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Antioxidants in Fruits

Fruits, especially berries, are full of antioxidants essential for good health.

Fruit Antioxidants in Dried or Frozen Form

Dried versions of these fruits are smaller, but they still have plenty of antioxidants. For instance, just half a cup of these dried fruits packs quite a punch: prunes (7,291), dates (3,467), figs (2,537), and raisins (2,490). Some people prefer the taste or texture of certain dried fruits over fresh ones. Dried cranberries are a prime example; they tend to be much less tart than the fresh variety.

When buying dried fruit, check the label for added sugar and portion size. "One thing people don't realize is that portion size for dried fruit is fairly small, usually a quarter of a cup," Moore tells WebMD. "So it's very easy to overeat dried fruit, getting a lot more calories than you need. For people struggling with weight control, that can be too much of a good thing. If you eat the fruits in their natural form, they are very low in calories, very nutritious, full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many, many antioxidants. The whole fruit helps keep you in line calorie-wise."

Also, frozen fruits are a good way to go, adds Moore. "Make sure you buy the ones without added sugar. Frozen berries are especially good for a smoothie, where texture and appearance doesn't matter. Also, they're good over ice cream or cake, when you're dishing and serving them fairly soon out of the bag. If you wait too long after they've thawed, they're going to get fairly soggy."

Drinking Your Antioxidants in Wine and Juice

More than 300 studies cite plentiful antioxidants in red wine, grape juice, grape seed, and grape skin extracts. Red wine is loaded with flavonoids like anthocyanidins and catechins. Studies show that when animals are given grape products (the study did not specify which products) the artery-clogging process slows down. The same thing seems to happen with humans, Prior says.

This is at the heart of what's known as the French paradox, a theory that emerged in the 1990s. French people have lower rates of heart attacks despite the rich cuisine they eat because they drink moderate amounts of red wine with their meals.

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