Looking for a diet rich in antioxidants? Here are the fruits, vegetables, and berries you should eat in abundance, to get that wealth of healthy vitamins!
A medical doctor I know who specializes in menopause recommends that every woman drink a glass of blueberry wine each evening with her meal. You can see why below!
Each line in the food tables has the food item name, the ORAC units per serving, and the effective carbs per serving. Each serving here is 1/4 cup.
These tables use Tufts Medical Center defined ORAC units. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and in essence defines how powerful the antioxidant quantity is. A person eating the recommended 8-10 vegetable servings a day should be at around 3,500 ORAC units.
Blueberries - 2,400 - 4.1g
Blackberries - 2,036 - 2.7g
Strawberries - 1,540 - 1.8g
Raspberries - 1,220 - 1.5g
Kale - 1,770 - 2.4g
Spinach - 1,260 - 0.2g
Brussels Sprouts - 980 - 7.6g
Broccoli Florets - 890 - 1.7g
Red grapes - 739 - 6.7g
Plums - 949 - 7.6g
Oranges - 750 - 12.9g
As you can see, berries are the best provider of ORAC per gram of carbs, while fruits are not nearly as healthy.
Researchers have found that red wine also provides antioxidant benefits to a person's system, when drunk in moderation. Males need to stay within two glasses a day, while women should drink just one glass each day.
You'll see on this list that kale and spinach both rank quite highly in terms of ORAC value and antioxidant value. Kale has 1,770 units and spinach has 1,260. This again is a great reason to look into creating smoothies. I can drop a cup of kale or spinach into a smoothie, add in some other flavors, and blend up a delicious drink. The kale or spinach becomes completely lost in the smoothie but still provides all of its potent nutritional help.
Having a berry plate as a dessert option is also a wonderful way to get antioxidants into your daily diet. Just remember that moderation is the key.
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books