Highly Surprising Antioxidant Rich Foods. The Top 20 Explained.

Top food lists of antioxidant rich foods with evidence based researches.


One of the most frequently asked questions is how many antioxidants should be consumed per day to maintain good health.?

According to experts, there is no recommended daily dose of antioxidants, unlike other nutrients, where they can easily tell you how much you need in one day.

There are other guidelines to follow if you want to know how much your body requires. Currently, the USDA proposed 5,000 ORAC units per day. The United States government and health organizations recommend eating a diversified diet that includes at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and 6 to 11 portions of grains per day, with at least half of these servings being whole grains. On the other hand, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency (UK FSA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend 5 servings of fruits and vegetables equivalent to 3,500 0RAC units.

A balanced diet that includes plenty of antioxidant-rich foods and beverages such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seafood, as well as tea and red wine, will help you live a long and healthy life. Experts also concur that eating foods rich in antioxidants is preferable to supplementing one’s diet with them.


The two most widely methods used to measure the antioxidant capacity of antioxidant foods are ORAC and FRAP methods;

The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Scale: USDA Scientists developed a scale that rates and measures the antioxidant content of various natural plant foods. This scale is called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This database holds data for 277 food items.

Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) Analysis: Another method is called the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power.” This method has assessed over 3,100 food items and antioxidant food.


The results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oslo were also published in the Nutrition Journal to find out what foods are rich in antioxidants.  Spices and herbs were discovered to be the most antioxidant rich foods. Fruits like berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even chocolate are high antioxidant foods.

Don’t know how antioxidants affect our bodies? Check out this researched article here.

The following list explains the in-depth details of all antioxidant rich foods options.


  • cinnamon imageAlso high in antioxidant level, cinnamon, particularly cassia cinnamon, is only recommended to consumers sparingly as a spice within less than 1 teaspoon per person.
  • Cinnamon is a delicious spice. It has been revered for its therapeutic powers for thousands of years. It is one of the most antioxidant rich foods. Even though there are hundreds of varieties, only two are regularly used.
  • Caution: Cassia Cinnamon, also known as Chinese Cinnamon, is the most common variety, and it’s what most people in the United States refer to as “Cinnamon.” The Cassia variety includes high levels of coumarin (benzo-a0pyrone), up to 1%, a chemical thought to be toxic in high doses. Consuming too much coumarin is linked to liver damage, increased risk of cancer, mouth sores, low blood sugar, breathing problems, etc. The daily fair amount is 0.05 mg per pound / 0.1 mg per kg of body weight (5 mg per day for a 130 lbs (59 kg) adult – which is less than 1 teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon.) 
  • Ceylon Cinnamon, obtained from Cinnamomum verum J.S. Presl. (syn. Cinnamomum zeylanicum Needs) indigenous to Sri Lanka and southern India, is referred to as “true” or “real” cinnamon. Ceylon is superior in this sense, with less coumarin than Cassia, up to 0.004%.
  • Each type of cinnamon contains polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. It’s proven to be very healthy for humans by several researchers. (1) (2) (3).
  • In a study that compared 26 spices for their antioxidant activity, cinnamon was at the top of its list, even beating the superfoods like garlic and oregano.
  • According to studies, this spice and its antioxidants have important anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Recently, extensive review research indicated that a daily intake of cinnamon of 120 mg could reduce total cholesterol levels, “bad” LDL. Cinnamon also increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels in this study.
  • Numerous human studies have validated cinnamon’s anti-diabetic properties, demonstrating that it can reduce fasting blood sugar levels by 10%–29%.
  • FRAP analysis tells that cinnamon contains 139.9mmol of antioxidants per 100grams.
  • ORAC scale shows that cinnamon has 267,536 (µmol TE)/100g.

2. OREGANOantioxidant rich foods oregano

  • Oregano is a common herb found in a wide variety of cuisines worldwide.
  • Several studies suggest that oregano and oregano oil comes under antioxidant-rich foods beneficial for human health ( 1 ) ( 2 ).
  • Carvacrol and thymol, two antioxidants found in oregano essential oil, play a huge role in combating free radicals.
  • It works as an excellent antibacterial.  In a study done in 2009, oregano proved to work against 23 different bacteria.
  • A comparison study was done on the antibacterial activity of oregano, sage, and thyme essential oils. Oregano was an effective antibacterial essential oil.
  • It’s a highly effective antioxidant food against colon cancer. Carvacrol, another component of oregano, was also found to aid in inhibiting the growth and spread of colon cancer cells in research.
  • Not only for bacteria, but it also had many benefits against viral Herpes simplex. Another test-tube investigation discovered that thymol and carvacrol inactivated 90% of the herpes simplex virus in only an hour.
  • FRAP analysis indicates that oregano has 72.8 mmol per 100 grams.
  • ORAC values suggest that Fresh oregano has 13,970, whereas dried has 175,295 (µmol TE)/100g.

