HOW MANY ANTIOXIDANTS DO WE NEED IN A DAY?
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.
HOW ANTIOXIDANT FOOD ARE MEASURED
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.
ANTIOXIDANT RICH FOODS- WHAT ARE THE TOP ANTIOXIDANTS 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.
The following list explains the in-depth details of all antioxidant rich foods options.
- Also 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.
- 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.
- Basil adds up in the list as another antioxidant rich food, a green herb from Asia and Africa. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and other holistic health systems for nausea and insect stings.
- As an antioxidant food, it has proven to have many health benefits. A study demonstrated benefits such as high or low blood pressure, the common cold, and arthritis by lowering stress and blood sugar levels. It can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Basil contains many vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
- A recent study done in 2018 proposed that basil is very beneficial to reduce memory loss related to aging. What other methods are there to reduce aging? FIND OUT HERE.
- Its effects for depression and chronic stress can also be alleviated with basil, according to a study.
- The phytochemicals inside basil leaves may aid in the prevention of various types of cancer, including lung cancer, liver cancer, mouth cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
- Basil inhibits the growth of dental decay-causing microorganisms, according to a study.
- FRAP analysis indicates that basil has 28.1mmol per 100 grams.
- ORAC values for fresh basil have 4,805 while dry contains 61,063 (µmol TE)/100g.
- Pecans are a nut found in Mexico and South America and come under high antioxidant foods.
- Research proved that persons who ate 20% of their daily calories from pecans had significantly higher blood antioxidant levels.
- Zinc is another essential mineral found in pecans, and it’s necessary for immune function, cell growth, brain function, and wound healing.
- Pecans are heavy in calories and high in beneficial fats. So consume pecans in moderation to avoid gaining weight.
- Based on a FRAP analysis, pecans contain up to 10.6 mmol of antioxidants per100 gram.
- ORAC values of pecans reach up to 17,940 (µmol TE)/100g.
- Walnuts are super-rich antioxidant foods that have the highest antioxidant activity of any other common nut.
- It contains polyphenols, and preliminary studies in healthy adults revealed consumption of walnut-rich meals reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol oxidative damage after eating, whereas consumption of refined-fat meals did not.
- Walnut polyphenols can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Ellagitannins, a polyphenol subclass, is very beneficial in this regard.
- It also improves gut health and promotes good digestion. Walnuts are high in ellagitannins, a type of polyphenol; some intestinal bacteria can produce urolithins. A study conducted on 194 individuals who had 43 grams of walnuts every day for almost 2 weeks resulted in good gut-friendly bacteria production.
- Urolithins are also responsible for reducing many cancers like breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.
- It might also help in weight control. Researchers found that giving 10 overweight persons a smoothie made with 1.75 ounces (48 grams) of walnuts every day for five days reduced their appetite and hunger more than a sugar-free beverage with the same number of calories and nutrients.
- FRAP analysis suggests that walnuts have 20 mmol of antioxidants in 100 grams.
- ORAC values for walnuts contain 13,541 (µmol TE)/100g.
6. DARK CHOCOLATE
- 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.
- Spinach is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. That includes xanthine and lutein.
- One study in eight healthy people found that spinach helped prevent oxidative damage.
- Spinach packs high amounts of antioxidants, which may also fight cancer.
- Xanthine and lutein help to protect our eyes from sunlight damage.
- It provides up to 0.9 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
- 10,513 (µmol TE)/100g of antioxidants are measured in Spinach via ORAC measurements.
- 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.
- This veggie is a good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. Artichokes are also packed with antioxidants; they’re number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list.
- They do, however, have a long history; in ancient times, their leaves were used to treat liver ailments such as jaundice.
- Artichokes are exceptionally high in a type of antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. According to some studies, chlorogenic acid’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the incidence of some malignancies, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- Boiling artichokes increases their antioxidant content eightfold, while steaming them increases it fifteenfold. However, frying artichokes may deplete them with antioxidants.
