What Foods Are Highest in Antioxidants? Some Inexpensive Foods Are Higher In Antioxidants than the Newest Pricey “Superfoods”

As I’ve previously noted, antioxidants fight inflammation and many diseases, and help protect against damage from radiation.

But how do you know what to eat to get more antioxidants?

Sellers of supplements hawk their wares, with the newest “fad” supplement boasting “super antioxidant” status costing an arm and a leg. Unless you are independently wealthy, these superfoods might be out of reach.

But it turns out that many common, inexpensive foods are high in antioxidants.

Specifically, the United States Department of Agriculture has developed the “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity” (ORAC) scale to determine the amount of antioxidants in various foods.

Originally developed in the 1990s, USDA updated their findings last year.

A website called ORACValues.com lists foods and their ORAC values either by rank or alphabetically.

Interestingly, the following spices and foods all have ORAC values higher than the expensive fad “superfood” acai:

  • Cloves
  • Sumac bran
  • Cinnamon
  • Hi-tannin Sorghum bran
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric (the spice found in curry)

Indeed, the ORAC value for cloves (314,446) is 3 times higher, cinnamon (267,536) 2.6 times higher, and oregano (200,129) almost twice as high as compared to pricey acai berries (102,700).

And while the old statement that “brightly colored fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants” is true, the ORAC tables show that many grains, spices and even unsweetened chocolate may be even higher in antioxidants.

So eat your fruits and vegetables – they contain a lot of beneficial substances in addition to antioxidants (and see this and this). And consult the ORAC tables to help you learn about inexpensive – and delicious – superfoods.

Note: Most spices are irradiated to kill bacteria. Apparently, organic spices are not irradiated.

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