"Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

What are Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules contained in foods and other sources that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecules in the body that can damage calls. These free radical molecules become unstable from body chemical reactions and also from external irritants like smoke. They have missing electrons and therefore have a positive charge and are oxidized. Those positively charged molecules react with body cells or other molecules to steal their electrons. This process damages cells and body tissues.
Therefore the more antioxidants you have the more they will neutralize the bad free radical molecules and lessen the damage and aging of the body.

There are many references that say people who eat a diet rich in antioxidants age at a slower rate than people who do not. It is therefore important to know what foods contain antioxidants.
In general, colorful fruits and vegetables are excellent food selections. They are rich in antioxidants and these are highly desirable selections because they neutralize free radicals and slow the aging process.
Supplements such as green tea, vitamin C, pomegranate, grape seed etc. are loaded with antioxidants and can protect the body from free radical damage.

Below is a listing of foods sorted by highest antioxidant values based upon "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity" ORAC units. (2010).
As you can note spices are very high in antioxidants and I sprinkle my meals with cayenne pepper and cinnamon as much as possible.
Sumac, bran, raw 312400
Spices, cloves, ground 290283
Sorghum, bran, hi-tannin 240000
Spices, oregano, dried 175295
Spices, rosemary, dried 165280
Spices, thyme, dried 157380
Spices, cinnamon, ground 131420
Spices, turmeric, ground 127068
Spices, vanilla beans, dried 122400
Spices, sage, ground 119929
Spices, szechuan pepper, dried 118400
Acai, fruit pulp/skin, powder 102700
Sorghum, bran, black 100800
Rosehip 96150
Sumac, grain, raw 86800
Spices, parsley, dried 73670
Sorghum, bran, red 71000
Spices, nutmeg, ground 69640
Spices, basil, dried 61063
Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened 55653
Spices, cumin seed 50372
Baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares 49944
Spices, curry powder 48504
Sorghum, grain, hi-tannin 45400
Spices, pepper, white 40700
Chocolate, dutched powder 40200
Spices, ginger, ground 39041
Spices, pepper, black 34053
Sage, fresh 32004
Spices, mustard seed, yellow 29257
Thyme, fresh 27426
Marjoram, fresh 27297
Rice bran, crude 24287
Spices, chili powder 23636
Spices, paprika 21932
Sorghum, grain, black 21900
Candies, chocolate, dark 20816
Spices, pepper, red or cayenne 19671
Raspberries, black 19220
Candies, semisweet chocolate 18053
Nuts, pecans 17940
Chokeberry, raw 16062
Tarragon, fresh 15542
Ginger root, raw 14840
Elderberries, raw 14697
Sorghum, grain, red 14000
Peppermint, fresh 13978
Oregano, fresh 13970
Nuts, walnuts, english 13541
Juice, black raspberry 10460
Raisins, golden seedless 10450
Nuts, hazelnuts or filberts 9645
Blueberries, wild, raw 9621
Pears, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 9496
Savory, fresh 9465
Artichokes, Ocean Mist, boiled 9416
Artichokes, Ocean Mist, Microwaved 9402
Cranberries, raw 9090
Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, raw 8606
Beans, black, mature seeds, raw 8494
Beans, pink, mature seeds, raw 8320
Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked 8059
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, raw 8033
Currants, european black, raw 7957
Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw 7675
Plums, black diamond, with peel, raw 7581
Agave, dried (Southwest) 7524
Candies, milk chocolate 7519
Lentils, raw 7282
Apples, dried to 40% moisture (purchsed in Italy) 6681
Spices, garlic powder 6665
Artichokes, (globe or french), raw 6552
Beans, black turtle soup, mature seeds, raw 6416
Sorghum, bran, white 6400
Chocolate syrup 6330
Babyfood, fruit, peaches 6257
Plums, raw 6100
Lemon balm, leaves, raw 5997
Blackberries, raw 5905
Garlic, raw 5708
Soybeans, mature seeds, raw 5409
Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw 5141
Raspberries, raw 5065
Babyfood, fruit, apple and blueberry, junior 4822
Basil, fresh 4805
