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High Nutrient Eating: The Basis of Nutritional Excellence

by Eleanor Kurtus, PhD (revised 10 August 2015)

The key concept of nutritional excellence—or the Nutritarian diet—is this:

For optimal health and weight, you must consume a diet with a high nutrient-per-calorie ratio.

An individual who practices nutritional excellence consumes foods that are high in micronutrient density. Foods that are low in micronutrients are either avoided or consumed sparingly. This diet style of nutritional excellence is supported by published studies in nutritional science and clinical case histories. It is designed to optimize health and longevity.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer

H = N / C

The cornerstone of the Nutritarian philosophy is the equation H = N / C.

Food recommendations are based on the nutrient per calorie ratio, specifically the micronutrient to macronutrient ratio. Macronutrients are the source of all calories, but it is the micronutrient content that strengthens the immune system and promotes superior health. Micronutrients, or phytochemicals, are not optional; they are essential for normal functioning of the immune system.

Micronutrient adequacy without excessive calories is necessary to maximize cellular efficiency and repair cellular damage, to prevent and treat health conditions and to promote longevity. This concept is embodied in the equation H = N / C. Your health is predicted and supported by your nutrient intake divided by your calorie intake and represents the nutrient density of your diet.

Foods highest in micronutrients

The foods highest in micronutrients and lowest in calories are green vegetables and they form the basis of a nutritional excellent diet.

A summary of the top foods that satisfy the equation are:

Kale/collards/ mustard greens

Arugula/ watercress

Green lettuce/ cabbage

Broccoli/ Brussels sprouts

Carrots/ tomatoes

Onions/ garlic





Synergy from variety

Another important concept is that we need a variety of foods to meet all of the body’s needs.

The Nutritarian approach uses a combination of high nutrient foods because a combination is more effective than any single one food. A combination of foods provides a synergistic effect that fuels self-healing and has self-protective properties.

Essential foods - GBOMBS

 The essential foods can be summed by the acronym GBOMBS – greens, berries, onions, mushrooms, beans, seeds. 

Strive to eat a diet of GBOMBS every day:








The key concept of the Nutritarian diet to consume a diet with a high nutrient-per-calorie ratio (H = N/C). This means a diet high in micronutrient density. This diet style of nutritional excellence is supported by published studies in nutritional science and clinical case histories. It is designed to optimize health and longevity.

Eat the best foods

Resources and references

Author's Credentials


Dr. Joel Fuhrman - "How to live, for life" website

Nutrition Resources


(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)

Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrmann (2012)

Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Dr. Joel Fuhrmann (2007)

Fuhrman, J.  (2011). Eat to live: The amazing nutrient-rich program for fast and sustained weight loss.  New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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