The Best Antioxidants for Your Health: Top 100 ORAC Foods You Should Know About

 

Dave Chandler

ORAC is an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and was developed by the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore. ORAC units measure the antioxidant capacity of foods. The higher the score, the better the food is for health and for prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

 

The foods that are rich in antioxidants and have a high ORAC score are berries, nuts, dark chocolate, spices, fruits and vegetables.

Let’s face it: we live in a toxic environment. Fossil fuel polution, vehicle emissions, chlorinated water, pesticides and chemicals in our foods, work stress, etc. We need more antioxidants now than ever before. If you exercise regularly, you will increase the potential for oxidative stress, making consumption of foods with a high ORAC score even more important.

 

Daily ORAC consumption should be 20,000 units per day. 50,000 units are recommended if one is physically active, and 100,000 units should be taken if one has a degenerative disease. The USDA recommends an ORAC intake of 3000 to 5000 units daily, but nutritional experts believe this number to be extremely low and inaccurate.

 

Foods high in ORAC value are probably in your kitchen cupboard right now. Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, curry, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme... And in your fridge: apples, blueberries, grapes, peaches, plumbs and other fruits.

 

It’s surprisingly easy to add these anti-cancer and healthy foods with a high ORAC value to your diet. When preparing meals, add as much black pepper to them that you can tolerate. When drinking coffee or tea, load up on cinnamon (one of the highest ORAC foods available). Although pizza is not the best food for your health, primarily because of the gluten in the crust, you can make it healthier by sprinkling crushed peppers and oregano onto it. Even red wine has a good ORAC score, so choose this over beer if you’re going to drink alcohol.

 

Raisins and dried prunes make a great snack that are rich in antioxidants, and are a much better choice in squelching a sweet tooth than candies or sugared desserts.

 

With just a little bit of thought and planning— it’s not too difficult to eat much healthier with just a few dietary changes.

 

Below is a list of the top 100 best antioxidant foods. The ORAC scores are based on 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces. Some of these foods might surprise you…

 

1. Cloves, ground 314,446
2. Sumac bran 312,400
3. Cinnamon, ground 267,536
4. Sorghum, bran, raw 240,000
5. Oregano, dried 200,129
6. Turmeric, ground 159,277
7. Acai berry, freeze-dried 102,700
8. Sorghum, bran, black 100,800
9. Sumac, grain, raw 86,800
10. Cocoa powder, unsweetened 80,933
11. Cumin seed 76,800
12. Maqui berry, powder 75,000
13. Parsley, dried 74,349
14. Sorghum, bran, red 71,000
15. Basil, dried 67,553
16. Baking chocolate, unsweetened 49,926
17. Curry powder 48,504
18. Sorghum, grain, hi-tannin 45,400
19. Chocolate, dutched powder 40,200
20. Maqui berry, juice 40,000
21. Sage 32,004
22. Mustard seed, yellow 29,257
23. Ginger, ground 28,811
24. Pepper, black 27,618
25. Thyme, fresh 27,426
26. Marjoram, fresh 27,297
27. Goji berries 25,300
28. Rice bran, crude 24,287
29. Chili powder 23,636
30. Sorghum, grain, black 21,900
31. Chocolate, dark 20,823
32. Flax hull lignans 19,600
33. Chocolate, semisweet 18,053
34. Pecans 17,940
35. Paprika 17,919
36. Chokeberry, raw 16,062
37. Tarragon, fresh 15,542
38. Ginger root, raw 14,840
39. Elderberries, raw 14,697
40. Sorghum, grain, red 14,000
41. Peppermint, fresh 13,978
42. Oregano, fresh 13,978
43. Walnuts 13,541
44. Hazelnuts 9,645
45. Cranberries, raw 9,584
46. Pears, dried 9,496
47. Savory, fresh 9,465
48. Artichokes 9,416
49. Kidney beans, red 8,459
50. Pink beans 8,320
51. Black beans 8,040
52. Pistachio nuts 7,983
53. Currants 7,960
54. Pinto beans 7,779
55. Plums 7,581
56. Chocolate, milk chocolate 7,528
57. Lentils 7,282
58. Agave, dried 7,274
59. Apples, dried 6,681
60. Garlic powder 6,665
61. Blueberries 6,552
62. Prunes 6,552
63. Sorghum, bran, white 6,400
64. Lemon balm, leaves 5,997
65. Soybeans 5,764
66. Onion powder 5,735
67. Blackberries 5,347
68. Garlic, raw 5,346
69. Cilantro leaves 5,141
70. Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon 5,034
71. Raspberries 4,882
72. Basil, fresh 4,805
73. Almonds 4,454
74. Dill weed 4,392
75. Cowpeas 4,343
76. Apples, red delicious 4,275
77. Peaches, dried 4,222
78. Raisins, white 4,188
79. Apples, granny smith 3,898
80. Dates 3,895
81. Wine, red 3,873
82. Strawberries 3,577
83. Peanut butter, smooth 3,432
84. Currants, red 3,387
85. Figs 3,383
86. Cherries 3,365
87. Gooseberries 3,277
88. Apricots, dried 3,234
89. Peanuts, all types 3,166
90. Cabbage, red 3,145
91. Broccoli 3,083
92. Apples 3,082
93. Raisins 3,037
94. Pears 2,941
95. Agave 2,938
96. Blueberry juice 2,906
97. Cardamom 2,764
98. Guava 2,550
99. Lettuce, red leaf 2,380
100. Concord grape juice 2,377