Blueberries, raw 4669
Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Cabernet Sauvignon 4523
Pomegranates, raw 4479
Nuts, almonds 4454
Dill weed, fresh 4392
Cowpeas, common (blackeyes, crowder, southern), mature seeds, raw 4343
Strawberries, raw 4302
Spices, onion powder 4289
Apples, Red Delicious, raw. with skin 4275
Peaches, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 4222
Raisins, white, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 4188
Babyfood, fruit, applesauce, strained 4123
Apples, Granny Smith, raw, with skin 3898
Dates, deglet noor 3895
Cherries, sweet, raw 3747
Makiang, raw 3695
Alcoholic beverage, wine, table, red 3607
Peanut butter, smooth style 3432
Raisins, seedless 3406
Currants, red, raw 3387
Figs, raw 3383
Gooseberries, raw 3332
Goji berry (wolfberry), raw 3290
Apricots, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 3234
Peanuts, all types, raw 3166
Cabbage, red, boiled 3145
Broccoli raab, raw 3083
Agave, cooked (Southwest) 3074
Apples, raw, with skin 3049
Apples, Red Delicious, raw, without skin 2936
Apples, Gala, raw, with skin 2828
Spices, cardamom 2764
Pomegranate juice, bottled 2681
Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Merlot 2670
Apples, Golden Delicious, raw, with skin 2670
Babyfood, fruit, bananas 2658
Maloud, raw 2611
Apples, Fuji, raw, with skin 2589
Apples, raw, without skin 2573
Babyfood, fruit, peaches, junior 2551
Guava, white-fleshed 2550
Mangosteen, raw 2510
Cabbage, red, raw 2496
Lettuce, red leaf, raw 2426
Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Zinfandel 2400
Juice, Concord grape 2389
Dates, medjool 2387
Juice, black cherry 2370
Juice, Blueberry 2359
Cereals, ready-to-eat, corn flakes 2359
Cereals, oats, instant, fortified, plain, dry 2308
Cereals ready-to-eat, granola, low-fat, with raisins 2294
Asparagus, raw 2252
Beans, black, mature seeds, boiled 2249
Apples, Golden Delicious, raw, without skin 2210
Cauliflower, purple, cooked 2210
Pears, green cultivars, with peel, raw 2201
Sorghum, grain, white 2200
Radish seeds, sprouted, raw 2184
Cereals ready-to-eat, oat bran 2183
Cereals ready-to-eat, toasted oatmeal 2175
Cereals, oats, quick, uncooked 2169
Broccoli, boiled 2160
Cereals ready-to-eat, oatmeal, toasted squares 2143
Sweet potato, baked in skin 2115
Bread, butternut whole grain 2104
Oranges, raw, all commercial varieties 2103
Chives, raw 2094
Cauliflower, purple, raw 2084
Cabbage, savoy, boiled 2050
Prune juice, canned 2036
Guava, red-fleshed 1990
Applesauce, canned, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid (includes USDA commodity) 1965
Bread, pumpernickel 1963
Nuts, cashew nuts, raw 1948
Beet greens, raw 1946
Avocados, Hass, raw 1922
Peaches, raw 1922
Arugula (rocket), raw 1904
Beans, navy, mature seeds, raw 1861
Snacks, tortilla chips, low fat, made with olestra, nacho cheese 1858
Grapes, red, raw 1837
Oranges, raw, navels 1819
Juice, red grape 1788
Beets, raw 1776
Cabbage, black, cooked 1773
Juice, acai blends 1767
Radishes, raw 1750
Pears, red anjou, raw 1746
Grapes, black 1746
Snacks, popcorn, air-popped 1743
Cereals, oats, old fashioned, uncooked 1708
Nuts, macadamia nuts, dry roasted 1695
Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, unprepared 1687
Potatoes, Russet, flesh and skin, baked 1680
Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained 1644
Grapefruit, raw, pink and red and white, all areas 1640
Tangerines, (mandarin oranges), raw 1627
Broccoli raab, cooked 1590
Snacks, tortilla chips, low fat, made with olestra 1549
Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas 1548
Lettuce, green leaf, raw 1532
Onions, red, raw 1521
Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER OAT LIFE, plain 1517
Spinach, raw 1513
Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw 1510
Broccoli, raw 1510
Juice, Cranberry/Concord grape 1480
Cranberry juice, unsweetened 1452
Lettuce, butterhead (includes boston and bibb types), raw 1423
Guavas, common, raw 1422
Bread, Multi-Grain (includes whole-grain) 1421
Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanched 1419
Cauliflower, green, cooked 1387
Lemons, raw, without peel 1346
Potatoes, red, flesh and skin, baked 1326
Potatoes, russet, flesh and skin, raw 1322
Bread, Oatnut 1318
Cereals ready-to-eat, wheat, shredded, plain, sugar and salt free 1303
