We all know fresh fruits and vegetables are a critical part of a nutritious diet, but not all produce is created equal. If you want to get the most nutritional power for your dollar, then you should concentrate on the top antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. One easy way to do that is to consider the ORAC values of your fruit and vegetable selections.
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which is a value assigned to the amount of time it takes an antioxidant to react to free radicals as well as the amount of antioxidants in a specific food. Experts combine these two numbers to come up with one ORAC value for a specific food.
ORAC values are measured using a system called micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams, which is roughly equal to 3.5 ounces. Here are the top ten (plus two) more common fruits and vegetables ranked according to the ORAC values. In the case of our number one and two selections, you may have to search the Internet or a health food store, since currently they are not as mainstream as the other choices. They are well worth the effort, however, as both Acai and Goji berries are delicious along with being extremely high in ORAC value.
The next time you are in the produce or dried fruit aisles, look for these power foods and add them to your cart. If possible, choose organic varieties and also check out your local growers, as you may be able to pick your own in some cases.
Note: All ORAC values are per 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
- Acai berries, freeze dried: 102, 700
- Goji berries: 25,300
- Elderberries, raw: 14,697
- Cranberries, raw: 9,584
- Artichokes, boiled: 9,416
- Currants, European black, raw: 7,960
- Plums, black diamond: 7,581
- Blueberries, raw: 6,552
- Prunes: 6,552
- Blackberries, raw: 5,347
- Raspberries, raw: 4,882
- Apples, Red Delicious: 4,275
Generally, fruits with bright pigments tend to be the highest in ORAC values.