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Better Than Goji Berries

There are some dried fruits even more antioxidant-packed than goji berries.

January 11, 2012 |
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Acknowledgements

Images thanks to Scott Ehardt, Asabengurtza, Yosri, Pvt pauline, Miansari66, and Jonik via Wikimedia Commons, and Dondelasabrina,  lyonesse2710, and NihitMaan Gaur.

Transcript

Until this study was published, the most antioxidant-packed dried fruit known was goji berries, topping off the chart at 120—five times the antioxidant power of raisins. But… then along came… what?

I might have guessed that spot would belong to something like dried blueberries, but dried blueberries, ended up way down here at 37. There must be something about the phytonutrients in blueberries that just does not take well to drying.

Just when goji berries were getting complacent, a newly available dried fruit has pulled ahead; dried pomegranate seeds. They are expensive, but they are yummy and the healthiest snack you are likely to ever find.

Now just for trivia's sake, there are healthier, but good luck finding them. Barberries, at758 an ounce. Your best bet at finding them are at Middle Eastern spice stores, where they're used to make Persian rice dishes.

And then, though I know it sounds like something straight from Dr. Suess, but I’m not making them up: dried red whortleberries: 897. Rarely cultivated, but you can pick your own in the arctic tundra.

Rowanberries screw up my graph again. Look how pitiful our poor goji berries are looking now. And finally, way off the charts, in a class of its own, top dog for healthiest snack on the planet Earth: dried Indian gooseberries.

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. Don't miss yesterday's video Dried apples versus cholesterol. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Acai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankingsAmla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterolBest Dried Fruit For Cholesterol Hibiscus Tea: The Best BeverageRaisins vs. Energy Gels for Athletic PerformanceWhich Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?, and Raspberries Reverse Precancerous Lesions

  • 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. Don’t miss yesterday’s video Dried apples versus cholesterol. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

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

    The Raw Food World (www.therawfoodworld.com) carries organic dried barberries. I’m going to place an order after seeing this video. :) Thanks for all the great information, Dr. Greger!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/dsikes/ DSikes

    How do dried cranberries rank? Prob close to blueberries I’m guessing. They’re available as ‘craisins’ in low cost large quantity and make a great snack food.

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

      DSikes,

      Dried cranberries ranked higher (by about 30%) for antioxidant content than dried blueberries.

      Hope this helps.

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

    Dr. Greger,

    The data presented in the bar graph of this video does not agree with the data presented in the antioxidant table of the source article. Most importantly, the “top dogs” for antioxidant content of dried berries should be in the following order:

    1 = dried indian gooseberries (i.e. dried amla berries)
    2 = dried dog rose
    3 = dried wild bilberries
    4 = dried blackberries
    5 = dried whortle berries
    6 = dried barberries
    7 = dried rowanberries
    8 = dried pomegranate seeds, etc.

    Note that rowanberries place much lower on the list than you stated (I think that you may have misspoken and meant dog rose instead). Also, you neglected to mention wild bilberries and dried blackberries on your graph.

    While the overall message of your video remains sound, you may wish to revise the data presentation for greater accuracy.

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

      Ther actually go through more than 200 berry and berry products! As I mention a bunch of times in this series of videos I try to stick to things you are actually available. Like in Best Berries I talk about dog rose berries but then dismiss them by saying “getting back to things you can actually buy in a store.” I do have a bit of fun in this video talking about a few whacky ones (“now just for trivia’s sake”) but indeed you’d have to go to the original source for the full list–that’s why I always make sure to list the sources! Have you ever seen dried blackberries? Bilberries? I would have included them if I had. I love Rain Vainik’s comment below about actually finding whortleberries–I’m glad I mentioned them!

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

        Thanks! Of course, you are right about the challenge of finding certain products in stores of major cities. Though, don’t underestimate the ability of your website to affect buyer interests. Dried blackberries could easily become available in stores once it becomes known that it is one of the best sources of antioxidants.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/RainVainik/ Rain Vainik

    I’m happy whortle berries are ranked high :)
    it seems to be the same thing as lingonberries actually
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_vitis-idaea
    and they are very common in my country Estonia too :)
    I usually deepfry them

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/GregMilette/ Greg Milette

    Would this product count? It doesn’t say “indian” in the description.

    http://nuts.com/driedfruit/gooseberries/natural.html?gclid=CLvRy7axyq0CFQPf4AodXG2V9g

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

      Those look like Physalis peruviana (cape gooseberries) to me. Wrong berry (and ridiculously expensive!)

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/nosrednamikgmail-com/ nosrednamik@gmail.com

    I live in Sweden and in the end of the summer there’s whortleberries (aka. lingonberries) EVERYWHERE in the forests. You’ll come home with KILOS, for free! :-D However they are a bit sour but we often make jam out of them and also put them in stews.

