New Antioxidant Superstars

New Antioxidant Superstars
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Ranking foods by antioxidants per unit weight.

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Every day, we should stuff our faces with fruits and vegetables. But which are the healthiest? In my 1999 review, I ranked blueberries as the healthiest fruits, and kale, the healthiest vegetable, based on a study of 40 common fruits and veggies at the time. But then in 2002, this article was published, looking at 200 different plants, and I told audiences 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 heels.

But then, this study was 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 is not blueberries, not kale, not nuts, but cloves—and oregano. 40 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 far, far off the chart.

Now, but this was all five years ago, though. What about goji berries, and all these exotic new fruits on the market? Well, the biggest study of its kind was published last year, looking at 300 plant foods. Once again, cloves #1—found to be the most antioxidant-packed food substance on the planet. But this is on a weigh-by-weight basis. You can eat a whole 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 like, an ounce, and the serving size of cloves is just a tiny pinch. So allow me to rank the top dozen anti-aging, anticancer, antioxidant superfoods, based on the latest 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Every day, we should stuff our faces with fruits and vegetables. But which are the healthiest? In my 1999 review, I ranked blueberries as the healthiest fruits, and kale, the healthiest vegetable, based on a study of 40 common fruits and veggies at the time. But then in 2002, this article was published, looking at 200 different plants, and I told audiences 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 heels.

But then, this study was 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 is not blueberries, not kale, not nuts, but cloves—and oregano. 40 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 far, far off the chart.

Now, but this was all five years ago, though. What about goji berries, and all these exotic new fruits on the market? Well, the biggest study of its kind was published last year, looking at 300 plant foods. Once again, cloves #1—found to be the most antioxidant-packed food substance on the planet. But this is on a weigh-by-weight basis. You can eat a whole 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 like, an ounce, and the serving size of cloves is just a tiny pinch. So allow me to rank the top dozen anti-aging, anticancer, antioxidant superfoods, based on the latest 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More on the antioxidant content in plant foods:
Anti Up on the Veggies
Antioxidant-Rich Foods With Every Meal
Which Fruit Fights Cancer Better?
Antioxidants in a Pinch

And check out my other videos on antioxidants

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

20 responses to “New Antioxidant Superstars

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  1. 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 ?

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. So long as we are talking about cloves I should ask for opinions about eugenol, a little known compound in cloves and, to a lesser degree cinnamon. It was once speculated it could be carcinogenic.

  5. I have watched this video 5 times on here and on YouTube but i still don’t see the top 12 list. On YouTube, your voice is much slowed down and softer. I wonder if someone messed with your video?

  6. Got kidney stones from, I believe, 2 years on a super food smoothie. I cannot find the oxalate content of Acai or pomegranate. Have eliminated strawberries, kale, blackberries, raspberries, sesame. Kept hemp, coconut, red palm oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, chia, sunflower seeds, tart cherry concentrate, pom concentrate and 4-5 raw veggies. info? advice?

  7. Hi Dr. Greger and company,
    Recently I’ve been adding about 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves to my coffee. If I might ask, could you address questions of what is an effective level of clove consumption and what, if any, potential adverse affects there might be: what level works and what is the safe upper limit? Thank you much.

  8. Do cloves have any adverse effect on anemia patients? I have recently discovered this spice and thoroughly enjoy making my own cloves tea. I hope it is ok to consume. Many thanks!

  9. I’ve read that parsley is a powerful chelating herb, used to draw out heavy metals and expel them from the body. Is there any truth to that assertion?

  10. I suppose I am like many people, went WFPB 11 months ago and am completely happy with the decision. I am no oil and the only processed foods I eat are canned beans and cereals and Ezekiel bread and some condiments , they must be no salt or added sugars.
    My weight is fine and apart from a Cholesterol problem where with a 20mg tablet my level is 150 but once I stop the tablet it goes to 240 on the same diet. I am experimenting with a 10mg tablet for 3 months then will try 5 mg.
    My real questions is regarding superfoods, should I make a smoothie each day and add numerous of the supposed superfoods, a greens mix, gogi berry powder, alma etc etc. my thought is that it may not be a quantifiable help but I cannot see what harm it will do.
    If all the superfoods boost antioxidants is it necessary to include more than one?

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