Better than Goji Berries

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

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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 this new 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 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, at $7.58 an ounce. Your best bet, evidently, at finding them is at Middle Eastern spice stores, where they’re used to make Persian rice dishes. Let me know if you can find any, and then send me some.

And then, though I know it sounds like something straight from Dr. Suess, but I’m not making them up: dried red whortleberries: $8.97. 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 right about 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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 this new 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 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, at $7.58 an ounce. Your best bet, evidently, at finding them is at Middle Eastern spice stores, where they’re used to make Persian rice dishes. Let me know if you can find any, and then send me some.

And then, though I know it sounds like something straight from Dr. Suess, but I’m not making them up: dried red whortleberries: $8.97. 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 right about 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

79 responses to “Better than Goji Berries

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  1. 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!




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  2. 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.




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  3. 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.




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    1. 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!




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      1. 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.




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        1. Are dog rose berries “rose hips?” Are any kinds of Rose hips better than others? I can find some multiflora rose hips almost any day in the fall. Rose hips are an ingredient in many teas and are a common source of vitamin C. Some rosehips can be found here. If Americans know rosehips are available, and that they were eating them everyday, in many herbal teas, maybe we’d all be a lot healthier. http://factorydirectcraft.com/catalog/products/1258_1835_1802-5800-natural_dried_rosehips.html?ccset=US&zmam=62863317&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=5800&gclid=CjwKEAiA4_WjBRCNgf7A_KeE9jwSJADtegYdpc3RjrHK7BBcE4t4Eo3P2w5kpPhS33olJKn1mtXvlRoC9EDw_wcB




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      2. To be fair, I just ordered dried billberies and dried rose hips. You’re right you cannot buy them in stores, but I found them online. I intend to put them in my oatmeal instead of goji berries (I’m eating a bowl of oatmeal right now mate with ground billberies, quick oats, oat bran, turmeric powder, clove powder, Ceylon cinnamon, ground flaxseeds).




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  4. 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!




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        1. dog rose is a nice bush too, it’s nice-looking and smelling and realy useful, I was treated by it all my childhood. So you can plant them both. It’s a wild bush, you have no problem with it.




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  5. 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?




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  6. 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! :)




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  7. 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




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  8. 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?




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  9. Hi Dr. Greger, You can find organic dried and powdered Amla, Bilberries (=Whortleberries), and Barberries on MountainRoseHerbs.com. My favorite source for great prices on bulk organic herbs, spices, and teas. Its an amazing resource for people who follow nutrition at the level of detail that you provide.

    Thanks for your service to public health, and all the entertainment!

    Victoria




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  10. 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




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  11. 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.




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  12. 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




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  13. 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




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  14. 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




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  15. 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?




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  16. 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?




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  17. Hello, I have recently purchased some Amla and I struggle to find more information on the nutrition of these amazing berries, would you direct me to a database where I can find the mineral content? Thank you




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  18. Although Lupus is an increasingly common autoimmune illness, it is not mentioned in your list of topics nor in the body of articles or videos. Please advise the best “lifestyle medicine” for systemic lupus.




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    1. You asked this question a year ago, but hopefully the power of Disqus will cause this to pop up in your notification list. If you are still wondering, it looks like lupus responds in the same positive way to eating a whole-food, plant based diet that rheumatoid arthritis, MS, Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune disease do. In fact I have read (forget which plant doc said it) that perhaps all autoimmune diseases are at base a single disease with different manifestations. As such they are all treatable with a WFPB diet.

      Dr. Greger released the list of the next batch of videos (volume 29) which includes a video on Lupus and turmeric that should be out in the next couple of months, or you can simply buy the DVD if you don’t want to wait for it to make its way to the website.

      Also you should head over to Dr. McDougall’s website and look at the stories of several of his patients with lupus how have had a complete and persistent remission on a WFPB diet high in complex carbohydrates. While these are single clinical case studies from a single physician’s practice, the success that he and others have with RA, MS, and Crohn’s/UC give a strong indication that these autoimmune diseases do in fact share a common root cause or perhaps root antagonist and that they are treatable with a WFPB diet.

      And since a WFPB diet has been shown to help prevent and reverse a number of other chronic diseases like atherosclerosis, osteoartheritis, etc as well as being a great way to lose weight, what does anybody have to lose by adopting it.




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      1. Thanks, Jim. I certainly agree! There may also be a link to bipolar disorder since many people with autoimmune illness also suffer from severe mood swings that can be very debilitating. So much more research is needed in WFPB nutrition, and I thank Dr. Greger for staying on top of the latest scientific results.




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  19. you can purchase Amla goose berry powder at any Indian grocery store I bought one bag of goose berry powder 400 grams for 4 dollars ..you need to buy empty capsules or mix it with any health drink it tastes very bitter ! and will make you go to the washrooms after an hour ! better you put the alma-gooseberry in vegetable empty capsules !! its very cheap if you buy it at an Indian grocery store !




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  20. What about redcurrants?
    From Wikipedia: “The redcurrant (or red currant), Ribes rubrum, is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae”.
    I live in israel and couldn’t find gooseberries anywhere, but frozen redcurrants are available here in health stores.
    Could it be that Redcurrants contain similar values of anti oxidants since they are from the same family?
    Thanks!




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  21. Dried barberries are called zereshk and are very good in cooking. I make a vegan version of Persian stuffed peppers with a filling of ground tempeh and onions and zereshk, turmeric, saffron etc. that is really good. I’ll add my recipe to the web one day soon.




