NutritionFacts.org

Health Topics

  1. #
  2. A
  3. B
  4. C
  5. D
  6. E
  7. F
  8. G
  9. H
  10. I
  11. J
  12. K
  13. L
  14. M
  15. N
  16. O
  17. P
  18. Q
  19. R
  20. S
  21. T
  22. U
  23. V
  24. W
  25. X
  26. Y
  27. Z
Browse All Topics

Best Berries

Compared to popular fruits such as apples, bananas, and mangoes, which of the hundreds of different berries tested have the most and least antioxidant power: blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, crowberries, dog rose berries, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, or Tahitian noni juice?

January 9, 2012 |
GD Star Rating
loading...

Topics

Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Images thanks to Scott Bauer, topicchio, USDA, Jeff Kubina, Fir0002, CjboffoliNIH via Wikimedia Commons, and Sonja Þórey Þórsdóttir.

Transcript

A plant based diet protects against chronic oxidative-stress related diseases but which plant foods are the best? Berries are the healthiest fruits, and this study analyzed more than a hundred different berries and berry products.

Just to give a sense of scale, this is how many antioxidants are in America’s two most popular fruits bananas, and apples. Now the most popular fruit in the world is mango, which does better. But none of these are a match for the berries: here’s a cup of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries.

That’s pretty much where most of us have to leave it unless you have access to crowberries. Or—whoa!—dog rose berries. But getting back to what you can actually buy in a store, you see I keep changing the scale over here on the right.

What about goji berries—I’ll cover them in an upcoming dried fruit video. What about a shot of Tahitian noni juice? It doesn’t even make it up to banana; and sadder than even that, is a cup of green grapes, which technically are berries, but nutritionally are the Wonder Bread of the fruit kingdom.

What about acai berries? There was actually an acai study that caught my eye last year in the journal of experimental gerontology. Acai fruit pulp improves survival on a high fat diet. I thought how interesting until I reread the title more closely. Acai improves the survival of flies on a high fat diet. Why would you even want to do that? I imagine the researchers out collecting flies from some fast food dumpster.

Unfortunartely acai wasn’t tested in this study. Hopefully they’ll come back next year and make it the 3,140th.

In the meanwhile I encourage everyone to eat berries every day, to always have bags of frozen berries in their freezer. Whichever ones you like but, as we learned in this study, we can get more than twice the bang for our buck choosing blackberries, for example, over strawberries.

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 MaryAnn Allison.

To help out on the site please email <a
href= “mailto:volunteer@nutritionfacts.org” >volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Check out the other videos on fruits and don't miss all the videos on ranking foods. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

Also, check out my associated blog posts for some more context: Acai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankings, Coffee CaveatsFighting Inflammation with Food Synergy98% of American Diets Potassium DeficientHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?, and Which Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Check out the other videos on fruits and don’t miss all the videos on ranking foods. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

    • Kasia

      Let me preface
      my question with just saying that since I stumbled onto nutritionfacts on
      youtube I found it absolutely fascinating. Please keep up the good work. My question is about the antioxidant content of aronia
      also known as black chokeberry (sounds like something only Chuck Norris would
      dare to eat :)). I’ve heard that they are very potent and some
      articles go as far as to say that aronia berries have the highest antioxidant capacity among berries but I
      have never seen any research quoted in any of these articles. I would like to
      know if maybe you encountered any research that included aronia berries. The
      berries themselves have a rather specific, a little tart taste but one you
      freeze them they lose tartness and become sweeter. Here in Europe (I’m from Poland) they are more
      popular than in America and commonly used for juices and jams. I got so caught
      up is searching the web for information about the best superfruit to boost my immune system that
      I forgot that half of my freezer is stuffed with aronia fruit from my garden.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/bpcveg/ BPC

    So does this mean that you favor only purchasing foods with the highest antioxidant power (e.g. never buying strawberries when blackberries can be bought instead)?

    I wonder if any controlled studies have been performed on humans that show that an increased intake of foods with higher antioxidant power necessarily improves human lifespan or health? Please refer to these studies..thanks.

    Also I am wondering if there is any nutritional benefit that comes from eating a mixture of berries (e.g. eating a mix of strawberries,raspberries and blackberries rather than the equivalent amount of pure blackberries), despite lower average antioxidant power than pure blackberries?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      There are indeed just the kinds of studies you mentioned recently published and I have some videos coming out on them–stay tuned!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/paul3917/ paul3917

    You seem to be stressing the of anti-oxidant rich foods because it is believed that they “prevent against chronic oxidative stress-related diseases” which I take to me diseases related to aging. But according to a study you can find at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16677102 , “Available studies do not support the hypothesis that antioxidants control the rate of aging” Apparently, antioxidants are too slow acting to prevent free radical damage in vivo, although this may not be true of the body’s own antioxidants such as glutathione,catalase and SOD. So, a better strategy might be a diet or supplements which improve the body’s status of these.
    Another paper by the same authors at
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22006472
    suggests that a methionine restriction diet may be more effective in preventing free radical damage. Just the same, I’m planning on continuing to eat berries every day.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/vegan-for-life/ Vegan for Life

    I have started snacking on frozen cranberries. Is there a nutritional difference from fresh cranberries?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      I talk about the effect of cranberry processing in my video Pink Juice With Green Foam but I haven’t seen a direct fresh to frozen comparison.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/vegan-for-life/ Vegan for Life

    Thanks, I will check that out. It may answer a question I have about juicing, namely why juice at all, and instead simply eat the whole fruit.

