Antioxidant Content of 300 Foods

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Ranking foods by antioxidants per serving.

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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, which I talked about in my 2007 review. #11—a half-cup of blueberries. Blueberries didn’t even make the top ten this year! In tenth place, a pomegranate. Ninth, one black plum. Eighth, a handful of pecans. Seventh, one pear. Sixth, a half-cup of cranberries. Fifth, an apple. Fourth, a teaspoon of cinnamon. Third, an artichoke. The runner-up: a half-cup of goji berries. And, 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 go to…Brazil. Way off the charts—nearly 75,000 antioxidant units—a half-cup serving of açai berries.

Look at that color. They’re so purple, they’re black. In fact, the color is so intense that they sometimes actually give these berries to people before abdominal MRIs, because it actually stains the inside of your intestines, and can kind of act as contrast.

Okay, a few observations on our dozen. First, every food you don’t see on the list has an antioxidant per serving level between about 400 and 4,000—which just underscores how amazing these foods are.

Second: artichokes? That was a surprise. Ever since I’ve learned that, I always keep a can of artichoke hearts in our pantry, and try add them wherever we can. That’s basically how it works. I come back from a long day of research at the National Library of Medicine, and go straight to the grocery store to put it into practice—whatever I find out.

And finally, check it out: plums, pears, and apples. You don’t have to go to the other side of the world or order exotic fruit over the internet. We hear how amazing pomegranates are, but one plum, one pear, one simple, humble apple beats them out. Which brings up an important point: cost.

You can pretty much walk into any big natural food store, go to the frozen section, and buy a pound of açai berries. But it may costs five or ten dollars! So, in terms of practicality, I calculated not only antioxidants per serving, but antioxidants per dollar.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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, which I talked about in my 2007 review. #11—a half-cup of blueberries. Blueberries didn’t even make the top ten this year! In tenth place, a pomegranate. Ninth, one black plum. Eighth, a handful of pecans. Seventh, one pear. Sixth, a half-cup of cranberries. Fifth, an apple. Fourth, a teaspoon of cinnamon. Third, an artichoke. The runner-up: a half-cup of goji berries. And, 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 go to…Brazil. Way off the charts—nearly 75,000 antioxidant units—a half-cup serving of açai berries.

Look at that color. They’re so purple, they’re black. In fact, the color is so intense that they sometimes actually give these berries to people before abdominal MRIs, because it actually stains the inside of your intestines, and can kind of act as contrast.

Okay, a few observations on our dozen. First, every food you don’t see on the list has an antioxidant per serving level between about 400 and 4,000—which just underscores how amazing these foods are.

Second: artichokes? That was a surprise. Ever since I’ve learned that, I always keep a can of artichoke hearts in our pantry, and try add them wherever we can. That’s basically how it works. I come back from a long day of research at the National Library of Medicine, and go straight to the grocery store to put it into practice—whatever I find out.

And finally, check it out: plums, pears, and apples. You don’t have to go to the other side of the world or order exotic fruit over the internet. We hear how amazing pomegranates are, but one plum, one pear, one simple, humble apple beats them out. Which brings up an important point: cost.

You can pretty much walk into any big natural food store, go to the frozen section, and buy a pound of açai berries. But it may costs five or ten dollars! So, in terms of practicality, I calculated not only antioxidants per serving, but antioxidants per dollar.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

For more on antioxidant-rich foods:
Which Fruit Fights Cancer Better?
A Better Breakfast
Beans, Beans, They’re Good For Your Heart
Which Spices Fight Inflammation?

For more context, check out my blog posts: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterolThe Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge, and The Science on Açai Berries.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here. Read our important information about translations here.

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