The most common sources of antioxidants are:
When measured by weight, spices are the richest source of antioxidants. The type of spice with the greatest antioxidant capacity is cloves, with an exceptional ORAC value of almost 300,000 units (but please don’t try to eat 100 grams of cloves just for the antioxidants!). Other spices rich in antioxidants are oregano, rosemary, turmeric, thyme, cinnamon, sage and vanilla.
Despite what we all hear about caffeine, coffee is a great source of antioxidants. Its ORAC value can range from about 15,000 to 17,000, depending on brew time, type of bean and other factors.
Berries are the richest source of antioxidants among fresh fruits. The Himalayan goji berry and the tropical Acai berry top the list with respective ORAC values of about 25,000 and 18,500, although these varieties are pretty hard to find. Nevertheless, you’ll never go wrong with less-exotic berries such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries because are also excellent sources of antioxidants. Berries, when juiced, can rack up up to 10,000 ORAC value each glass.
Nuts, aside from being protein-rich, are also are jam-packed with antioxidants. Pecans are the best source of antioxidants among nuts, with an ORAC value of close to 18,000. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds are not that far behind.
Fruits are generally high sources of antioxidants, but they get richer once the water content had been removed. Raisins (dried grapes) tops the list of dried fruits with an ORAC value of 10,000 and the prunes (dried plums) are not that far behind with a value of 8,000 ORAC.
Cooked vegetables like artichokes, red cabbage, red leaf lettuce, asparagus, spinach and broccoli top the list of vegetable with high ORAC values.
Kidney beans and black beans are the best sources of antioxidants in the beans-and-legumes family, offering up ORAC values in the 8,000s.
Protective bioflavanoids are abundant in deeply-pigmented fruits and vegetable. It’s actually because of these flavanoids that they are rich in colors. So, every time you eat red apples, dark grapes and cherries, keep in mind that they have higher ORAC values.
If you’re more of a picky eater, you’ll have to take in supplements of Vitamins A, vitamin E, beta carotene, lycopene and more; but before you stuff yourself with all the vitamins and minerals you could get your hands on, just remember, more does not necessarily mean better – take everything in moderation.