  • http://veganlinda.blogspot.com/ Veganlinda

    Have you seen any studies about mulberries? My kids are interested since mulberries are seen as “trash trees” in our urban setting, but my kids love them. I looked up the nutrition data and they look great, especially high in iron.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003023308557 Louise White

    I wonder where Cherry rank in this study.   I daily use a combo of frozen cherry, wild blueberry & mango in my smoothies. But I love cherry over all fruit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003023308557 Louise White

    Is pomegranate a berry? How does it rank against cranberry, debating switching from pom juice to making your pink juice instead.

  • Ajeng

    I love tea and drink lots of tea. Almost every day drinking tea after the meal. From what I learned, many tea contains anti-oxidants. I want to ask, is there any side effects from my habit who like to drink tea? _John, Please see my personal site about moslem fashion called gamis batik

  • Steve

    Please help me dr. I have two small
    hot tubs
    at home. I am very pleased with
    the tubing and almost every day I
    do at home with his family. One of the diseases
    caused by the hot tub is hot tub rush. Please
    tell me how to prevent it?

  • lovestobevegan

    Celebrate summer by enjoying all the delicious peak of the season berries.

    Blackberries may have more antioxidants than strawberries but a groundbreaking new study pitted strawberries against esophageal cancer. The result? “The progression of disease was reversed in 80% of the high dose strawberry treatment [1-2 ounces a day of freeze-dried strawberries]. By the end of the study half of those on the high dose of strawberries walked away disease free.” http://nutritionfacts.org/video/strawberries-versus-esophageal-cancer/ In fact, of all fruits strawberries have the highest Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) score. http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/andi-food-scores.aspx

    It is important to buy organic. A test of organic strawberries versus conventional found organic berries did a superior job of blocking human cancer cell growth. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cancer-fighting-berries-2/ Additionally, conventional strawberries were found to have the residues of 54 different pesticides http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jspfood=ST and jumped to the 2nd most contaminated food from last year’s spot of fifth. Check out the 2013 list of foods to buy organic: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

    Strawberries not your favorite? Black raspberries may result in “complete clinical regression of precancerous oral lesions.” http://nutritionfacts.org/video/black-raspberries-versus-oral-cancer/

    What about cranberries?
    They were found to be the best at suppressing cancer cell growth in
    vitro. Lemons came in second. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/

    Blueberries?
    They were shown to improve memory. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/improving-memory-through-diet/

    Conclusion:
    The power of berries is amazing!

    Wish You to Get Well Bowl

    - ½ cup regular rolled oats
    - 1 cup water
    - 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-safer-cinnamon/
    - ⅛ tsp each, ground cloves, ground ginger, nutmeg
    - ½ cup organic* strawberries, quartered
    - 1 banana, sliced
    - 1 small orange, peeled and chopped
    - 14 walnut halves
    - 2 tbsp flaxseed meal

    Bring water to a boil and cook oats with spices and fruit (only if using frozen fruit). Lower heat and simmer oats to desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients to a bowl and top with cooked oats. Stir and top with a sprinkling of uncooked oats and dash cinnamon.

    Bookmark my new Plant-Based Emporium Facebook page for all my latest recipes. https://www.facebook.com/PlantBasedEmporium?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

  • Wade Moschetti

    Is there a comparison of fresh Indian Gooseberries to Dog Rose Berries? How do other Gooseberries stack up? Just because these aren’t commonly sold and brought does not mean people can’t grow them. You should start making the suggestion of people growing their own instead of removing them from the equation.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Are dog rose berries the same as rose hips?

  • Rajanna

    Hello Doctor Michael,
    I read your blog & it is very helpful. Right now I need your guidance to treat a cancer patient. My sister aged 55 years just one month back diagnosed for stage-4 esophageal cancer. The moment it diagnosed Doctors said it is already at last stage. After doing endoscopies, CT scan, X-rays etc Doctors said no treatment is possible as the patient condition is not healthy to go for chemoteraphy or radiation. So now the patient is at house only. We got it installed a tube in the esophagus to ease the swaollowing of food & now she can eat food. So at present no treatment is being given & the condition is deteriorating day by day. Hence I request you to advice us is there any possibilty to treat the cancer at this stage with any natural remedies. If so please inform me what we can do at this stage. That is, what are the best fruits, best dry fruits which can reverse the cancer cells at this stage. I request you to kindly help me to save my sister out from this deadly decease.

    Rgds,

    Rajanna K V
    email-rajannakv2000@yahoo.com

  • Ronald Chavin

    Dr. Greger continues to believe that berries are healthier for us to eat than other fruits. Unfortunately, scientific studies involving real populations of real people do not agree with Dr. Greger’s claims:
    http://dietanddisease.blogspot.com/2012/02/berries-do-not-decrease-cancer-risk.html

    Because berries and cherries are moderately high in tannins (and therefore, they have moderately high ORAC antioxidant scores), this strongly indicates that foods that have high ORAC antioxidant scores do not prevent cancer that well (although tannins do have other health benefits). I swallow 4,000mg of triphala tablets every day. Triphala is even higher in powerful tannin antioxidants than berries or cherries.

  • rick

    Just a reminder that this is just antioxidant level comparison (not trivial but). If we are talking about cancer fighting, strawberries may win.