More knowledgeable medical proffectional in our group can elaborate further
on this subject.
Heart Beat: What Foods Are Rich in Antioxidants?
A group of researchers measured the antioxidant content of hundreds of
foods. The top choices are healthy foods, which reinforces the correlation
between eating foods rich in antioxidants and better overall health.
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
Antioxidants stabilize harmful by-products of the body's energy-making
machinery. These by-products, known as free radicals, can damage DNA, make
LDL (bad) cholesterol even worse, and wreak havoc elsewhere in the body.
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").
Here are the three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of
Chocolate, baking, unsweetened
Power Bar, chocolate flavor
Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin-C enriched
Chocolate, dark, sugar-free
Cabbage, red, cooked
Apple juice, with added vitamin C
Bran Flakes breakfast cereal
Pinto beans, dried
Canned chili with meat and beans
Canned chili with meat, no beans
Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006
Cooking appears to increase the antioxidant potential of most foods, with
the exception of grains such as rice, pasta, and corn grits, which show
lower levels after cooking.
The researchers were careful not to claim that eating foods at the top of
the list will keep you healthy. Instead, they believe that rating the
antioxidant potential of different foods could help test whether
antioxidants really do prevent disease. In the meantime, the list toppers
are healthy foods, so don't hesitate to dig in.