Nutrient Dense Foods 101

Top Nutrient Dense Foods and Where To Find Them

Edible Project
Jun 30, 2017 · 4 min read
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny
nutrient density is the amount of nutrients in a food as a factor of the total energy (calories)

Our Favorite Nutrient Dense Foods

Here are 7 of our favorite nutrient dense foods. There are options here that you may have been overlooking — when was the last time you tried liver or natto? If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck (calories), take a look at some of the example foods and restaurant dishes below (taken from a database of the some of the best Los Angeles restaurants).

  • sea vegetables such as nori, kelp, dulse, algae, spirulina, and chlorella are high in minerals, iodine, magnesium, manganese, iron and trace minerals.
  • organ meats/liver are a great source of fat soluble vitamins and many nutrients (note: if you’re trying to ease into the taste of organ meats start out with heart and tongue and slowly transition the tastebuds to the more pungent liver and kidneys).
  • bone broth is rumored to heal the digestive tract, ameliorate joint pain, and enhance sleep.
  • shellfish such as oysters and mussels are extremely nutrient dense and provide a ton of daily vitamin B12 needs (lack of which is a concern on vegan diets). They also contain a huge dose of vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, selenium, zinc, and of course essential fatty acids.
  • natto or fermented soybean is high in vitamin K2 (helps bone clotting and building bones).
  • dark colored fruit, vegetables, or starches such as blueberries, raspberries, purple grapes, purple cabbage, kale, tomatoes, dark carrots, yams, and taro have polyphenols and bioactive compounds.

Eating Out? Here’s Some Example Dishes

With that said, We’ve compiled a list of specific dishes in the greater Los Angeles area.

  • Whole Avocado with wasabi nori, radish and miso tahini (v) // Plant Food and Wine
  • Cucumber With Basil has ranch, celery leaves, nori and salted kombu (which forms the base of the Japanese kombucha, a kombu kelp tea) (veg) // P.Y.T
  • Tuna Tartar with pickled chili, ginger and nori powder (gf) // Areal Restaurant
  • Rad Thai with kelp noodles, seasoned vegetables, teriyaki sauce (veg) // Wild Living Food
  • The aptly named “Superfoods” dish — a spirulina broth with tomato, macadamia cream, onion, ginger and chlorella (v) // Âu Lac LA
  • Organic Chicken Liver Mousse with sangria gelee, pickled strawberries & strawberry tartare // Farmshop
  • Smoked Chicken Liver Patée with preserved lemon and herb salad // Bestia
  • Grilled Thick-cut Prime Beef Tongue // Kinjiro
  • Mussels Tikka — green lip mussels, cilantro and grilled flatbread (oyster hour menu) // Herringbone
  • Oysters Ceviche Style // Blue Plate Oysterette
  • Liquid A.B.S., apples, pears, celery, and yams (v) // Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
  • Black Evolution Salad, low calorie yam noodles, tempeh, arugula, kale, bean sprouts and more goodies (v) // Shojin
  • Asap Yams Juice, yams, carrots, fuji apples, green apples, cinnamon, nutmeg (v) // Wild Living Foods
  • Mediterranean Burger, which uses a sweet potato and falafel patty, comes with Israeli salad, hummus, cabbage and tahini (v) // Fala Bar
  • Dynamite roll has red cabbage, cashew cheese, tomato, avocado, ginger, red onion, coco jerky, ranch hemp and flax oil (gf) // Wild Living Foods
  • The Keenwow Wrap has quinoa, red cabbage slaw, cucumber, tomato, romaine, avocado, artichoke tapenade, sriracha on a sprouted multigrain tortilla (gf) // Locali Venice

Concluding Remarks

Nutrient density is important, but if something is nutrient dense and your body can’t digest it then what’s the point? We’ll talk about digestibility in another post.

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