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Where can you get your dose of anti-oxidants from?

We hear so much, mostly from commercial brands promoting their products, about how important antioxidants are. When you think about it, how much do we really know about antioxidants and their sources? For instance, you’re already eating a fair bit of antioxidants via your regular diet because vitamins E and C, and beta-carotene are antioxidants. Did that surprise you?​1​

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If you haven’t yet, please read my previous articles introducing antioxidants and evaluating the role of antioxidant supplements.

While there is some evidence that antioxidants play vital roles in our health and well being, the jury is still out when it comes to the specifics. For instance, while antioxidants do seem to play a role in the delaying of atherosclerotic (atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fat, cholesterol etc in and on artery walls) lesions, their role in the prevention and treatment of cancers is uncertain, sometimes even causing harm in that context. Here’s a bit of good news though; Vitamin C appears to have a definite role to play in improving the quality of our skin.​1​

So where do we get our dose of dietary antioxidants from? Here’s a table containing antioxidant values for foods sourced from India, from a list that contains over 3,100 foods.​2​

Antioxidant Content Of Some Indian Foods

Food ItemAntioxidant Content (mmol/100gm)
Triphala, powder in capsule706.25
Amalaki (Amla), powder in capsule301.14
Amla berries, dried261.53
Clove, whole, dried252.04
Arjuna, powder in capsule146.95
Neem Guard, powder in capsule89.23
Saffron, dried ground61.72
Tulasi, (Holy basil), powder in capsule39.67
Chyavanprash, Dabur35.7
Nutmeg, dried33
Cinnamon, dried ground31.64
Amla, syrup from canned Indian Gooseberries29.7
Ajwain fruit pods, dried28.42
Blood Purifier, powder in capsule25.42
Saffron, Balaji, dried ground23.83
Nimba (Neem Tree), powder in capsule19.99
Nutmeg (Jalwatri), dried19.42
Tej Pata (bay leaves), dried18.54
Walnuts, with pellicle15.84
Walnuts, with pellicle (purchased with shell)15.76
Shuddha guggulu, powder in capsule13.77
Turmeric, whole, dried13.6
Amla, Indian Gooseberries, whole, canned13.27
Ginger, dried11.31
Star anise, dried11.3
Brahmi, powder in capsule10.4
Tea, green, leaves, dried, Kashmir Kahawa10.13
Digestiv, powder in capsule7.68
Karela, bitter gourd, powder in capsule7.57
Pomegranate arils, dried7.28
Saunf, big, dried7.09
Tea, green, Green Label, dried6.77
Saunf, small, dried6.46
Tagara, valerian, powder in capsule6.44
Stress Guard, anti stress, powder in capsule6.39
Shah jerra, dried5.34
Ayur Slim, powder in capsule4.94
Pepper, black, whole, dried4.15
Mustard seeds3.78
Chili, without seeds, dried3.74
Tamarind3.5
Coriander, seeds, green, dried3.49
Pepper, white, whole3.49
Tea, Darjeeling, leaves, dried2.93
Rai, dried2.84
Mango, dried2.82
Shallaki, powder in capsule2.58
Chili, red with seeds, dried2.52
Fenugreek, seeds2.09
Dates, dried, Chuhare1.88
Cardamom pod, green, whole1.85
Cardamom seeds (from green pod)1.64
Cardamom, whole fruit, dried1.64
Kidney beans, striped, large size, dry1.61
Kidney beans, medium size, dry1.39
Apricots, dried1.32
Soyatein (protein rich soya)1.32
Lentils, Posune1.14
Cardamom seeds, dried1.13
Figs, dried1.08
Soy beans, white, small size, dry0.99
Kidney beans, dry0.81
Kidney beans, large size0.81
Lentils, black with peel0.66
Raisins, green0.65
Chickpeas, small size0.57
Moung Dal, with peel0.53
Black eyes beans, white, medium size, dry0.5
Sesame seeds, white0.49
Maize cob (Corn), dried0.4
Wheat, whole grain0.38
Lentils, Toor Dal, yellow0.35
Lentils, Masoor Dal Sabat, dark brown, with peel0.34
Maghaj, dried0.27
Sesame seeds, black0.26
Chickpeas0.19
Rice0.16
Lentils, white, split, Maa ki Dal0.16
Lentils, Moong Dal, yellow, split0.15
Carrots, red, in syrup0.15
Lentils, Masoor Dal, pink, without peel0.1
Syrup from red carrot0.07
Source: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-3

References:

  1. 1.
    Hajhashemi V, Vaseghi G, Pourfarzam M, Abdollahi A. Are antioxidants helpful for disease prevention? Res Pharm Sci. 2010;5(1):1-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21589762
  2. 2.
    Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, et al. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutr J. Published online January 22, 2010. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-3

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