Antioxidants. Why are they so important?

November 2010

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in foods and supplements which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage to cells and tissue in our bodies. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. When we say something has antioxidant properties, it means that it protects cells from the daily toxic stress of oxidation.

Many health problems can be attributed to oxidative damage. A recent study conducted by researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense.

Here is a chart of the foods that are highest in antioxidant potential.

Rank Food item Serving size Total antioxidant capacity
1 Small Red Bean (dried) Half cup 13,727
2 Wild blueberry 1 cup 13,427
3 Red kidney bean (dried) Half cup 13,259
4 Pinto bean Half cup 11,864
5 Blueberry (cultivated) 1 cup 9,019
6 Cranberry 1 cup (whole) 8,983
7 Artichoke (cooked) 1 cup (hearts) 7,904
8 Blackberry 1 cup 7,701
9 Dried Prune Half cup 7,291
10 Raspberry Half cup 6,058
11 Strawberry 1 cup 5,938
12 Red Delicious apple One 5,900
13 Granny Smith apple One 5,381
14 Pecan 1 ounce 5,095
15 Sweet cherry 1 cup 4,873
16 Black plum One 4,844
17 Russet potato (cooked) One 4,649
18 Black bean (dried) Half cup 4,181
19 Plum One 4,118
20 Gala apple One 3,903


Adequate antioxidants from colorful fruits and vegetables are best, but get some insurance and make sure you get your antioxidants every day. Of course, Joint Juice® supplement with Vitamin C and Green Tea Extract is high in antioxidants.