Eat more cabbage, a high-antioxidant food. Grate some into salads, make stuffed cabbage and cole slaw and eat more sauerkraut. One of our favorite diet dishes is steamed cabbage with Dijon or whole-grain mustard. Try this delicious potato, cheddar and cabbage casserole. Photo by Rie Shoji | SXC.
Aside from açaí and whatever the next superberry will be, cacao is king...but like cocoa and chocolate, it’s tough to consume enough to reap antioxidant benefits without ingesting a lot of sugar in the process. The beauty of tea over all other foods is that you can enjoy it calorie-free and relatively effortlessly, wherever you are. But to eat a well-rounded, antioxidant-rich diet, there’s a broad shopping list below.
Note, though, that it isn’t easy getting an accurate read on ORAC values: Measurements are made using different scales, making it difficult to compare. Some evaluations compare units per grams of dry weight, others use wet weight, others use units per serving. Thus, if one picks and chooses numbers from different reports, different foods can appear to have comparatively higher or lower ORAC values than they actually do. Thus, for example:
A raisin has no more antioxidant potential than the grape from which it was dried, yet raisins have a much higher ORAC value per gram wet weight than grapes, due to their reduced water content. (They also are high in calories.)
Similarly, fruits with high water content can appear to be very low in antioxidants.
Higher-quality produce can yield higher ORAC levels.
No one is yet comparing the ORAC value per calorie. Montmorency cherries have much higher ORAC values, as well as many more calories per serving than blueberries (Montmorency cherry juice has 12,800 ORAC units per 100 grams).
Hopefully, manufacturers will begin stating ORAC values along with other information on on food nutrition labels. In the interim, please use the chart as a relative guide—3-1/2 ounces of chocolate, for example, is three portions.