Are you aware of which foods are rich in antioxidants?

Per Harvard, single antioxidants, like vitamin E or beta carotene, have never lived up to the hype that they halt heart disease, cure cancer, eradicate eye disease, or prevent Alzheimer's. That shouldn't be surprising. The notion that antioxidants are good for you comes from studies showing that people who eat foods rich in antioxidants have better long-term health. Trials of single supplements, usually taken in pill form, have yielded disappointing results.

It's possible that single antioxidants haven't panned out because it takes a network of antioxidants "" like those that exist in foods "" to neutralize free radicals. If that's the case, then it would be helpful to determine the antioxidant content of various foods.

An international team of researchers did just that for more than a thousand foods that Americans commonly eat. Topping the list were blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, and ground cloves (see "Antioxidant-rich foods").

Antioxidant-rich foods

Here are the three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of antioxidants, per Harvard Health. 

Product

Antioxidants mmol/serving

Blackberries

5.746

Walnuts

3.721

Strawberries

3.584

Artichokes, prepared

3.559

Cranberries

3.125

Coffee

2.959

Raspberries

2.870

Pecans

2.741

Blueberries

2.680

Cloves, ground

2.637

Grape juice

2.557

Chocolate, baking, unsweetened

2.516

Cranberry juice

2.474

Cherries, sour

2.205

Wine, red

2.199

Power Bar, chocolate flavor

1.875

Pineapple juice

1.859

Guava nectar

1.858

Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin-C enriched

1.821

Cranapple juice

1.790

Prunes

1.715

Chocolate, dark, sugar-free

1.675

Cabbage, red, cooked

1.614

Orange juice

1.510

Apple juice, with added vitamin C

1.462

Mango nectar

1.281

Pineapples

1.276

Oranges

1.261

Bran Flakes breakfast cereal

1.244

Plums, black

1.205

Pinto beans, dried

1.137

Canned chili with meat and beans

1.049

Canned chili with meat, no beans

1.045

Spinach, frozen

1.040

Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal

1.024

Chocolate, sugar-free

1.001

 

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