Disease Info       Antioxidants and Phytochemicals       Ratings of Foods

Take FAT SOLUBLE supplements either with food containing oil or in gel cap form.

Warning: Studies indicate that excessive doses of some antioxidants have an adverse effect, even aggravating a condition they normally help.  Therefore, use care if taking supplements.  A colorful diet may be preferable.

Phytochemicals: Many (all?) are also antioxidants.  They are widespread in plants and are generally not lost in cooking or processing, in fact, cooking increases indole availability in broccoli.  Phytochemicals include allylic sulfides, carotenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isothiocyanates, isolfavones, and saponins.

Antioxidants:  Play a key role in scavenging free radicals, which cause oxidation, and appear to help with a variety of diseases, including the list below.  Taken in excess, most antioxidants can cause foster oxidation.  A synthetic form of the potent antioxidant catechin may not do this (SN 3/1/03 p.141).  Since antioxidant levels in food have fallen significantly in the past 25 years, organic food may help.

Color:  Color provides a rough guide to content both type and amount (more colorful vegetables and fruits usually contain more).  See SN 1/8/05 p.27-29 for a discussion and results of recent breeding.  As a rough guide to color:

Some antioxidants and phytochemicals are

The USDA published some ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) for some foods (Agricultural Res. 2/99).  Data is per 100 grams.  Drying fruits (raisins, prunes) increases concentration by a factor of 6.  A typical apple has about the antioxidant capacity of about 1,500 mg of vitamin C and 100 grams is about 1/4 pound, which may give you some feeling for what the table means in terms of vitamin supplements.  (Apples are at 200 in the following list.)   Pomegranates should certainlly be on this list, but apparently were not studied.
































 spinach, raw







 Brussels sprouts







 alfalfa sprouts

 spinach, steamed

 broccoli florets










grapes, red


 bell pepper, red



















 grapes, white









 white potato

 sweet potato







 string beans







 yellow squash