Parsley, raw 1301
Mangos, raw 1300
Agave, raw (Southwest) 1294
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, reduced fat 1263
Tea, green, brewed 1253
Grapefruit juice, white, raw 1238
Lemon juice, raw 1225
Onions, yellow, sauteed 1220
Kiwi, gold, raw 1210
Potatoes, white, flesh and skin, baked 1138
Tea, brewed, prepared with tap water 1128
Apricots, raw 1110
Potatoes, red, flesh and skin, raw 1098
Potatoes, white, flesh and skin, raw 1058
Peppers, sweet, yellow, raw 1043
Grapes, white or green, raw 1018
Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 1017
Alcoholic beverage, wine, table, rose 1005
Juice, strawberry 1002
Sauce, salsa, ready-to-serve 1001
Peppers, sweet, orange, raw 984
Mushrooms, portabella, raw 968
Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 962
Mushrooms, brown, Italian, or Crimini, raw 951
Pineapple, raw, extra sweet variety 943
Peppers, sweet, green, raw 935
Eggplant, raw 932
Nectarines, raw 919
Onions, raw 913
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, boiled 904
Sweet potato, raw 902
Cauliflower, raw 870
Juice, cranberrry, 100% - cranberry blend, red 865
Onions, white, raw 863
Kiwi fruit, (chinese gooseberries), fresh, raw 862
Cabbage, boiled 856
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, raw 847
Peppers, sweet, red, sauteed 847
Lime juice, raw 823
Peppers, sweet, red, raw 821
Noni fruit, raw 800
Beans, snap, green, raw 799
Bananas, raw 795
Juice, white grape 793
Olive oil, extra-virgin, w/parsley, home prepared 766
Sweet potato, cooked, boiled, without skin 766
Mushrooms, shiitake, dried 752
Peas, yellow, mature seeds, raw 741
Chilchen (Red Berry Beverage) (Navajo) 740
Cauliflower, boiled 739
Corn, sweet, yellow, raw 728
Orange juice, raw 726
Nuts, pine nuts, dried 720
Pear juice, all varieties 704
Orange juice, canned, unsweetened 703
Carrots, raw 697
Peppers, sweet, yellow, grilled 694
Tomato products, canned, sauce 694
Mushrooms, white, raw 691
Olive oil, extra-virgin, w/basil, home prepared 684
Mush, blue corn with ash (Navajo) 684
Mushrooms, maitake, raw 669
Mushroom, oyster, raw 664
Cauliflower, frozen, unprepared 620
Peppers, sweet, green, sauteed 615
Onions, sweet, raw 614
Peas, green, frozen, unprepared 600
Syrups, maple 590
Catsup 578
Leeks, (bulb and lower leaf-portion), raw 569
Pineapple juice, canned, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid 568
Vinegar, Apple 564
Pineapple, raw, traditional varieties 562
Olive oil, extra-virgin, w/garlic, home prepared 557
Celery, raw 552
Vegetable juice cocktail, canned 548
Tomatoes, plum, raw 546
Cabbage, raw 529
Peas, split, mature seeds, raw 524
Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels cut off cob, unprepared 522
Tea, green, ready-to-drink 520
Broccoli, frozen, spears, unprepared 496
Tomato juice, canned 486
Cocoa mix, powder 485
Pumpkin, raw 483
Spices, poppy seed 481
Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw 438
Carrots, baby, raw 436
Peaches, canned, heavy syrup, drained 436
Tomatoes, red, ripe, cooked 423
Apple juice, canned or bottled, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid 414
Babyfood, juice, pear 414
Corn, sweet, yellow, canned, brine pack, regular pack, solids and liquids 413
Vinegar, Red wine 410
Squash, winter, butternut, raw 396
Alcoholic beverage, wine, table, white 392
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 387
Pineapple, raw, all varieties 385
Olive oil, extra-virgin 372
Carrots, boiled 326
Melons, cantaloupe, raw 319
Tea, black, ready-to-drink, plain and flavored 313
Fennel, bulb, raw 307
Papayas, raw 300
Asparagus, white, raw 296
Beans, snap, green variety, canned, regular pack, solids and liquids 290
Vinegar, Apple and Honey 270
Tea, white, ready-to-drink 264
Banana, Nam-wa variety 260
Melons, honeydew, raw 253
Eggplant, boiled 245
Beans, lima, immature seeds, canned, regular pack, solids and liquids 243
Cucumber, with peel, raw 232
Juice, cranberry, white 232
Vinegar, Honey 225
Olive oil, extra-virgin, w/garlic and red hot peppers, home prepared 219
Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw 180
Watermelon, raw 142
Cucumber, peeled, raw 140
Cauliflower, green, raw 136
Oil, peanut, salad or cooking 106
Limes, raw 82

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