You don’t have to eat a ton of food to become well nourished. In fact, it’s about nutrient density that matters. So what is nutrient density? Well, it’s actually a ratio where you compare the amount of calories in a given food to its nutritional value. So its vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and anti-oxidents. So of course, the goal is to try and get as much as each nutrient while taking in as few calories as possible. So an example would be Kale. Kale scores 1000, which is right at the top of the chart because it’s very high in nutrients relative to the amount of calories it has. Whereas soda, for example, gets a 1. It’s right at the bottom because it’s very high in calories, yet it has very few nutrients. So if we can base our diet on those nutrient dense whole foods, we’re obviously going to get more nutrition in. It’s not about volume. You don’t have to eat more food, you just have to get better quality food, and alkaline forming, too. Foods that are nutrient dense are inherently more alkaline forming, because minerals are extremely alkaline forming, and minerals, of course, are nutrients. So they go hand in hand. Also, brightly and intensely colored fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are also nutrients. So when you pick those bright oranges, reds, greens, purples, blues, you’re going to be assured of getting more nutrition in a smaller volume of food, and that’s a good thing. High Net Gain Nutrition is one of the most important elements of the Thrive Diet. It’s basically about getting more for less. Spend less digestive energy to get more nutrition. So a calorie is a measure of food energy, so for a long time I used to think the more calories I ate, the more energy I would have. That’s not the case because you have to spend a lot of energy to digest and assimilate highly processed foods. Energy is just like anything else – you spend it, and you no longer have it. So I started to look at food as a form of investment. You spend a small amount of energy, but you get a big nutritional return back. That’s High Net Gain Nutrition. So, Vega One, for example – extremely high net gain. Only 135 calories – very nutrient dense, and easy to digest. Antioxidants and phytonutrients are an important component of the nutrient density score, and here’s why: when you breathe in polluted air, cigarette smoke, or you get herbicides and pesticides in your system from eating non-organic food, that builds up and increases your risk of getting disease. So when you get enough antioxidants through these nutrient dense foods, that offsets it, so it combats it, and it significantly reduces your risk of disease. Antioxidants and phytonutrients include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium. The best sources for those are brightly colored vegetables. To expand on what you’ve just learned about High Net Gain Nutrition and Nutrient Density, check out the supplemental materials and recipes on this page.