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Antioxidant Riches Found in Unexpected Foods

Beans, Berries, Spices, and Potatoes Are Antioxidant Powerhouses
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Ranking Antioxidant-Rich Foods continued...

Here's the list of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants, based on their total antioxidant capacity per serving size:

Rank

 

Food item

 

Serving size
Total antioxidant capacity per serving size

1

Small Red Bean (dried)

Half cup

13727

2

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13427

3

Red kidney bean (dried)

Half cup

13259

4

Pinto bean

Half cup

11864

5

Blueberry (cultivated)

1 cup

9019

6

Cranberry

1 cup (whole)

8983

7

Artichoke (cooked)

1 cup (hearts)

7904

8

Blackberry

1 cup

7701

9

Dried Prune

Half cup

7291

10

Raspberry

1 cup

6058

11

Strawberry

1 cup

5938

12

Red Delicious apple

One

5900

13

Granny Smith apple

One

5381

14

Pecan

1 ounce

5095

15

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4873

16

Black plum

One

4844

17

Russet potato (cooked)

One

4649

18

Black bean (dried)

Half cup

4181

19

Plum

One

4118

20

Gala apple

One

3903

Researchers also found that cooking method also had a significant effect on the antioxidant content of the foods tested, but those effects were not consistent.

For example, cooked Russet and red potatoes had much lower antioxidant levels than those found in raw potatoes. Boiling also decreased antioxidant levels in carrots, but cooking tomatoes increased their antioxidant content.

Putting Antioxidants in Perspective

Registered dietitian David Grotto says he was amazed to see that unexpected foods, such as beans, potatoes, and artichokes, were so highly ranked by the study.

"With the onslaught of 'no carbs' going on out there, it's nice that we can show that the potato brings more to the table than just carbohydrates," says Grotto, who is director of nutrition at Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Evanston, Ill.

"The message here is diverse diet is still optimal," Grotto tells WebMD. "You don't want to be on the all-red-bean diet because it may have the unique set of antioxidants that are attributed to beans, but it may not have many of the antioxidants that you would find in a wild blueberry."

Nor does it mean that you should limit your diet to only the foods that made the study's top 20 list or start popping antioxidant supplements.

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