Superfood Bargains

Superfood Bargains
5 (100%) 8 votes

Ranking foods by antioxidants per dollar spent.

Discuss
Republish

Here we go—pecans. More than 8,000 antioxidant units per dollar. Great bargain, but apples are even better. Goji berries—packed with antioxidants, but so expensive. For the same price, we can get more antioxidants in cranberries, or artichokes. Here’s where açai comes in. So, you’re staring at that $5 package of frozen açai pulp at the store, and thinking about all the great smoothies you can make with it. But should you choose something a little more economical? Well, dollar for dollar, açai is worth it. If you’re willing to buy an apple a day to keep doctors like me away, it’s even a better bargain to go with superfood #1. Five to ten times more expensive per pound than apple, but with 20 times more antioxidants, so it makes sense in the end. 

But three even better bargains to go.

Winning the bronze for best bargain: cloves. And the silver to cinnamon. The gold busts off the charts as the #1 antioxidant bargain in the world: purple cabbage—red cabbage. As cheap as you can get, and packed with antioxidants; look at that beautiful color. And, it lasts forever. Next time you go shopping, buy a red cabbage, put it in the crisper, and slice off shreds to put in as many things as you can think of—great crunch for salad, soups, stir fries, whatever. In terms of eating healthy on a budget, purple cabbage cannot be beat by any food, anywhere

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 we go—pecans. More than 8,000 antioxidant units per dollar. Great bargain, but apples are even better. Goji berries—packed with antioxidants, but so expensive. For the same price, we can get more antioxidants in cranberries, or artichokes. Here’s where açai comes in. So, you’re staring at that $5 package of frozen açai pulp at the store, and thinking about all the great smoothies you can make with it. But should you choose something a little more economical? Well, dollar for dollar, açai is worth it. If you’re willing to buy an apple a day to keep doctors like me away, it’s even a better bargain to go with superfood #1. Five to ten times more expensive per pound than apple, but with 20 times more antioxidants, so it makes sense in the end. 

But three even better bargains to go.

Winning the bronze for best bargain: cloves. And the silver to cinnamon. The gold busts off the charts as the #1 antioxidant bargain in the world: purple cabbage—red cabbage. As cheap as you can get, and packed with antioxidants; look at that beautiful color. And, it lasts forever. Next time you go shopping, buy a red cabbage, put it in the crisper, and slice off shreds to put in as many things as you can think of—great crunch for salad, soups, stir fries, whatever. In terms of eating healthy on a budget, purple cabbage cannot be beat by any food, anywhere

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.

57 responses to “Superfood Bargains

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

    1. Hello Elyn,
      Excellent question! Many have been wondering about this with all the talk of “juice fasting” that have been going on. Check out Dr. Greger’s video all about juicing here http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/fruit-juice-fail/

      Essentially, you throw out 90% of the nutrients when you juice a fruit or vegetables. Regarding oranges for example, it takes 3 oranges to make a cup of orange juice and its STILL not nutritionally equivalent to 1 single plain orange.

      Hope this helps!




      1



      0
        1. It depends on what you measure. You can get more water and more calories in Juice, but the question is, what are you leaving behind to get that? Part of the question is, does fiber increase or decrease nutritional value?

          I would actually be curious as well whether the orange study was referring to antioxidants or to some other aspect of nutrician.




          0



          0
      1. using my vitamix I put the whole orange in rind and all ,some fresh ginger, some unsweetend almond milk , a frosen banana , uncooked oatmeal and some greens. Makes a great smoothie in the morning oh also some chia seeds.




        1



        0
        1. My reference was only to whole foods in terms of preserving fiber and phytonutrients. Eating foods in their whole form is usually better then their juice.




          0



          0
          1. Anyone – what’s the rationale behind the sudden drop of nutrient content when juicing? The method / machine behind the process? Or the over-exposition to air/oxigenic stress on the liquid?




            0



            0
      1. Great ideas! I didn’t know about the chai. I’m a caffeine free girl. My only concern with eating “decaf” products is that they are known to be processed with chemicals. I’ll look into it. I love chai…Thanks again!




        0



        0
        1. I’m not sure what the bruhaha was about, but that is clearly not the case now: “We hear your passion and concerns regarding the labeling of GMO
          ingredients. Please know that LÄRABAR will continue to use non-GMO
          ingredients in all of our products, and label our products as “Non-GMO.”
          In addition, we are proudly enrolled in The Non-GMO Project.” from

          http://www.larabar.com/gmo-labeling




          0



          0
          1. He may be referring to the fact that Larabar is owned by General Mills, which donated $1.2 million to defeat Prop 37 and is assuredly doing the same NOW to defeat the GMO labeling referendum I-522 in Washington. This time they are being more crafty, under cover of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA). The point is, sending revenue to Larabar is also sending part of it to General Mills. That is working against our own interests. Sorry Larabar, this is regardless of your product’s non-GMO status.




            1



            0
            1. Thank you for this information. I will drop Larabar from my shopping list. I’ll have to see what other General Mills products I might buy. Not too many, I’m sure.




              1



              0
  1. This is quackery. The antioxidant scores of these foods are measured using test-tube measures like ORAC, TEAC, and FRAP: they tell you absolutely nothing about the bioavailability or bioactivity of those antioxidants. Cyanide has a very high antioxidant score; that doesn’t make it healthy.

    As it happens, I agree that cabbage (red or green) is a great health bargain — but that’s because it’s a cheap *cruciferous* vegetable, consumption of which has been linked to lower risk of some cancers. The phytochemicals thought to be responsible for this protective effect are believed to be beneficial because of their actions on sex hormone metabolism, not any “antioxidant” buzz.




