What are Antioxidant Fruits?

Anna B. Smith

Antioxidant fruits are fruits containing high levels of antioxidants, which protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals, or oxidants, are molecules which can increase aging in the body and can raise the risk of emergent degenerative and chronic diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants serve to halt the chemical chain reaction begun by free radicals and allow the body to achieve a state of balance. Some fruits high in antioxidants include prunes, raisins, blueberries and cranberries.

Prunes contain antioxidants.
Prunes contain antioxidants.

Every cell in the body requires oxygen to function, but oxygen can also harm the very cells relying on it. Cells with prolonged exposure to oxygen undergo a type of damage called oxidation. One way to see oxidation at work is to slice fruit into sections and expose its flesh to the air. Apples, pears, and bananas will begin to brown over time once their protective skin has been compromised. Applying a small quantity of lemon juice can prevent the browning of these fruits because lemon juice acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidant molecules work similarly inside the body, acting as agents which halt the oxidizing process within body cells and in some cases even reversing existing damage.

Blueberries are a good natural source of antioxidants.
Blueberries are a good natural source of antioxidants.

Vitamins A, C, and E are all naturally-occurring sources of antioxidants. These vitamins may be taken in supplement form or by eating foods that contain them. Health studies show that the human body is more likely to absorb these vitamins when they are ingested from natural sources, such as eating antioxidant fruits, as opposed to taking them from synthetic sources. According to health studies, these vitamins can play a vital role in protecting and healing brain tissue, lung tissue, red blood cells, and the spinal cord from damage caused by free radicals.

Cranberries (and cranberry juice) are rich in antioxidants.
Cranberries (and cranberry juice) are rich in antioxidants.

Scientists determine which foods are high in antioxidants by testing their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Fruits and vegetables typically rate higher than any other food category on the ORAC chart. The top ten antioxidant fruits, which are fruits with the highest naturally-occurring levels of antioxidants include: acai, prunes, pomegranates, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and plums.

Berries are a good source of antioxidants.
Berries are a good source of antioxidants.

While eating a diet heavy in antioxidant fruits and antioxidant vegetables may improve overall tissue and body health, such a diet has not been proven to cure highly destructive diseases such as cancer. Studies show that nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day are required to achieve a rich antioxidant diet. A half cup of fruit or three-quarters cup of vegetables comprises one serving. Most doctors recommend that individuals with a family history of cancer, or who are in remission from cancer, eat antioxidant vegetables and fruits daily to alleviate the likelihood of the regeneration of the disease.

Raisins are a good source of antioxidants.
Raisins are a good source of antioxidants.
Gala apples are in the top 20 fruits and vegetables with antioxidants.
Gala apples are in the top 20 fruits and vegetables with antioxidants.
Pears are considered antioxidant fruits.
Pears are considered antioxidant fruits.
Vegetables and fruit tend to rate higher than other foods on the ORAC chart.
Vegetables and fruit tend to rate higher than other foods on the ORAC chart.
Technically a fruit, tomatoes are packed with lycopene and vitamin C, two potent antioxidants.
Technically a fruit, tomatoes are packed with lycopene and vitamin C, two potent antioxidants.
Plums are on the list of top 20 antioxidant sources.
Plums are on the list of top 20 antioxidant sources.

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Discussion Comments

anon1003538

Fruit Juice is one of the best and safe to get antioxidants, I also started drinking this OPC+ a Supper Antioxidant it said that it has a strong effect when used together with vitamin antioxidants. It not only neutralizes free radical damage in the body but also re-energizes the vitamin antioxidants, causing them to work better.

soloty2002

I have started drinking juice made up of dandelion, celery, spinach, beetroot, garlic and carrot all blended together for my breakfast (after I have taken kuding tea in the morning). After that I eat apples, bananas, oranges and melons. All are juiced separately and I drink them sometimes as my supper (main meal).

Reason: My BP was becoming very alarming (140/84 etc). Less than two weeks later I have recorded 117/83. Do I have to still drink this or should I stop?

I don't eat meat except chicken. Any advice for me please?

andee

You don't seem to read as much about Blackberries as other kinds of fruits, but they are one of the highest antioxidants fruits. They rank right up there with raisins, prunes and blueberries.

I know if given a choice, I would much prefer blackberries and blueberries over prunes and raisins. One of the best ways to eat blackberries is mixed with raspberries and strawberries. Any time I can get a mixture of fresh berries like that I feel like I have had a real treat.

honeybees

Every year around the first part of June is strawberry season in my part of the country. I love to go the the strawberry fields and pick as many sweet berries as I can. They taste so much better than what I find in the store.

I find that I usually pick way more than I need and don't want them to go to waste. I have found that if I need some extra time before they spoil that using the green bags you see advertised does help slow down the process. This gives me a few extra days if I want to use them to make some fresh strawberry pie.

Slicing them and eating them fresh is still my favorite way to eat strawberries. This way you really taste the true strawberry flavor and get the best natural antioxidant benefits.

julies

Juicing is a great way to get some antioxidants benefits from your fruit. When I purchased my juicer I told myself that I was going to leave it sitting out on the counter, so I would be reminded to use it often.

I knew that if I put it in a cupboard where it could not be seen, that it would seldom get used. By keeping my juicer on the counter, it is so easy to add some fresh fruits and vegetables and make some very healthy drinks that taste good and are very good for me too.

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