Ranking foods by antioxidants per serving.
Ranking foods by antioxidants per dollar spent.
Are you ready, for the top dozen antiaging, anticancer, antioxidant superfoods?!
To start with some perspective, here’s the average antioxidant content of much of what Americans eat—peas and carrots, corn, lettuce, bananas—just as a reference.
Let’s go in reverse order for the top dozen superfoods, starting with #12, a tablespoon of cocoa powder. So 1 Tb. Of cocoa powder blows away half of what Americans eat, so by making your breakfast smoothie a chocolate breakfast smoothie by adding cocoa powder you’re dramatically increasing the nutrient value. #11, a half cup of blueberries—blueberries didn't even make the top ten this year! How about a countdown? Give me a “ten”--(10) a pomegranate, (9) one black plum, (8) a handful of pecans, (7) one pear, (6) half cup cranberries, (5) an apple, (4) a teaspoon of cinnamon, (3) an artichoke, (2) half cup ‘o goji berries, and… (1) if you were given the choice to eat a single serving of any food on the planet, in terms of antioxidant power, you wouldn't be going to the Himalayas for Gojis, you’d be gong to… Brazil Good god, way off the charts, nearly 75,000, a half cup serving of acai berries.
You can pretty much walk into any big natural food store, go to the frozen section, and buy a pound of acai berries , but it may be 5 or 10 bucks! Is it worth it? So in terms of practicality, I calculated ranking foods not only antioxidants per serving, but antioxidants per dollar.
Pecans, over 8,000 antioxidant units per dollar. Great bargain, but apples are even better. Goji berries—super antioxidant packed, but so expensive, for the same price you could get more antioxidants in cranberries, or artichokes, here’s where acai comes in. So you stare at a $5 or 10 package of frozen acai pulp at Whole Foods and you think about the great smoothies you could make with that, but 10 bucks?! It’s worth it. If you’re willing to buy an apple a day to keep people like me away, it’s even a better bargain to go for superfood number one (five-to-ten times more expensive per pound of apples), but about 20 times more antioxidants so it makes sense in the end.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterol, The Best Foods: Test Your Nutrition Knowledge, and The Science of Acai Berries
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