Foods are considered to be the preferred way of boosting antioxidant levels because they're thought to contain a wide array of antioxidant substances. Many of the them are also high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
A USDA study analyzed the antioxidant content of commonly consumed foods. Researchers tested over 100 foods. Here is a ranked list of the top 20 fruits, vegetables and nuts:
- Small red bean (dried), 1/2 cup
- Wild blueberry, 1 cup
- Red kidney bean (dried), 1/2 cup
- Pinto bean, 1/2 cup
- Blueberry (cultivated), 1 cup
- Cranberry, 1 cup (whole)
- Artichoke (cooked hearts), 1 cup
- Blackberry, 1 cup
- Prune, 1/2 cup
- Raspberry, 1 cup
- Strawberry, 1 cup
- Red delicious apple, 1
- Granny Smith apple, 1
- Pecan, 1 ounce
- Sweet cherry, 1 cup
- Black plum, 1
- Russet potato, 1 cooked
- Black bean (dried), 1/2 cup
- Plum, 1
- Gala apple, 1
American Chemical Society. "Largest USDA Study Of Food Antioxidants Reveals Best Sources." ScienceDaily 17 June 2004.
Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Myhrstad MC, Barikmo I, Hvattum E, Remberg SF, Wold AB, Haffner K, Baugerod H, Andersen LF, Moskaug O, Jacobs DR Jr, Blomhoff R. A Systematic Screening of Total Antioxidants in Dietary Plants. Journal of Nutrition 132:461-471, 2002.