Antioxidant foods supply essential vitamins and minerals
The ORAC rating of Antioxidant foods
There are many Antioxidant foods that we consume that are richer in antioxidants than other food types due to the fact that they have an ORAC (oxygen rating absorbance capacity) rating of around 1000 per 100 grams. A typical apple or pear weighs around 200 grams and we could generally accept that to be an average serving size. Spices, herbs and essential oils are very rich in antioxidant properties but as the serving size is generally small, they usually don’t supply enough antioxidants in their own right; but exceptions such as cocoa in the diet can be very rich; if consumed as a drink or in dark chocolate.
Typical spices that add that zing to Antioxidant foods are: Clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander and cardamom.
Typical herbs can be sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, parsley, basil, fennel and dill.
Dried fruits are a good source of antioxidants by weight/serving size, as most of the water has been removed which helps to make the ratio/levels of antioxidants much higher. Typical dried fruits are pears, apples, plums, peaches, raisins, sultanas, prunes, figs, dates, raisins and black currants. Deeply pigmented fruits like cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants and cherries are very rich in antioxidants as well as their juices and also red wines.
Nuts are a very good source of polyphenol antioxidants and typical nuts are those such as brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts with crushed nuts and peanut butter being very antioxidant rich as well.
Juices from guava, oranges, lemons, mandarins, mango, grape and pomegranate juice also have significant ORAC scores and can be quite high in their polyphenol count; but they are beaten to the winning post by Tomato, Gac and Vegetable juices which generally have the highest levels of antioxidants of any foods..
Brassica and other vegetables
Most vegetables are rich in antioxidants but the best are the Brassica family vegetables such as brussels sprouts, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale and other greens such as asparagus, avocados, beetroot and spinach are also excellent sources.
Top 20 Food sources for Antioxidant capacity
|Rank||Food||Serving Size||Antioxidant capacity per serving size|
|1||Small Red Bean||½ cup dried beans||13727|
|2||Wild blueberry||1 cup||13427|
|3||Red kidney bean||½ cup dried beans||13259|
|4||Pinto bean||½ cup||11864|
|5||Blueberry||1 cup berries||9019|
|6||Cranberry||1 cup berries||8983|
|7||Artichoke hearts||1 cup cooked||7904|
|12||Red Delicious Apple||1||5900|
|15||Sweet cherry||1 cup||4873|
|16||Russet potato||1 cooked||4649|
|18||Black bean||½ cup dried beans||4181|