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  22. What are all the dried fruits pictured in the antioxidant food table from smallest to largest? Also I found Dried Barberries (Golchin brand) at Arash International Market.




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  23. Question # 1) What do dried Rowanberries, dried red Whortleberries and dried Barberries taste like? I use amla (Indian gooseberries) powder in my daily smoothie but it’s not sweet at all, I have to add ground dried goji berries to sweeten it. Question # 2) What about ground cherries? Does anybody know how healthy they are? I bought some recently to add in my oatmeal and I love the taste.




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  24. Woah that’s cool thanks for the video! I was wondering if there are healthy foods who’s power can be increased by P450 inhibition, such as with Syrian Rue extracts.




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  25. I laughed a little to hear Dr Gregor describe red whortleberries as something totally exotic. Round here (in Sweden at the same latitude as Stockholm) they’re called lingon. In September, we walk out the door with our special berry picking scoop in one hand and a large bucket in the other, stroll into the forest and sweep up about 5 liters (8 pints) of lingon inside of an hour. Of course, it is a bit of nuisance that some no-longer-at-their best European blueberries (which we picked by the bucket-load in August) are still around, since they get caught in our scoops as by-catch and have to be cleaned off the harvest before freezing our berries, crushing them with a little sugar or (if we must because the freezer is so full) making jam out of them. As jam, frozen or crushed, they are at their best eaten with rye porridge. But it is great to know that they really are a superfood (I always wondered if their reputation as such was an exaggeration born of Swedish pride).




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  26. Oh, and I think that what I called European blueberries can also be called bilberries (vaccinium myrtillus), so we have two of the top ten in our back yard.




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  27. I’ve read on a (how reliable?) web site that amla should not be consumed by anyone on anticoagulants. Is there any substance to this that you know of? I’m on an anticoagulant but would like to include amla in my diet.




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  28. I found some dried barberries, in the refrigerated section of a middle eastern fruit market in Perth, Australia. This was after looking around the isles for 10 minutes and then I just asked when the owner was available. I was told they need to be kept refrigerated. I hope this helps you all finding them!




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  29. I found barberries in Hicksville, NY in an Indian market called Apna Baazar. The are dried and somewhat sour tasting. Now, what do I do with them?




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    1. Eileen: Eat them! I found that I enjoy eating barberries just straight out of the bag. A bit here and there through the day is satisfying to me. If they are too strong for you to eat that way, I also think they are particularly good in oatmeal and smoothies. If you do any baking, I’m thinking they would be great in any muffin or cookie etc in place of raisins – ex: oatmeal barberry cookies. Yummm.




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  30. Does the process of drying these varieties improve the antioxidant contents? Or would fresh be better/equal levels of antioxidants




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  31. Does Amla (Also known Indian Gooseberry) powder have the same amount of antioxidants as the dried indian gooseberries? Could the conversion from dried to powder disrupt its antioxidant property?




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    1. Not sure about that but I did see another video of Dr. Greger’s where he talks about how he uses Amla powder and how great it is, so I don’t think so.




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  32. I was just listening to a MD heart surgeon give his spiel on polyphenols and how good they are for you. He is trying to sell his polyhenol powders. But, in his presentation he said the three most toxic foods for humans are SOY BEAN products, wheat grass, and goji berries. He said that goji berries have a high lectin content which can cause leaky gut syndrome. Has anyone found any research indicating that goji berries may not be good for human consumption?




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    1. Hi John, I am a volunteer with Dr. Greger. Thank you for your question. I would not recommend a polyphenol powder, because you can get loads of polyphenols from foods. Related to this doctor’s stance on soybeans, wheat grass, and goji berries, I am not aware of any nutritional literature that points out that these foods are harmful. Until the doctor or somebody else shows substantial nutritional literature suggesting any of these foods might be unhealthful, I’m led to question the rationale used by this doctor against these foods.




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    2. Based on his stance of other foods alone, the guy is a quack and a quack who is selling something. Seems a bit unethical for a doctor to be selling his own product imo or maybe it’s just that he’s spreading some pretty intense misinformation in order to do so. Check out Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” which contains real scientific research and talks about how soy beans are actually very healthy. The rest is just internet hype. In truth, the three most toxic foods for humans are meat, eggs, and dairy. Again, the guy is a quack and I’d switch doctors, maybe to one not trying to sell you something.




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    3. Hi John, like you I’ve only heard of goji berries as a trendy superfood and was surprised to hear about dangers. Doing a Google search it seemed that several health coach type web sites tout problems with goji berries. One always has to wonder the level of education and background of those that define themselves as a health coach since there is no certifying agency / board for this designation unlike most others in the healthcare professional world. Here is a link about goji from the well regarded WebMD site. They only list possible problems taking goji if you are on blood thinners. This is not surprising since someone on blood thinners must be careful of everything they eat as it can effect the way the drug works. http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects Finally, I would caution you whenever someone giving an educational seminar also uses the time to sell supplements, particularly if they use scare tactics. Pocketing the proceeds seriously taints his message. I hope this helps.




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  33. Hi Dr. !
    You’ve done rankings for antioxidants on fresh and dried fruit, was wondering if you could also do frozen fruit as freezing may affect nutrient values?
    Thank you!




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  34. amazon.it as barberries coming from the UK, I just bought 100 grams for 10€- had no idea of the gooseberries, will look for them thanks




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