On average, plant foods have 64 times more antioxidant power than red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs, but is it a fair comparison?
In a review on vegetarian diets and public health published last year, they concluded that sufficient scientific evidence exists for public healthy policy to ptromote a plant-rich diet for health promotion. This does not need to wair for science to provide all the answers as to why and how.
But this is certainly one reason On average, 64 times more antioxidant power in plant foods than animal foods, but is it really a fair comparison? Included in the plant group were some things that were just off the charts, like some exotic wild berries, herbal medicines that really skewed the chart upwards. People eat corn, they don’t eat dried Norwegian cornflowers. So let’s bring it down to earth.
The average plant food may have over a thousand micromoles of ferric ion reducing antioxidant power per decagram, but for comparison’s sake I’m going to choose the least healthy plant food I can think of, good old American iceburg lettuce, which I think of as basically just water. It doesn’t have 1,157 units of antioxidant power, it has, 17 units.
Still beats out fish, though, which averages 11. Even nice pink salmon? 7. Chicken? 6. A hardboiled egg? 2 And eggbeaters, which is just the whites, zero. Even coca cola has 4! The same amount found in cow’s milk, and yogurt, though soymilk only has about twice that. The best animal foods can do, in the meat category, is a serving of ox liver at 71. It beat out moose meat, reindeer steak, but… still couldn’t quote reach, a Snickers bar. This is why we need to eat a plant-based diet.
There is one animal product, however, that does kick some serious tush. There are samples of blueberries that didn’t even test that antioxidant rich. An animal product so healthy, I encourage everyone to consume it… when they’re a baby. Human breast milk.
During infancy, breast is best. After infancy plants are preferred.
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 some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Acai to Zuccini: Antioxidant Food Rankings, Can antioxidant-rich spices counteract the effects of a high-fat meal?, Kiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?, Antioxidants in a Pinch: Dried Herbs and Spices, Hibiscus tea: flower power, Vitamin B12: how much, how often?, Biblical Daniel Fast Tested, Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, Ergothioneine: A New Vitamin?, The Anti-Wrinkle Diet, Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Apple Peels Turn On Anticancer Genes, Plant-Based Diets for Fibromyalgia, and Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?