Anti Oxidant Foods: Eat Your Colours!

Which Foods Contain the Most Antioxidants?

Based on an article by By Dr. Ben Kim posted on Feb 16, 2005 Healthy Eating Resources

You can prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease by eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants protect your health by preventing and repairing damage caused to your cells by excessive free radicals.

Antioxidants are plentiful in plant foods, particularly those that have bright colours. Possibly the most comprehensive study of the antioxidant content of common foods was published in the June 2004 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. According to this study, the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods are as follows:

Rank Food Serving Size Antioxidant Capacity per Serving
1 Small red beans, dried 1/2 cup 13727
2 Wild blueberries 1 cup 13427
3 Red kidney beans, dried 1/2 cup 13259
4 Pinto beans 1/2 cup 11864
5 Blueberries, cultivated 1 cup 9019
6 Cranberries 1 cup 8983
7 Artichoke hearts, cooked 1 cup 7904
8 Blackberries 1 cup 7701
9 Dried prunes 1/2 cup 7291
10 Raspberries 1 cup 6058
11 Strawberries 1 cup 5938
12 Red delicious apple One 5900
13 Granny Smith apple One 5381
14 Pecans 1 ounce 5095
15 Sweet cherries 1 cup 4873
16 Black plum One 4844
17 Russet potato, cooked One 4649
18 Black beans 1/2 cup 4181
19 Plum One 4118
20 Gala apple One 3903

The highest ranked foods in four major categories are as follows:

Fruits: blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries.

Vegetables: beans, artichoke hearts, and surprisingly, russet potatoes.

Nuts: pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts.

Spices: cinnamon, oregano, and ground cloves.

Eating anti oxidant rich foods is not complicated.

1. Eat a wide range of colourful foods so that your body can use the wide range of anti oxidants available in these foods.

2. Support your intestinal flora aka helpful bacteria by eating fermented and raw foods so that you can breakdown and absorb these foods well.

3. Eat lots of fresh vegetables. Eat a piece of fruit as a snack. Remember to eat your colours every day ~ something green, something red, orange or yellow...

4. Eat local, organic or pesticide-free foods. Wash non-organic produce with extra care to help remove pesticide residues.

5. Use anti oxidants on your skin, the body's largest organ! I use two types of preservative ingredients in my products: essential oils, which control microbes that might grow in a product made with water, and anti oxidants, which stop oils from going rancid - and they do the same thing in your body! So give your skin the gift of natural anti oxidants like vitamine E, cocoa, coconut and shea butters, grapefruit seed extract...

6. Raw chocolate and goji berries, not evaluated for the study cited above, are rich in anti oxidants. Support only fairly traded chocolate. If you are in Canada, that mean Cocoa Camino cholcolate; in Toronto, we have our own Choco Sol available at Karma Coop and Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market . So eat your chocolate, too!