September 25, 2004

Antioxidant Values in Fruits And Vegetables

Posted in: Health and Nutrition

by Dan Roberts
September 2004

A study from Tufts University in Boston ranks the antioxidant value of commonly eaten fruits and vegetables using an analysis called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This is a test tube analysis that measures the total antioxidant power of foods and other chemical substances.

Antioxidants are special compounds that protect against oxidation, or cellular damage caused by free radicals, and they have been shown to be effective in helping to prevent retinal diseases such as macular degeneration. Familiar antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene. It may be important to remember that, while antioxidant vitamin supplements are popular, it may be the combination of the nutrients in the foods that have the greatest effect.

Top-scoring fruits and vegetables ORAC units per 100 grams (about 3½ ounces)

Fruits:

Prunes — 5570
Raisins — 2830
Blueberries — 2400
Blackberries — 2036
Strawberries — 1540
Raspberries — 1220
Plums — 949
Oranges — 750
Red grapes — 739
Cherries — 670
Kiwi fruit — 602
Grapefruit, pink — 483

Vegetables:

Kale — 11770
Spinach — 11260
Brussels sprout — 1980
Alfalfa sprouts — 1930
Broccoli Flowers — 1890
Beets — 1840
Red bell pepper — 1710
Onion — 1450
Corn — 1400
Eggplant — 1390

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