TCM Classics — This story was originally published on the site in 2017, but we loved it so much we decided to bring it back. Keep these fascinating facts in mind as you begin making your dinner party plans for Thanksgiving and the other upcoming winter holidays.
When it comes to wellness buzzwords, “antioxidant” is top of the list. It has us stashing goji in our desks for daily snacking, and tossing back blueberries like no one’s business. While filling up on high antioxidant foods like these is definitely important, it’s not necessarily the most efficient solution: According to science (spelled out in this article by former TCM Guest Editor, Dr. Axe), a sprinkle of spice here and there can provide a dose that’s 30 times more potent than the foods known for their high level of antioxidants!
Why should I care about antioxidants? The short answers is because healthy pros say so; the longer one is because the higher antioxidant foods and products we welcome into our lives, the more able our bodies are able to stop or delay the damaging of cells. Oxidants — the opposite of anitoxidants –are free radicals naturally produced by our bodies to help fight off viruses and other health-inhibiting invaders. They also occur in our environment via air pollution, smoke, alcohol etc. which can cause an unhealthy buildup in our systems. Oxidant overload can lead to accelerated aging, weakened immunity, and cellular damage linked to disease among other major health hurdles down the line. On the logical flip-side, inviting more antioxidants into our bodies directly combats these adverse effects.
Top 5: High Antioxidant FoodsThe following edible items sit at the top of the list of high antioxidant foods. ORAC scores stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity:
Goji Berries: 25,000 ORAC score
Wild Blueberries: 14,000 ORAC score
Dark Chocolate: 21,000 ORAC score
Pecans: 17,000 ORAC score
Artichoke: 9,400 ORAC score
Top 5: High Antioxidant SpiccesAccording to the same system of rating, these superfood spices contain a concentration of antioxidants that blow berries of the water (pay attention to the numbers!):
Clove: 314,446 ORAC score (22x higher than blueberries!)
Cinnamon: 267,537 ORAC score
Oregano: 159,277 ORAC score
Turmeric: 102,700 ORAC score
Cocoa: 80,933 ORAC score
What Does It All Mean?The antioxidant powerhouses aren’t the ones most people think of. It also means that making little tweaks to the foods we already eat can impact our health in a major way. A daily dose of all-the-kale-you-can-eat will help undo some damaging influence of free radicals, but a casual dash of cinnamon across your fave breakfast bowl will do so much more.
So spike your coffee with cloves, toss turmeric into every roasted veggie endeavor, add cinnamon and cocoa to your morning smoothie. Go nuts! Getting more high antioxidant foods is the easiest thing ever.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.