What should contain an antioxidants-rich diet?

You have probably been hearing a lot about antioxidants and how good they are for your health. But do you know exactly what they are and how you can benefit from them?

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 affect also other parts of the body. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and can be found in various foods.

Each food has an antioxidant concentration per serving size. Cranberries, strawberries and blackberries ranked highest among the foods with highest levels of antioxidants. Cooked artichokes and cabbage were tops among the vegetables. Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts ranked highest in the nut category.

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.

Harvard Medical School published three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of antioxidants that can be found below:

Product Antioxidants (mmol/serving)
Blackberries 5.746
Walnuts 3.721
Strawberries 3.584
Artichokes, prepared 3.559
Cranberries 3.125
Coffee 2.959
Raspberries 2.870
Pecans 2.741
Blueberries 2.680
Cloves, ground 2.637
Grape juice 2.557
Chocolate, baking, unsweetened 2.516
Cranberry juice 2.474
Cherries, sour 2.205
Wine, red 2.199
Power Bar, chocolate flavor 1.875
Pineapple juice 1.859
Guava nectar 1.858
Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin C enriched 1.821
Cranapple juice 1.790
Prunes 1.715
Chocolate, dark, sugar-free 1.675
Cabbage, red, cooked 1.614
Orange juice 1.510
Apple juice, with added vitamin C 1.462
Mango nectar 1.281
Pineapples 1.276
Oranges 1.261
Bran Flakes breakfast cereal 1.244
Plums, black 1.205
Pinto beans, dried 1.137
Canned chili with meat and beans 1.049
Canned chili with meat, no beans 1.045
Spinach, frozen 1.040
Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal 1.024
Chocolate, sugar-free 1.001...