3. BASILantioxidant food basil

4. PECANS pecans as an antioxidants

5. WALNUTSantioxidant food walnut

6. DARK CHOCOLATEan image of dark chocolate as an antioxidants

  • Dark chocolate contains many antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonols (flavonoids with a ketone group), and catechins.
  • It is one of the most antioxidant rich foods and has been connected to outstanding health advantages like lowering inflammation and heart disease risk factors.
  • Another research done on the benefits suggested that dark chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing blood antioxidant levels, “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
  • One review of 10 studies involving close to 300 participants showed that dark chocolate helps reduce both upper and lower blood pressure measurements.
  • Based on the FRAP analysis, dark chocolate (70+) has up to 15 mmol of antioxidants100 grams.
  • ORAC values of Dark Chocolate range up to 13,120 µmol TE)/100g.

7. SPINACH antioxidant spinach

8. PRUNES prunes antioxidant

  • According to clinical studies, prunes’ antioxidants and anti-inflammatory characteristics may help prevent bone loss and promote healthy bone density and development.
  • Prunes are high in antioxidants, particularly neochlorogenic acid (3-caffeoylquinic acid) and chlorogenic acid (5-caffeoylquinic acid). These two helps with lowering cholesterol levels.
  • According to FRAP analysis, prune juice contains 1.0 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
  • Prunes are measured to have 8,059 (µmol TE)/100g according to the ORAC scale.

9. ARTICHOKES artichokes as an antioxidant foods.

10. RASPBERRIES raspberries as an antioxidants

11. BLUEBERRIESblueberies as an antioxidants

  • This food, low in calories but high in nutrients, is also known as the king of antioxidant rich foods.
  • Several studies reveal that blueberries have the most significant antioxidant content of all fruits and vegetables.
  • Furthermore, antioxidants included in blueberries, particularly anthocyanins, have been demonstrated to lessen risk factors for heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • They neutralize dangerous free radicals, decrease inflammation, alter the expression of specific genes, and reduce the aging effect.
  • In one experiment, 168 participants drank 34 ounces (1 litre) of blueberry-apple juice every day. After four weeks, free radical-induced oxidative DNA damage was reduced by 20%.
  • According to FRAP analysis, blueberries contain up to 9.2 mmol antioxidants per 100 grams.
  • ORAC values for blueberries is 4,669 (µmol TE)/100g.

12. POMEGRANATES.antioxidant food pomagrante

13. STRAWBERRIES antioxidant strawberries

  • Strawberries also contain a range of powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol.
  • Many studies suggest that berries, due to their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation, may help prevent numerous types of cancer. (1) (2).
  • One study from 2016 found that consuming anthocyanin supplements lowered LDL cholesterol.
  • Another analysis of 10 pieces of research indicated that anthocyanin supplementation lowered LDL cholesterol in persons with heart disease or high LDL levels.
  • Based on a FRAP analysis, strawberries provide up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidants per 100gms.
  • ORAC values for Strawberries are 4,302 (µmol TE)/100g.

14. GOJI BERRIESimage of antioxidants goji berries

15. COFFEEcoffee antioxidant food

16. RED CABBAGEred cabbage as an antioxidant

  • Also known as purple cabbage, this vegetable is high in vitamins C, K, and A and contains many antioxidants. Its bright color is due to a compound called anthocyanins. 
  • Red cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which the body uses as an antioxidant. Vitamin C may assist in improving the immune system and maintain the firmness of the skin.
  • Red cabbage’s antioxidant profile may be enhanced by boiling and stir-frying; however, steaming red cabbage reduces its antioxidant levels by nearly 35%.
  • It provides up to 2.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces/100 grams.
  • According to ORAC values, raw cabbage has 2,498 boiled 3,145 (µmol TE)/100g.

17. BEET beetroot as an antioxidant

  • Beets, also called beetroot, are rich in compounds called betalains. These impart a reddish hue to beets and have been connected to health benefits. It also contains vulgaxanthin.
  • They help with the reduction in the proliferation of certain cancers, including the bladder.
  • Beets have been proven in studies to drastically drop blood pressure by up to 4–10 mmHg in just a few hours.
  • Beets contain almost 1.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
  • 1,776 (µmol TE)/100g of antioxidants are measured in beet according to the ORAC scale.

18. KALEkale as an antioxidant

  • Kale is full of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and various flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, and polyphenols.
  • The red kale types such as redbor and red Russian kale may have nearly twice as many antioxidants — up to 4.1 mmol per 3.5 ounces or 100 grams.
  • Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables (including kale) may significantly lower the risk of several cancers. (1) (2)
  •  It provides up to 2.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
  • Kale has 1,770 (µmol TE)/100g of antioxidants, according to ORAC.


19. BROCCOLIantioxidant food

20. PINTO BEANSpinto beans antioxidants

  • Pinto beans are high in antioxidants, such as polyphenols and flavonoids.
  • Pinto beans contain a type of antioxidant known as kaempferol. This antioxidant has been associated with numerous health advantages, including reduced chronic inflammation and cancer growth suppression.
  • Several studies link kaempferol to the suppression of specific cancers, including breast cancer. 
  • It also reduces the chances of kidney, lung, and bladder cancer.
  • Beans contain up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 gms. 
  • Pinto beans 8,033 fresh and boiled 904 (µmol TE)/100g via ORAC.

Antioxidant rich foods can significantly improve your health. Besides cinnamon, the most antioxidant rich food can be consumed in abundance regularly. In addition, by eating five servings of fruits (less) and vegetables (more) daily, you can lower your blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and boost your immune system. Hence, Prime With Time.

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Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.

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