You’ve probably heard of the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, the same thing can apply to cherries and blueberries as well.
Just recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come up with its top antioxidant food list. In this antioxidant food list, nutrient scientists rated the “total antioxidant capacity” of individual foods. The antioxidant rich foods contained in the antioxidant food list are those that score above 2,000 in terms of antioxidant capacity. Here are 12 of these foods that should make it to everyone’s antioxidant food list.
Antioxidant Food List: The Fruit Category
In the antioxidant food list fruits category, among the fruits that topped the list are prunes or dried plums, blueberries, and cherries. These three fruits were said to contain the highest concentration of antioxidants out of all fruits tested.
“Summer is the best time to just load up on all these healthy foods that are in season,” registered dietician Lauren Niemes said “and so good this peak season when they are locally grown.”
Antioxidant Food List: The Vegetable Category
Lots of vegetables made it to the antioxidant food list but among those that crowded the top spot are artichokes, red cabbage, and russet potatoes. Beans and Brussels sprouts were also touted to have a large amount of antioxidant capacity.
Antioxidant Food List: The Nut Category
Out of all nuts, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts are the nuttiest. Pecans especially were said to contain the most number of antioxidant compounds and definitely made it to the top of the antioxidant food list.
Niemes said that scientists have recently discovered new sources of antioxidants. “While we think of a lot of antioxidants are found vitamins A, C, and E…scientists are discovering there are lots of other things in foods that have antioxidant properties,” she said.
Before, our antioxidant food list only contained fruits and vegetables rich in the above-mentioned vitamins and some minerals, such as selenium. Now, the antioxidant food list is admitting more and more fresh produce that didn’t make it to the previous cut.
Oregano, cinnamon, and cloves are among the spices that are included in the antioxidant food list.
Antioxidants are said to act on free radicals that cause damage to the cells. By stopping free radicals from multiplying and turning other healthy molecules into free radicals themselves, antioxidants help prevent caused by massive free radical damage.
Antioxidants have been linked to treatment or prevention of cancer and heart disease. They are also said to reverse memory loss. Though studies are for the most part inconsistent with antioxidant supplements, there is no arguing the benefits of antioxidants found naturally in fruits and vegetables we eat everyday.