Which Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables Should You Be Eating?

Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University measured various fruits and vegetables for their ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), or their antioxidant power. Which pack the most powerful antioxidant punch?

View as Slideshow

Prunes

Prunes
Black plums have 4,873 total antioxidants, and their dried counterpart, prunes pack 7,291 into just half a cup, according to WebMD.com.

Raisins

Raisins
Similarly, red grapes have 2,016 total antioxidants per serving, and raisins contain 2,490.

Blueberries

Blueberries
Blueberries have more antioxidants—those magical molecules that can help prevent a host of maladies—than 40 other common fruits and vegetables. Eating one cup of wild blueberries will provide 13,427 total antioxidants, about 10 times the USDA's recommendation. The farmed variety will give you 9,019 per cup.

Content continues below ad

Blackberries

Blackberries
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, but know that they're also packed with polyols, the main component in sugar substitutes (which are often blamed for abdominal issues).

Strawberries

Strawberries
Like blueberries and raspberries, strawberries are high in antioxidants, which protect healthy cells from many cancers.

Raspberries

Raspberries
Make your portion more powerful: A study in the Journal of Nutrition determined that the anti­oxidant ellagic acid (found in raspberries, pomegranates, walnuts, and cranberries) enhanced the ability of quercetin (an antioxidant found in apples, grapes, onions, and buckwheat) to kill off cancerous cells.

Content continues below ad

Plums

Plums
Pick the black kind to get 4,873 antioxidants per serving. Dried plums (prunes) offer slightly more.

Oranges

Oranges
Oranges, along with mangos, peaches, and watermelon, are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant and one of a pair of compounds that lowered the risk of arthritis by an impressive 20 to 40 percent in a UK study of 25,000 people.

Red Grapes

Red Grapes
Enjoy this healthy, low-calorie snack: You can eat 20 red seedless grapes and still consume only 100 calories.

Content continues below ad

Cherries

Cherries
Juicy and tart Montmorency cherries are your best source of the antioxidant melatonin. Other cherries have it, too, but Montmorency has the most. Melatonin protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation. Researchers have discovered that this powerful little nutrient also helps repair sunburned skin, since 
it stimulates new skin-cell growth. Cherries are also packed with vitamin C, which is needed to build collagen—your skin’s natural “scaffolding” and a wrinkle preventer.

Kale

KaleCourtesy The Juice Generation
Rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins, kale is also a good source of beta-carotene and is the top combo of both lutein and zeaxanthin.

Spinach

SpinachHemera/Thinkstock
Spinach is packed with carotenoids—antioxidants that promote healthy eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people.

Content continues below ad

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels SproutsiStockphoto/Thinkstock
These broccoli cousins have plenty of bitter sulforaphane as well as compounds called isothiocyanates, which detoxify cancer-causing substances in the body before they can do their dirty work. In one Dutch study, guys who ate Brussels sprouts daily for three weeks had 28 percent less genetic damage (gene damage is a root cause of cancer) than those who didn’t eat sprouts.

Alfafa Sprouts

Alfafa SproutsiStockphoto/Thinkstock
This tiny powerhouse is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects against lung cancer and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and teeth. It's also a good source of vitamin E, which may help prevent heart attacks, stokes, and lower the risk of death from bladder cancer.

Broccoli Flowers

Broccoli FlowersiStock/Thinkstock
Broccoli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate 5 servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies like broccoli were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a 10-year period as men who rarely ate them.

Content continues below ad

Beets

BeetsiStock/Thinkstock
Beets are packed with healthy nutrients, like five essential vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and protein.

Red Bell Peppers

Red Bell Peppers
One medium pepper is light on calories (only 32!) but heavy on vitamin C, providing 150 percent of your recommended daily value and warding off atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease.

Onions

Onions
You'll get the most out of this veggie's cancer-fighting antioxidants by eating it raw; cooking onions at a high heat significantly reduces the benefits of phytochemicals that protect against lung and prostate cancer.

Content continues below ad

Corn

CornAblestock.com/Thinkstock
A study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that the longer corn was cooked, the higher the level of antioxidants like lutein, which combats blindness in older adults.

Eggplant

Eggplant
All types of eggplant are rich in bitter chlorogenic acid, which protects against the buildup of heart-threatening plaque in artery walls (and fights cancer, too!), say USDA scientists in Beltsville, Maryland. In lab studies, eggplant lowered cholesterol and helped artery walls relax, which can cut your risk of high blood pressure.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

5 thoughts on “Which Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables Should You Be Eating?

  1. Acai has more antioxidants in one serving than all the fruits listed combined in equivalent serving

  2. Yup, just about every berry is high in antioxidants…and they’re delicious!
    Top Seven Best Antioxidant Berries
     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy