Saturday, January 17, 2009

Foods That Are High In Antioxidants

By Dr. Jerimiah Crossderd

A study done by scientist for the USDA to determine foods that contained the highest level of antioxidants found that the acai berry, artichokes, and beans had the highest levels recorded.

The study also confirmed that widely known highly rich antioxidant foods like cranberries and blueberries were good sources--but surprisingly, research also determined that cinnamon, pecans, and even Russet potatoes contained high sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they are thought to fight cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

"The bottom line is the same: eat more fruits and veggies," says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., a chemist and nutritionist with the USDA's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock, Ark., and lead author of the study. "This study confirms that those foods are full of benefits, particularly those with higher levels of antioxidants. Nuts and spices are also good sources."

Thanks to updated technology, this study done by the USDA is the most comprehensive and accurate ever done concerning antioxidants research. They analyzed over 100 foods like the acai berry, fruits, vegetables, spices, and nuts.

The foods were analyzed and measured for the concentration levels of antioxidants and the capacity per serving of the antioxidants. Research showed the top fruits were the acai berry, cranberries, blueberries, and black berries. The highest levels found in the nut category were walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans--Russet potatoes, beans, and artichokes were found to have the highest level antioxidant concentration in the vegetable category.

Spices usually are eaten in small amounts, even though many have been found to contain high levels of amino acids. Ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground oregano were found to have high levels of antioxidant concentration.

This study should prove helpful for people who are looking to add antioxidants to their diet. Please note that the total capacity of antioxidants found in foods does not indicate necessarily the potential health benefit--this depends on how the food is absorbed by the body.

At the moment, there are no government guidelines for people to know many antioxidants to take and what kinds of antioxidants to consume in their daily meals--this is also the case with vitamins and minerals. A major barrier to such guidelines is a lack of consensus among nutrition researchers on uniform antioxidant measurements.

For the time being it is recommended that you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants like cranberries and acai berries.

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