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New Antioxidant Superstars

Ranking foods by antioxidants per unit weight.

September 18, 2008 |
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Acknowledgements

Transcript

So, we should stuff our faces every day, but which are the healthiest plant foods to eat, though? In 1999, I told audiences that blueberries were the healthiest fruits, and kale was the healthiest vegetable, based on a study of 40 common fruits and veggies at my alma mater, Tufts med. But then in 2002 this article was published looking at 200 different plants and I told you that blueberries got their little blue butts kicked down to #7. No one had tested nuts before, the new reigning antioxidant champs with pomegranates nipping at their heals. But then this study got published in 2003 looking at herbs and spices and I had to revise yet again saying the healthiest thing (by weight at least) on this planet Earth, is not blueberries, not kale. Not nuts, but cloves… and oregano. forty times the antioxidant power of blueberries (on a weight-by-weight basis) and about a thousand times more than what most Americans eat. And the graph for cloves at this scale is on the roof of this building.

This was all five years ago though. What about goji berries and all these new exotic fruits out there. Well, the biggest study of its kind was published seven months ago, 300 plant foods were studied. And so, who are our new champions?

Once again, cloves #1, found to be the most antioxidant packed food substance on the planet, but this is on a weight by weight basis. You can eat a handful of nuts no problem, but a handful of cloves? So on a per serving basis, nuts actually have more antioxidants than cloves, since the serving size of nuts is an ounce, and the serving size of cloves is like a tiny pinch. So I’m going to rank the latest greatest findings by serving to make it more practical, in terms of helping you find ways to eat healthier on a day-to-day basis.

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.

To help out on the site please email 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. And check out the other videos on antioxidants. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

  • 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. And check out the other videos on antioxidants. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • gabo LOVE

      How does dry kale compare with fresh or frozen kale?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/MichelleRowe/ Michelle Rowe

    Do you have a ranking of healthy foods per serving? This would be most helpful. Even more helpful to me than per calorie or by weight.

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

      Michelle, did you see the next video after this? I think Antioxidant Content of 300 Foods is exactly what you’re looking for.

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

    Why did pecans, but not walnuts, make the ‘antioxidants per serving’ list? Do walnuts have that much less mass/volume compared to pecans? How do the two compare on omega-3/6 ?

  • nic

    so betweed 1999 and 2002 raspberries became more nutritious and got infront of strawberries..?

  • nic

    so betweed 1999 and 2002 raspberries became more nutritious and got infront of strawberries..?

  • 65sohc

    Might this not be a case where a supplement is beneficial? Swansonvitamins sells 100 ground clove 450mg capsules for $6.49. I’m not sure how much a “pinch” is, referring to a later video, but I assume it is less than 450mg.

    • val

      Well, I’ve been adding about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground cloves to my dark berry mixtures 3 or 4 times a week, along with my oats…takes some getting used to, for sure, but it is doable, just saying!

  • Dale

    After viewing this video, I accidentally found the following article stating that ORAC Tests are useless. The URL is listed for you to read the entire article. Am I missing something?

    http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/06/usda-says-orac-tests-useless-removes-database-for.aspx

    USDA Says ORAC Tests Useless, Removes Database for
    Selected Foods

    June 12, 2012 0 Comments

    WASHINGTON—USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) removed the USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Database for Selected Foods from its website due to mounting evidence that shows the values indicating antioxidant
    capacity have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health.