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A Guide To High-Antioxidant Food

Page 7: Chart Of ORAC Values
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Blackberries are among the highest antioxidant foods. Photo by Sasha Dunaevski | SXC.
ORAC Values

As you look at the ORAC chart below, remember the points discussed on the previous page:

  • No one can yet tell you how much you need to eat of anything, to potentially ward off that heart attack, Alzheimer’s, etc.
  • Freshness issues, the impact of cooking, and the synergy of eating foods in combination are not yet known.
  • By all means, eat those high-antioxidant foods; but all-around healthy living is still your first line of attack.
ORAC Units Per 100 Grams‡ (About 3-1/2 Ounces)
Beverages & Chocolate
  • Undutched cocoa powder (34,396,1.5 ounces)a
  • Dark, semisweet chocolate (8,849 1.5 ounce)a
       especially 85% cocoa solids but a minimum of 70%
  • Red Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon* (5,034 5 ounces) a
  • Red Wine – Other (3,873 5 ounces) a
  • Red grape juice (4,055 8 ounces)a
  • Milk chocolate (3,119 1.5 ounce)
  • Chocolate Syrup (2,690 1.5 ounce)
  • White tea
  • Green rooibos
  • Green tea (1253)a
  • Red rooibos
  • Oolong tea
  • Black tea

    *Note: To understand how important the red grape antioxidants are, the same amount of rose wine has 1005 ORAC units, and white wine just 392.

    Top Antioxidant Fruits** 
  • Açaí (18,500)
  • Montmorency cherry† (12,800)
  • Blackberry (5347)
  • Elderberries (10,624 cup)a
  • Apples, Dried To 40% Moisture (6681) a
  • Prunes (5,770)
  • Blueberries (especially wild blueberry, a.k.a.
    bilberry) (4,736 cup)a
  • Dark grapes including currants, raisins, purple grape juice and red wine (2,830)
  • Cranberry (1,750)
  • Strawberry (1,540,5938/cup)
  • Raspberry (2,976 cup)a
  • Apple, Fuji, Raw With Skin (2589)a
  • Plum (949, 4,118/each)
  • Orange (750, 2,540/ea.)
  • Red grape (739, 2,016/cup)
  • Cherry, especially (670, 4,873/cup)
  • Avocado (3,334 each)
  • Kiwi (602)
  • Grapefruit, pink (483)

    **We have seen ORAC values of up to 12,800 per 100g for Montmorency cherry juice in other assays, making it one of the highest-value fruits. Citrus fruit’s high concentration of antioxidants are in the pulp, which is not the portion consumed. Cup size figures from USDA.

    †Blueberry contains more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable, except for açaí, when compared on the basis of equal calories. Açaí is only available in juice form.

    Cruciferous Vegetables
    • Kale (1,770)
    • Spinach (1,260)
    • Brussels sprouts (980)
    • Alfalfa sprouts (930)
    • Broccoli flowers (890)
    • Beets (840)
    • Red bell pepper (710)
    • Onion (450)
    • Corn (400)
    • Eggplant (390)
    Nuts, Grains, Herbs

    • Walnuts (3,839 ounce) a
    • Pecans (5,086 ounce) a
    • Hazelnut

    Seeds & Grains

    • Oats
    • Sunflower seeds


    • Allspice
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves
    • Ginger
    • Lemon balm
    • Oregano
    • Peppermint
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Thyme
    Other Vegetables
    • Artichoke
    • Asparagus
    • Avocado
    • Beans (small red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans)
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Olives (in the form of extra virgin olive oil)
    • Red pepper
    • Russet potato
    • Spinach
    • Tomato

    ‡ORAC numbers from (a) ORAC of Selected Foods, USDA 2007 and (b) Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

    Generally, the deeper and richer the color of fruits and vegetables, the higher the quantity of antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber, minerals and vitamins.

    • Fruit juice contains antioxidants, but not as much as the fruits from which they are made, since the antioxidants are concentrated in the skins and pulps.
    • The color rule of thumb does not apply to varieties of tea. The darker the variety of tea, the lower its antioxidant concentration, because it has been oxidized.

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