- Artichokes contain up to 4.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
- ORAC values for artichokes is 6,552 (µmol TE)/100g.
- Vitamin C, quercetin, and ellagic acid are all abundant in raspberries. Raspberry antioxidant concentration is comparable to strawberries but lower than blackberries and blueberries.
- There is evidence that raspberries and their extracts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- A study also concluded that raspberries’ antioxidants and other components killed 90% of stomach, colon, and breast cancer cells.
- FRAP analysis, raspberries have up to 4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
- The ORAC analysis shows that it has 5,069 (µmol TE)/100g.
- 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.
- Pomegranates, the healthiest fruit on earth, is also a rich antioxidant food containing many beneficial components that no other food can match.
- It’s packed with antioxidants like punicalagin and punicic acid.
- Punicalagins are potent antioxidants present in both the juice and peel of pomegranates. This antioxidant is so rich that it was proven to be containing three times the antioxidant capacity of red wine and green tea.
- It also reduces inflammatory activity. In one study, CRP and interleukin-6 were decreased by 32% and 30%, respectively, in one 12-week research in patients with diabetes who drank 1.1 cups (250 ml) of pomegranate juice daily.
- For cancer, pomegranate extract has been shown in experiments to limit cell proliferation and even cause cancer cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death.
- It is excellent for heart health as well. One study proved that taking 5 ounces of pomegranate juice every day for two weeks helped persons with hypertension’s blood pressure drop significantly.
- Pomegranate extract has been shown in trials to inhibit enzymes that harm osteoarthritis joints.
- Another study indicated that 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice per day improved verbal and visual memory indicators in 28 older persons.
- FRAP analysis suggests that there are 9 mmol antioxidants in 100 grams of pomegranate.
- ORAC values for this fruit is 4,479 (µmol TE)/100g.
- 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 BERRIES
- Goji berries (Lycium barbarum), sometimes known as wolfberries, are native to Asia. They’ve been employed in traditional medicine for thousands of years and have a sweet, somewhat tangy flavour.
- They’re said to slow the signs of aging, maintain eye health, and strengthen your liver, kidneys, and lungs.
- In one research, healthy older folks drank a milk-based goji berry drink every day for 90 days. Their blood antioxidant levels were increased by 57% by the end of the research.
- Based on a FRAP analysis, goji berries contain 4.3 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams.
- ORAC suggest that these berries contain 3,290 fresh and dried 4,310 (µmol TE)/100g
- Being another antioxidant rich food, coffee is packed with antioxidants, including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols.
- It’s one of the most consumed sources of antioxidant food. Research has proven that the average person consumes about 1–2 grams of antioxidants per day, primarily from beverages such as coffee and tea.
- Furthermore, research from Spain, Japan, Poland, and France concluded that coffee is the most abundant dietary source of antioxidants.
- In the Western diet, coffee beverages contain far more antioxidants than food. Beverages account for 79 % of dietary antioxidants, while food accounts for only 21%.
- According to research, the polyphenol belonging to this antioxidant food may also help prevent a variety of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee drinkers have a 23–50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Each daily cup is associated with a 7% reduction in risk.
- Coffee appears to be very beneficial to your liver as well. It lowers the risk of cirrhosis.
- Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by 32–65%.
- FRAP analysis shows that coffee contains 2.5 mmol of antioxidant per 100 grams.
- Coffee contains 2,780 (µmol TE)/100g of antioxidants according to the ORAC scale.
16. RED CABBAGE
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Broccoli’s antioxidant concentration may be one of its primary health benefits.
- It contains a high concentration of glucoraphanin, a chemical that is transformed during digestion into a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane.
- It also includes significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants, which may help protect your eyes from oxidative stress and cellular damage.
- FRAP analysis tells that broccoli contains 0.5 mmol of antioxidants per 100grams.
- 1,590 (µmol TE)/100g of antioxidants are found in broccoli according to the ORAC scale.
20. PINTO BEANS
- 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.