Top Nutrient-Dense Foods

Nutrient-dense food is defined as being high in nutrients and low in kilojoules/calories. The type of nutrients vary depending on the analysis.

In the tabs below we look a few different studies of nutrient dense foods as well as foods high in protein, calcium and resistance starch


Dr Axe Nutrient Dense Food

2Liver (Beef and Chicken)
3Kale, collards and dandelion greens
4Broccoli rabe
5Exotic berries: acai, goji, camu camu
6Spinach, watercress and arugula
7Broccoli and cauliflower
9Red peppers
12Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
16Wild salmon and sardines
17Bone broth
18Grass-fed beef
19Green beans
20Egg yolks
25Wild mushrooms
26Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax
27Raw cheese and kefir
28Sweet potatoes
29Black beans
30Wild rice

CDC Nutrient Dense Foods

In a study conducted by Jennifer Di Noia, PhD to determine powerhouse fruits and vegetables, a nutrient density score was established based on a 2000 calorie diet and 100g. The study analysed 17 nutrients of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine (ie, potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K)

the following table was used when determining the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals

Bioavailability of Vitamins and Minerals

Source: Centres for Disease Control & Prevention

Protein Dense Foods:

Food Amount of protein in 100g KjCalories
Tuna, yellowfin, grilled31.0g674161
Beef, rump, grilled29.9g910218
Chicken, breast, baked29.0g637152
Cheddar cheese24.6g1304312
Prawn, school, cooked17.1g32077
Cashew Nuts17.0g2437583
Chia seeds15.6g2052491
Egg, chicken, poached12.2g627150
Lentils9 g477114
Quinoa, cooked4.4g500120
Milk, regular fat3.5g29370

Source: NatureCare

Calcium Dense Foods:

Average portion size

Calcium (mg)




100 gm Parmesan cheese (finely grated)11211949466
100 gm Swiss8851512362
100 gm gouda8101605384
100 gm Edam8101485355
100 gm Cheddar (regular fat)7631663398
100 gm Pecorino7431512362
100g Sardines (canned)367916219
100 gm Australian salmon – canned, drained352680163
100 gm Fetta3251165279
100 gm Yogurt (plain, regular)19336788
100 gm Mussells173503120
100 gm Anchovy – Canned drained167762182
100 gm Crabmeat – canned, drained15424759
100 gm Oysters13230372
100 gm Snapper12340597
100 ml Milk (regular)11727766
100 gm Chicken Egg – poached53627150


100 gm Basil35211928
100 gm tahini (sesame paste)3302717650
100 gm Tahini3302717650
100g firm tofu320530127
100 gm Almond with skin2502503599
100 gm Parsley raw, curly24511026
100 gm Dried Figs2001082259
100 gm Chia Seeds1792052491
100 gm Cabbage, Bok choy stir-fried, no oil12311628
100 gm sunflower seeds1002465590
100 gm Broccolini, steamed10013833
100 gm Coriander, fresh, leaves & stems8416740
100 gm Sesame seeds622530605
100g fresh fig3819547
100g hemp seeds372300550
100g rhubarb269422


Foods Rich in Resistance Starch:


grams per 100g

Brown Rice*3
White Rice**3.7
Green Bananas10 to 40
Red Beans**8
Steamed and Cooled Potatoes6
Cashew Nuts13