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August 04, 2017

Oxygen sustains life, but excess oxygen can sometimes be dangerous. Just as iron exposed to air and moisture over a long period of time develops rust, the body undergoes damage with too much oxygen.

What do antioxidants do?

Excess oxygen in the body can come in the form of “free radicals” or “reactive oxygen species.” These radicals are generated in the last step of the normal digestion and absorption cycle in the body.

Antioxidants are widely studied for their role in neutralizing these free radicals. By helping to stabilize the free radicals, antioxidants prevent further damage to healthy cells.

A way of measuring the antioxidant capacity of foods is to use Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) assay.

Top ten antioxidant rich foods

Here is a list of ten most powerful antioxidants that occur naturally based on their ORAC scores:

1. Cloves: With an ORAC score of 290283, cloves lead the table as the most powerful antioxidant sources. Cloves are strongly flavored spices used in Asian cuisines.

2. Oregano: The popular additive to pizzas and other Italian dishes, oregano can be added to almost any dish. Scoring 175295, ORAC is second only to cloves in terms of free radical scavenging power.

3. Rosemary: The fragrant herb has been used extensively in many forms including oils, leaves and extracts. Known for its health benefits and a high ORAC score of 165280, rosemary is a great addition to a healthy diet.

4. Thyme: Another spice that is closely related to rosemary is thyme that was popular among Greeks and Egyptians as well. With its unique scent, thyme can be added to dishes which need a lot of aroma while infusing great antioxidant benefits.

5. Cinnamon: The next best spice is cinnamon that can easily go into any pudding, cake or desserts. Ground cinnamon has great power to quench free radicals.

6. Turmeric: With an ORAC value of 127068, turmeric is a yellow colored additive to many dishes particularly in Asia. Turmeric has been studied extensively for its cancer prevention benefits and also helps shrink existing cancerous cells.

7. Acai berries: Originating from European palm trees, acai berries are the best among fruits in terms of antioxidant capacity. Acai supplements and extracts are popular in many parts of the world.

8. Ginger: The root adds interesting flavors to any dish and with an ORAC score of 39041, it is a great asset in the kitchen.

9. Blueberries: Blueberries have plenty of antioxidants in them, including resveratrol, vitamin C, and anthocyanins.

10. Walnuts: Packed with alpha linolenic acid, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, walnuts are deliciously healthy.

Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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