    We have LOTS of trees with rowanberries as well, especially since the trees is used as exterior city design. But the rowanberries are the absolutely most bitter edible I’ve eaten. It’s disgusting. You can’t it directly from the tree, your face will start to cramp because of the sourness. I wonder if you can dry them at home and ground it to a powder or something.

    You’re the best Dr. Greger!

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

      You are SO lucky! My new volume 8 nutrition DVD comes out next month. Care to trade it for some whortleberry jam? :)

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/poxacuatl/ Poxacuatl

    Good! I’ve been consuming the gooseberries in my green smoothies!
    I don’t see maqui berries on this list. They are readily available now, too.

  • hoshigaki

    what about mulberries!

  • Dohduh

    I found Amla powder in an Indian market, but wasn’t able to get back
    there when I ran out, so ordered Amalaki powder online, with the
    description of being from “the whole Amla fruit”. Is it equivalent to
    Indian Gooseberry powder, or diluted by using the whole plant and not
    just the berry?

  • N_

    What do you say about sea buckthorn? They seem really good to me and costs about the same as blueberries, at least where I live.
    http://www.itmonline.org/arts/seabuckthorn.htm

  • http://twitter.com/girl_gone_good Girl Gone Good

    Thanks for the interesting facts! I actually use barberries when they are available at BulkBarn (usually buying up a half bag as they aren’t always available.) I use them in my oatmeal (delicious with cut out orange, maple and cinnamon) and homemade quinoa crunch bars! :)

  • Neil

    Hello, Dr.
    I’ve heard talk of the Maqui Berry, a.k.a. Chilean Wineberry. I have seen claims–usually on websites trying to sell some derivative of it–that it is the most antioxidant-rich berry to date. (The stories mention acai berries). Is it true that this berry is the new king of berry hill? Has it displaced the almighty amla?
    Thanks!
    Neil

  • Todd

    Amla comes in a lot of different forms but one that I found was Chyawanprash which is largely made up of Amla. I looked up recipes for this and they boiled the Amla fruit as well as cooked the paste from the crushed fruit. So question is how does this compare to dried Amla powder, is there a drastic difference?

  • RunsWithPoodles

    I wish you were using scientific names. I would like to know if the whortleberry is also known as the red huckleberry, Vaccinium parvifolium, or the deciduous Mountain Huckleberry, Vaccinium membranaceum or the evergreen Coastal Huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum. I would think any of these berries would be readily available in fresh form but harder to find dried.

    Vaccinium ovatum
    Vaccinium ovatum

  • joyful44

    Enough with these boring and tiresome videos. If you truly want to share info then post the transcript. I will STOP following this site if these ridiculous and time consuming videos continue all for the plan to get one to buy something at the end.

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

      There’s a transcript link right under this video (and all videos on the site). So glad I can help!

      In health,
      Michael

  • RunsWithPoodles

    What about huckleberries, both deciduous Mountain and evergreen Coastal?

  • Noah N. Chelliah, MD, FACC,

    Dear Dr. Greger:
    When rating antioxidants (ORAC scale) where can I find them rated by serving size rather by simple weight. The article you referred to seems to have them listed based on actual weight not per serving.

    Dr. Chelliah

  • Rene

    I liked the video – seeing the graph helps. Where in the graph would dried tart cherries or tart cherry juice – organic of course – come. I would like to compare them to goji berries but am having a hard time getting good information

  • John

    I recently found a product which is new to me called “Antioxidant Fusion” by made in Canada by Made in Nature–It seems like it should be good–have you seen it, or have an opinion–sold at COSTCO

  • http://www.garmaonhealth.com/ Joe

    Wow, had no idea that Indian Gooseberries was such a high achieving snack.

    Have been making a tea out of Gooseberry powder, mainly to help combat high fasting blood sugar.

    By the way, Amazon.com has a wide assortment of dried barberries: http://amzn.to/19OL0aK

  • Sebastian Tristan

    What about dried black chokeberries? Can you inquire about them?

  • ZimZamson

    Great vid and really interesting. Only thing for me is that I’m having trouble understanding how the scores in the source material line up with the values given in the bar graph presented in this video. The source material lists Amla as 261.53 but the video puts it as 7265… I’m guessing that you converted it to appear as antioxidant content per ounce rather than per 100g… but for what benefit?

  • Linda

    Dr. Greger, or other interested party, is there some antioxidant or “phytamin” besides vitamin C which might be responsible for the various positive effects attributed to Amla. The only thing I see mentioned anywhere is the large amounts of the vitamin C. Could vitamin C be responsible for the apparent effects?