    0



    1
      1. Don’t worry, you can pull a leaf off at a time. My mother grew cabbages and stored them in the basement. I would snack on them from time to time in the fall and winter after school. They have a nice juiciness/crispness for snacking on. The cabbage will keep just fine as you eliminate the outer leaves.




        0



        0
    1. I wouldn’t say it is quackery, although you probably do have a point about bio-availability. To me, I think it would be best to combine the vitamin, mineral, and bioavailable antioxidants in some formula to determine best value per dollar spent. I’d have to say, however, I think I know part of the answer: Eat in season. Produce in season is often local and is usually relatively low in price, but there is more to it than that.




      0



      0
  2. Hi Dr. Greger,

    I would like to know your thoughts on the use of Serrapeptase regarding it’s supposed ability to remove ‘dead tissue’ from the body (and specifically arterial plaque build-up). All of the proponents of the product sight Dr. Hans Napier’s results of his study 20+ years ago (Germany), but I do not see any more recent studies on this supposed ‘miracle’ enzyme. I currently am taking 40,000 units a day. Thanking you in advance.




    0



    0
    1. Enzymes can be beneficial in our intestines if certain conditions such as pancreatic insufficiency where patients don’t make the digestive enzymes they need. Enzymes are proteins with many amino acids which are broken down by our intestines. So any claims that enzymes contribute to the reduction of plaque is not consistent with our current understanding of human physiology. Improvement of blood flow via the Nitrous Oxide system and reversal of plaque has been demonstrated. The best introduction to this is Dr. Esselstyn’s book on Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease. For the abstracts and articles you can view the video’s and check out sources cites on NutritionFacts.org… you might start with http://nutritionfacts.org/video/arterial-acne/ to help understand this complicated issue.




      0



      0
    1. my records, which show sources when they’re stated but often copy ads, show amla powder with ORAC values (no FRAP) from 130000 to 538400– no tester named. Açai is lower: dehydrated 53600 [Brunswick Labs] or 61000 [dry weight, no source]; freeze-dried 161400 or freeze-dried powder 102700. All measures per 100 grams. Haven’t the foggiest idea of prices.

      Sorry to be late with an answer, but I only recently discovered this delightful site.




      0



      0
    1. I love the question! What cookware can we use, if we are aiming for a mostly oil-free style of cooking, that isn’t harmful to our bodies directly, and isn’t harmful to the environment (production, disposal). People who have birds know that teflon can kill them, as can any plastic that starts to burn. Try making a crepe on a stainless steal pan…it just sticks and sticks and makes a big mess, but not a crepe.




      0



      0
      1. Well seasoned cast-iron is heavy, but it is also the best non-stick fry-pan, and can last several lifetimes. I started with my grand-father’s in college.




        0



        0
    2. Now, ceramic is not the same as teflon, not by a long shot. Basically ceramic is just that, ceramic, natural material, like glass, sort of, and as such it would be totally safe, however, some ceramic cookware seems to be less ceramic than others, so you still need to be careful. Teflon is no good.




      0



      0
  3. Regarding high ORAC foods (cloves!), does one need to ingest the clove (or cinnimon or other spices) or is the value available if the clove (etc.) is boiled and turned into a tea? Is there dilution to the ORAC value by creating a tea? Mabye there is a better question or way to ask this question that you could share.




    0



    0
    1. Kale’s ORAC per 100 grms or 3½ ounces is variously 1860 or 1770, no source given. I have nothing for purple cabbage, but red’s is2496 or 2252, FRAP 798; cooked, ORAC 3145 FRAP 2153. Apparently these were from various USDA publications; they’ve found the figures too varied and/or irksome to continue gathering them, but there are online sources of ORAC data from their attempts. I think from a reasonable guess at price and the figures above, you could get a good estimate.




      0



      0
  4. hi dr greger, i wanted to ask, when you say that in purple cabbage are 47594 antioxidants, that is equal to 100 grams? how can i know how much antioxidants i ate from the cabbage and if i ate the required amount thanks!!




    0



    0
  5. Hi, I’ve watched the video about pill supplements potentially being more harmful for health than getting them from produce. Is the same true for Superfood powder? Or do plant Superfood powders count as produce therefore relatively safe?




    0



    0
  6. I found freeze-dried acai berries at Whole Foods. It was a big bag but was $50. What can I look for to determine if these are suitable to eat? If they are freeze-dried flakes do they hold the same nutritional value as the frozen pulp?




    0



    0
  7. My mom used to make white cabbage in campbell’s tomato soup. I just made purple cabbage in tomatoes, tomatoe paste, red pepper and some jalapeno. Wowser! Awesome upgrade to an old childhood favorite




    0



    0
  8. The unit on this graph is hard to understand and I suspect erroneous. At my supermarket, dried Goji berries are for sale for $7 per 225g which is about $0.03/gram. Using the figure from the cited paper (32.9 μmol/g), I arrive at 1096.67 μmol of antioxidants per dollar. How is this related to the +/- 10000 “μmol/g per dollar” figure displayed here? Is the unit off by a factor 10? Why does it not simply state μmol per dollar?




    0



    0
    1. The problem seems to be specific to Goji berries. The figure for apples is not problematic. Apples are 10 times as cheap per gram as goji berries and have similar antioxidant content per gram according to the paper, yet in this video they are shown to be on the same level… Goji berries get high rankings in a lot of these videos but they don’t seem to be so great according to the cited paper.




      0



      0
    2. I’m back to being really confused as the other paper with the 3100 tested foods puts apples at only 3.1 μmol/g and Goji at 43.1 μmol/g, which again suggests that the unit of this graph is off by a factor of 10. These numbers do seem more realistic where the ratio between apples and Goji is concerned.




      0



      0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This