuts and herbs that are not listed here. Read these over and familiarize yourself with them so that you make sure that you are getting the most nutrient dense food whenever possible, and the next time that you go to grab some iceberg lettuce or try to convince yourself that some watermelon totally counts as your fruit and vegetable intake for the day, hopefully your ANDI knowledge will help you make better choices!

Green Vegetables

1. Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens: 1000

2. Kale: 1000

3. Swiss Chard: 1000

4. Upland/Watercress: 1000

5. Bok Choy/Baby Bok Choy: 865

6. Chinese/Napa Cabbage: 714

7. Spinach: 707

8. Arugula :604

9. Lettuce, Green Leaf: 585

10. Chicory: 516

Non-Green Vegetables

1. Radish: 502

2. Turnip: 473

3. Carrots: 458

4. Acorn Squash: 444

5. Broccoflower: 444

6. Cabbage: 434

7. Bell Pepper, Yellow or Orange: 371

8. Kholrabi: 352

9. Cauliflower: 315

10. Rutabaga: 296


1. Cranberries, Fresh: 207

2. Strawberries: 182

3. Blackberries: 171

4. Raspberries: 133

5. Blueberries: 132

6. Guava: 125

7. Grapefruit: 125

8. Grapes: 119

9. Pomegranate: 119

10. Cantalope: 118

11. Plum: 106

12. Orange: 98

13. Tangerine: 86

14. Apricots, Fresh: 75

15. Watermelon: 71


1. Edamame: 98

2. Pinto Beans: 86

3. Tofu: 82

4. Great Northern Beans: 77

5. Adzuki Beans: 74

6. Lentils: 72

7. Lima Beans: 69

8. Kidney Beans: 64

9. Black Beans: 61

10. Chickpeas (Garbanzos): 55


–Maya Beth Frank

Sober since 2007, Maya is a mother, wife, and writer for the lifestyle blog ‘My Life As Maya‘. She is also a freelance writer and resident contributor for several other blogs in the fashion, fitness and parenting spheres.

verified by Psychology Today

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  • Leslie Kelley
    Posted at 09:12h, 12 May Reply

    Thank you Maya for the information, I’ve never heard of the ANDI index. I guess I won’t be ordering the “wedge” salad slathered in blue cheese dressing!! haha

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