Posted by: Christopher Maloney, Naturopathic Doctor | February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day: Chocolate and Strawberries (And Blueberries) Top Antioxidant List.

Chocolate Mousse Pie with Chocolate Covered St...

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Why strawberries?  Chocolate and strawberries?  I’d think chocolate and blueberries or raspberries.  Strawberries are bigger?  How about chocolate and peaches then?

Strawberries have flooded the local stores in time for this amazing holiday where we all tell relative strangers we like them.  At least my kids do that.  Adults don’t typically send valentines unless we really like someone.  I think the card industry needs to work on the adult aspect of this holiday.  My boys can get jokey cards, and it shouldn’t be harassment for adults to send out cards on the holiday.  But maybe that’s why we have chocolate-covered strawberries, so adults can bring them to work and co-workers can snarf them in two seconds flat.

English: A tray of chocolate-covered strawberr...

Image via Wikipedia

How good are they together?  Pretty good according to an antioxidant report.  They made the top of the antioxidant containing foods:  “blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, brewed coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, ground cloves, grape juice, and unsweetened baking chocolate were at the top of the ranked list.”

So make your coworkers happy.  Push aside the old doughnuts and set up the chocolate fondue in the break room.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):95-135.

Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States.

Source

Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Supplements containing ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, or beta-carotene do not protect against oxidative stress-related diseases in most randomized intervention trials. We suggest that other redox-active phytochemicals may be more effective and that a combination of different redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants or reductants) may be needed for proper protection against oxidative damage.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to generate a ranked food table with values for total content of redox-active compounds to test this alternative antioxidant hypothesis.

DESIGN:

An assay that measures the total concentration of redox-active compounds above a certain cutoff reduction potential was used to analyze 1113 food samples obtained from the US Department of Agriculture National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program.

RESULTS:

Large variations in the content of antioxidants were observed in different foods and food categories. The food groups spices and herbs, nuts and seeds, berries, and fruit and vegetables all contained foods with very high antioxidant contents. Most food categories also contained products almost devoid of antioxidants. Of the 50 food products highest in antioxidant concentrations, 13 were spices, 8 were in the fruit and vegetables category, 5 were berries, 5 were chocolate-based, 5 were breakfast cereals, and 4 were nuts or seeds. On the basis of typical serving sizes, blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, brewed coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, ground cloves, grape juice, and unsweetened baking chocolate were at the top of the ranked list.

CONCLUSION:

This ranked antioxidant food table provides a useful tool for investigations into the possible health benefit of dietary antioxidants.

PMID:  16825686  Free full text

 


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