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Antioxidant Berry

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Antioxidant Berry

Someone once said that anything rich, creamy, and delicious couldn’t be good for you. It would have been better if you only end up with thunder thighs after a bowl of rich cream, but there are far more serious health risks you’ll have to consider when you indulge yourself with such things.

That was then. This is now and it’s perfectly okay to whip out your spoons, forks, and mats because today is decades in the making; today is the day you are permitted to salivate.

A recent food Olympics has been conducted and out of the 100 different varieties of foods, vegetables, and nuts, 20 antioxidant rich foods came out at the top. This list of foods contained most of the very rich antioxidant foods as ranked by nutrition scientists at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and reported by the University of Alabama website on November 1, 2004.

Wild blueberry was narrowly beaten out by the small red bean, which captured the red-blue medal. The small red bean was dubbed the food with the highest concentration of disease-fighting antioxidant compounds per serving.

Antioxidants are the heroes in an epic struggle against villain molecules called “free radicals.” Free radicals do nothing but assault cells, turning them into molecules like themselves. This actually creates a chain reaction which could eventually lead to killer diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and even aging itself.

The Top 20 list of antioxidants published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows the ranks of the capacity of berry foods, fruits, and vegetables to interfere with or prevent oxidative processes where free radicals are formed. Ronald L. Prior, a USDA nutritionist and research chemist based in Little Rock, Ark explains that berry antioxidants were ranked according to their total antioxidant capacity. However, they were surprised to find that besides berry fruits, antioxidants may also come from the most unexpected foods as well.

Prior and his colleagues used the most advanced technologies available to tabulate antioxidant levels in more than 100 different types of berry fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. The Top 20 list includes small red beans (dried), wild blueberry, red kidney beans, pinto beans, blueberry (cultivated), cranberry, artichokes (cooked), blackberry, prunes (dried plums), raspberry, strawberry, red delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, pecans, sweet cherries, black plums, russet potatoes (cooked), black beans (dried), plums, and gala apples.

“Even though the small red bean came out on top, berry is better understood,” Prior says after noting that a berry devours six of the top 11 blue-red medals.

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