Growing up your mom always said, “You need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.” And guess what? She was right.
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium and Vitamins A and C. They’re also high in antioxidants, along with tea and dark chocolate.
Antioxidants are substances that fight off free radicals to protect your body’s cells from damage and your risk of diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants also have immune and anti-aging benefits, and various research has found that antioxidants can help protect your DNA, sight and even help control complications associated with diabetes.
If you’re curious what the antioxidant count is of a certain food, you’ll want to look up its ORAC value. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. An ORAC value is a measurement unit that was first developed by the National Institute on Aging, and ORAC is a lab test that measures the total capacity of antioxidants in a food by placing a sample of the food inside a test tube with specific molecules that produce free radical activity, as well as molecules prone to oxidation. If the food sample protects the susceptible molecules from free radical damage, then it receive a high ORAC value.
See the chart below and read through the descriptions to see comparisons between seven antioxidant-rich foods.
ORAC Value: 1,864
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants, including catechins, flavonoids and polyphenols. But Ujido Matcha gives you 137 times more antioxidants than you’d get drinking regular green tea. More antioxidants means more antioxidant-related health benefits, such as improving your immune system, lowering high blood sugar and blood pressure levels and reducing skin inflammation. If you want to reap all these benefits, order our Matcha tea set today!
2. Acai Berries
ORAC Value: 1,027
Berries are among the best fruit sources of antioxidants, and there’s none better in terms of ORAC value than acai berries. This inch-long fruit may be small, but it’s packed with Vitamin A, iron, calcium, fiber and a high level of antioxidant activity. Acai berries are even used in some beauty products because of all its antioxidants.
3. Dark Chocolate
ORAC Value: 208
Pure dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, it’s great for your health. Dark chocolate has been linked to providing heart protection, including preventing heart disease, thanks in part to its abundance of flavonoids. Other well-known antioxidants available in dark chocolate are polyphenols and catechins.
4. Wild Blueberries
ORAC Value: 96
Blueberries are one of the world’s healthiest foods and are often labelled a superfood. Wild blueberry antioxidants have potential health benefits for the brain and vascular system, as well as the nervous system. The anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids, receive most of the recognition for these wild blueberry antioxidant benefits.
5. Pomegranate Juice
ORAC Value: 48
Known as the tangy royal fruit, a pomegranate stores antioxidants in its peel and juice. Compared to other fruit juices, pomegranate juice has more antioxidants because it’s made by pressing the entire fruit, and many of its antioxidants are concentrated inside the fruit’s peel. The three main antioxidant types you intake when drinking pomegranate juice are anthocyanins, ellagic acid and tannins.
6. Goji Berries
ORAC Value: 33
The last berry on this list is goji berries. Low in calories and fat free, these sweet berries are also a high-antioxidant food known to boost the immune system and reduce high inflammation levels. Research also shows goji berries have vision benefits, especially because of this red fruit’s zeaxanthin level.
ORAC Value: 15
Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse vegetable. It provides the three main antioxidant types, with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients contributing to its antioxidant activity. A handful of different flavonoids and carotenoids are highly concentrated in broccoli.
So your mom was right—you need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to have a balanced diet, but also to add beneficial antioxidants to your daily diet.