75 Global Foods That Are Extra Rich In Antioxidants

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antioxidant rich food, herbs, spices

Whenever there’s a discussion about health and nutrition, antioxidants are popular topics because of their varied health benefits. Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals are usually referred to as reactive species, such as reactive oxygen or reactive nitrogen, because they react and bind with other compounds in our body.

However, these reactions and bindings are not part of our regular bodily processes, so when they do happen, they’re bound to cause diseases. Antioxidants basically prevent these reactive species from causing damage to our body. Through this action, antioxidants improve cell maintenance, contribute to DNA repair, and increase longevity.

It is only natural that we would want to eat foods that are high in antioxidant content. However, when we search the internet for foods that have high levels of antioxidants, we normally just see foods that are grown or available in the North America region. For instance, for berries, one would think that blueberries are the ones with the highest antioxidant content because that’s what we always see on the internet.

But did you know that blueberries cultivated in the US only have 1.65-2.79 antioxidant content in millimoles per 100 grams? And would you believe that there is a berry found in India that actually has 261.53 antioxidant content in millimoles per 100 grams?

In 2010, researchers developed the Antioxidant Food Database which lists more than 3,100 spices, beverages, foods, herbs, and supplements from all over the globe and their antioxidant contents. If you really want to know what are the best natural source of antioxidants, take a look at this global list of antioxidant super-rich foods. (Note: Antioxidant content is measured in millimoles per 100 grams.)

Spices And Herbs

antioxidant rich herbs and spices          Although you would normally use spices and herbs sparingly, this is one food category with some of the highest antioxidant content.

Herbs and Spices Antioxidant Content
Dried ground clove 465.32
Dried whole clove 327.77
Dried bearberry leaves 182.1
Dried peppermint leaves 160.82
Dried meadowsweet 154.05
Dried rose flower 153.9
Dried wild marjoram leaves 142.86
Dried green mint leaves 142.58
Dried ground cinnamon 139.89
Dried Alpine lady’s‐mantle leaves 130.36
Dried lemon balm leaves 125.33
Dried woodland geranium 113.27
Dried Purple Loosestrife flower and leaves 111.04
Dried red wortleberries leaves 102.07
Dried ground allspice 101.52

Herbal Or Traditional Plant Medicines

          Most of the herbal medicines or supplements listed here are either from India, Japan, or Mexico. Take a look at the first item on the list, the Peruvian sangre de grado with an unbelievable antioxidant content of almost 3,000 mmol/100grams. The sangre de grado is actually a tree, and the herbal medicine with the same name is made from the bark and sap of the tree.

Herbal Or Traditional Plant Medicines Antioxidant Content
Sangre de grado (Croton lechleri) liquid solution from Iquitos, Peru 2,897.11
Triphala, powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 706.25
Amalaki (Amla), powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 301.14
Arjuna, powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care 146.95
Cinnamomi Cortex by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 120.18
Goshuyutou powder from Japan 132.58
Scutellariae Radix by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 111.33
Neem Guard, powder in capsule from India 89.23
Tepezcohuite from Mexico 64.58
Cimicifugae Rhizoma by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 64.31
Paeoniae Radix by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 55.13
Eucalipto from Mexico 47.3
Cascara Sagrada from Mexico 47.15
Un Compuesto from Mexico 40.89
Tulasi powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 39.67

Berries And Berry Products

antioxidant rich berries          Although berries and berry products common in the US were included in the Antioxidant Food Database, unfortunately, they pale in comparison to these exotic and not-so-familiar berries from different parts of the world. Watch out for amla berries from India, it’s already starting to gain popularity as a superfood.

Berries And Berry Products Antioxidant Content
Dried Amla berries from India 261.53
Dried whole dog rose from Helios, Norway 78.09
Dog roseshell flour from Risenta, Finland 75.84
Dog rose powder from Chile 54.3
Dried wild bilberries from Norway 48.32
Dried Loch Ness blackberries from Norway 37.08
Dog rose from Norway 34.49
Dried cultivated red whortleberries fromNorway 32.28
Amla, syrup from canned Indian Gooseberries 29.7
Dog rose powder from Sun Vita A/S, Denmark 28.49
Dried zereshk from Iran 27.3
Dog rose powder from Norway 20.82
Dried rowanberries from Norway 19.13
Dog rose from Spain 14.16
Wild black chokeberries from Norway 13.48

Fruit And Fruit Juices 

          For fruits, pomegranates top the list when it comes to antioxidant content, which explains why there are so many health benefits related to pomegranates such as lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and lower risks of prostate and breast cancers.

Fruit And Fruit Juices Antioxidant Content
Pomegranate yellow pith from Spain 55.52
Fruit from the African Baobab tree from Malawi 10.84
Pomegranate arils and carpellar membrane from Norway 9.05
Dried pomegranate arils from India 7.28
Whole pomegranate from Spain 6.54
Tasmanian dried apples from Australia 6.07
Dried pomegranate from Norway 5.51
Dried apricots from New Zealand 4.67
Dried sweet cherries from USA 4.06
Lemon skin from ecologically grown lemon from South Africa 4
Prunes from El Dorado 3.7
Black kalamata olives with stone from Regina 3.25
Dried plums from USA 3.24
Dried apricots from Norway 3.23
Black kalamata olives with stone from Iliada, Greece 3.13

Vegetables

          We usually think of broccoli or spinach when we think of vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Unfortunately, compared to the vegetables in this list, broccoli just can’t catch up in terms of antioxidant content.

Vegetables Antioxidant Content
Crushed dry Leaves from the African Baobab tree from Mali 48.07
Dried Moringa Stenopetala leaves and stem from Ethiopia 11.9
Canned artichoke from Spain 4.76
Dry okra/gumbo from Mali 4.24
Red curly kale from Sweden 4.09
Sheep polypore mushroom from Norway 3.85
Sundried tomatoes in canola oil from Australia 3.59
Cooked blue cauliflower from Norway 3.52
Curly kale from Sweden 2.68
Cooked red cabbage from USA 2.15
Sundried tomatoes in oil from Norway 1.95
Orange bellpepper from Norway 1.94
Red bellpepper from Norway 1.81
Yellow bellpepper from Norway 1.79
Cooked red pepper from USA

1.64