Your body needs both free radicals and antioxidants to remain healthy. However, when one or the other becomes endangered, you are at risk of imbalance. Antioxidants usually need to be replenished with foods that contain them in high quantities. This happens because your free radicals don’t get spent so quickly. Likewise, your antioxidants can succumb to an occurrence called oxidative damage. When you're low on this vital chemical, you tend to ache from accelerated aging, broken-down tissue, cell damage, and the activation of harmful DNA contents. To prevent this auto-destruction, you need to ingest foods that are high in antioxidants.
The number in the brackets represents the ORAC score of this food, which has for centuries been in use as a salt supplement in Middle Eastern culture. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. People say antioxidant foods because they boost the production of oxidants; they also absorb radicals and impair their production.
Sumac bran is the near-undefeated champion of antioxidant properties. Even though this grass is technically a spice, you can eat its most natural form for various nutrients; this makes it a superfood.
Statistics say that the average US citizen consumes about 12 pounds of chocolate every year. The global annual chocolate budget is somewhere around $75 million. Seeing how everyone prefers “normal” chocolate, it’s safe to assume that people spend only around $5 million or less on dark chocolate. Experts fail to understand why, since this superfood is both delicious and an incredible repellent of radicals. With an ORAC score of 21,000, dark chocolate is junk food gone well. Not only that, unlike regular chocolate, dark chocolate improves heart functioning, cholesterol levels, weight loss, cognitive function, and blood pressure.
Black raspberries are somewhat hard to come by in the United States. With all of the fruits, nuts, and veggies that keep pouring into the stalls, there's less room for this unbelievably healthy fruit. Unlike red ones, black raspberries contain a much higher percentage of antioxidant properties; they are more faithful to the taste.
Black raspberries are full of ellagic acid, gallic acid, and rutin. All of these are valuable phenolic compounds. For these reasons, the black raspberry is called “king of berries.” Some of the actual research shows that black raspberries can suppress and even reverse numerous kinds of cancer.
Pecans are a somewhat unpopular superfood that is yet to make an impact on the health market. If we consider the fact that this is the fourth most potent antioxidant superfood, it becomes ridiculous not to incorporate it into a healthy meal plan. Aside from the impressive 17,000 ORAC, pecans also have various other reasons for being a superfood. For example, they are an abundant source of healthy unsaturated fat that does wonders in lowering high cholesterol. They contain over 19 minerals and vitamins, such as A, B, E, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Elderberries are one of the oldest fruits known to humankind, with proof that dates back to 10,000 BC. Recipes including elderberries have first surfaced in ancient Egypt, while some historians trace it back to Hippocrates. The father of medicine described this fruit as his “medicine chest,” due to the immense scope of its healing properties.
The benevolent effect of the elderberry fruit was also shown in 1995 when the government enforced its use to fight the Panama flu epidemic. The only difference between then and now is that we today know the antioxidant value of this incredible fruit; its healing superiority remains unchanged.
Unlike cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries are endemic to northern regions of North America. Along with concord grapes and cranberries, they can be grown only on North American soil. However, their nutritional value is needed worldwide. Fortunately, wild blueberries are easy to farm and maintain, being the durable fruit that they are. Along with 9,600 ORAC, wild blueberries contribute to numerous health improvements. The immense amount of anthocyanin that they contain makes them the best addition to every morning yogurt. Wild blueberries are also entirely resistant to the cold, which means they don’t lose any nutritional value in the freezer.
Aside from being bodywide inflammation stoppers, cranberries are best known for their antioxidative qualities. There’s also the reason for researchers to believe that cranberries prevent infection-inducing bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. This idea, along with their potent combination of various vitamins including C, E, and K, easily makes cranberries a superfood. They also have lots of dietary fiber, manganese, copper, and pantothenic acid.
This fruit is extremely low in calories – only 46 per full cup. Potassium and sodium create an electrolyte balance in any diet that incorporates cranberries. They also contain various anti-cancer properties. However, the most potent phytonutrient of cranberries is quercetin, which very few berries contain in this amount.
The only non-sweet food to make this list besides pecans are kidney beans. They contain high amounts of fibers that significantly reduce bad cholesterol. The fiber-rich content also negates the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal; this notion is an extremely beneficial trait for all people with diabetes. What makes kidney beans unique on the list is their super-high amount of molybdenum, a trace mineral that detoxifies sulfites. Since sulfites are a food-preservative that you can find commonly in any salad, there’s almost no meal that kidney beans can’t complement. This food used to be endemic to Peru, but it quickly spread throughout the rest of the world. As a result, kidney beans are now one of the cheapest superfoods on the market.
Dried plums make for one of nature’s most potent laxatives due to their high amount of sorbitol. As a result, prunes are an old traditional medicine for constipation and other digestion issues. This fruit offers a high sugar high at a very low-calorie amount (only 30 per piece), which makes them a great addition to any diet.
The phytonutrients called phenols that are present in most superfoods are present in prunes as well. This ingredient is what gives them the high antioxidant ranking. A high amount of soluble fibers are also present in this fruit; they are responsible for making you feel much fuller after a meal. In turn, this prevents overeating and improves weight-associated conditions.
Due to the rumor that black currant spreads the fungus that kills pine trees, US farmers took a long time to realize the scope of benefits this superfood offers. Fortunately, the US eventually lifted the ban, and now we can enjoy the full potential of this delicious fruit. Black currant is an excellent source of anthocyanins, polyphenolic substances, vitamin C and gamma-linolenic acid. The British seem to be particularly aware of these qualities, as they’ve incorporated this food into many healthy meals and beverages throughout the UK. The tartness of black currant makes it a great addition to any jam, juice, or smoothie.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.