Herbs and Spices

Top Antioxidant Foods and Spices

Top Antioxidant Foods and Spices

We all have antioxidants and free radicals in our body all the time.  Sometimes our bodies makes its own antioxidants to fight against those free radicals, but we must get others from our foods.  Other times we have to supplement the antioxidants our body makes or counter medicines and circumstances that drain those free radicals.

But free radicals aren't always bad either as most people suppose.  Our liver uses free radicals to cleanse the body and free radicals are used to kill pathogens and destroy damaged cells.

The problem comes when antioxidant levels in the body are used up or otherwise not available and an imbalance occurs.  Free radicals are left unchecked and are the cause of premature aging, mutated cells, and many other harmful things.

Unfortunately, our typical western diet doesn't provide as many antioxidants as it should, and so we need to think very carefully and deliberately about our diets.  Exposure to chemicals, pollutants, and other things in our lifestyle can often cause the free radical balance to go completely haywire.  We need to purposely consume foods that are very high in antioxidants while managing those activities that cause oxidative stress.

Many different studies have shown that living a long and healthy life, you need to consume foods that are very high in antioxidant levels.  At Family Tea, we have incorporated many of these into our products, and some are available as independent ingredients for your own blending and use.  Based on ORAC values* provided by Superfoodly, here are some of the top scoring foods and spices by weight:

  1. Cloves, ground    290283 ORAC value
  2. Peppermint Leaves, dried    160820 ORAC value
  3. Thyme Spice    157380 ORAC value
  4. Chaga Mushroom    146700 ORAC value
  5. Cinnamon Spice    131420 ORAC value
  6. Turmeric    127068 ORAC value
  7. Black Cohash    126495 ORAC value
  8. Licorice Root    102945 ORAC value
  9. Allspice, ground  100,400 ORAC value
  10. Rose Hips   96,150 ORAC value
  11. Tea Leaves  62,714 ORAC value
  12. Basil Spice   61,036 ORAC value
  13. Cocoa Powder, unsweetened    55653 ORAC value
  14. Cumin Seed    50372 ORAC value
  15. Ginko Biloba   35850  ORAC value
  16. Black Peppercorn    34053 ORAC value
  17. Astragalus Root    17773 ORAC value
  18. Ginger Root     14840 ORAC value
  19. Elderberries    14697 ORAC value
  20. Dandelion Greens    9666 ORAC value

 To put this in perspective, realize that black grapes that are considered to be a powerhouse of antioxidants have an ORAC value of 1746


*The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) unit, ORAC value, or “ORAC score” is a method of measuring the in vitro antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. More than two decades in the making, it was originally developed by scientists working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and USDA.