Want to look younger as you age, keep your cells healthy and help guard against disease? Then fill your plate with superfoods with powerful free-radical fighting ability.

The antioxidant potential of a food to neutralize free radicals is estimated by several techniques including oxygen radical absorbency capacity (ORAC) and total antioxidants capacity (TAC). There are four ways to consume and absorb higher levels of antioxidants:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Choose fruits and vegetables with higher levels of antioxidants per serving (those higher on the ORAC or TAC scales)
  • Improve gastrointestinal health to improve your absorption of dietary antioxidants from food (see prebiotics and probiotics)
  • Consume foods that are organic and processed and prepared in such a way that preserves antioxidant levels

Superfoods: Fight Free Radicals Deliciously

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry measured the levels of antioxidants in 100 foods. Here are the top twenty:

  1. Small red bean, 1/2 cup=13,727
  2. Wild blueberry, 1 cup=13,427
  3. Red kidney bean, 1/2 cup=13, 259
  4. Pinto bean, 1/2 cup=11,864
  5. Blueberry, cultivated, 1 cup=9019
  6. Cranberry, 1 cup=8983
  7. Artichoke hearts, 1 cup=7904
  8. Blackberry, 1 cup=7701
  9. Prune, 1/2 cup=7291
  10. Raspberry, 1 cup=6058
  11. Strawberry, 1 cup=5938
  12. Red Delicious apple, 1 medium=5900
  13. Granny Smith apple, 1 medium=5381
  14. Pecans, 1 ounce=5095
  15. Cherries, 1 cup=4783
  16. Black plum, 1 medium=4844
  17. Russet potato, 1 medium=4649
  18. Black beans, 1/2 cup=4181
  19. Plum, 1 medium=4118
  20. Gala apple, 1 medium=3903

Superfoods That Power Up Your Body’s Antioxidant Artillery

In addition to enjoying antioxidant-rich foods that are organically grown, it’s important to fill your plate with foods that stoke your body’s production of your “master antioxidant” – glutathione.