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Best Antioxidant

Blueberries, cranberries, red berries, purple berries – say what? Yes, there is such a thing as a purple berry. You may not be that familiar with the term but new research has shown that when it comes to finding the best antioxidant source, nothing compares to purple berries.

A group of USDA scientists have come up with a study which suggests that among the highest fruits for best antioxidants, purple berries are even higher than blueberries and cranberries. Their preliminary laboratory studies told them that the elderberry, black currant, and chokeberry – collectively known as “purple berries” due to their dark colour – are as much as 50 per cent higher in best antioxidants than some of the more common berry varieties. This further proves that purple berries are the best antioxidant source and have the potential to provide more health benefits, from boosting the immune system, cutting down cholesterol, and preventing the onset of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

In the near future, scientists predict that the best antioxidants from purple berries will play a bigger role in the marketplace where they are poised to be used as part of a growing number of speciality health foods, drinks, and nutraceuticals.

Besides purple berries, there are also other rich sources of the best antioxidants. According to the largest USDA study yet, artichokes and beans may not be at the top of your list of favourite foods but when it comes to best antioxidants, these veggies earn a coveted place. According to the study, these vegetables are among a growing variety of foods to contain surprisingly high levels of the disease-fighting compounds known as the best antioxidants.

In addition to artichokes and beans, researchers have also found that Russet potatoes, pecans, and even cinnamon are all excellent, although lesser-known, sources of best antioxidants.

This new study is more complete and much more accurate compared to previous studies, due perhaps to updated technology. It also includes a wider variety of foods for their best antioxidant test. Over 100 different foods were used as researchers analyzed their antioxidant levels, including fruits and vegetables, as well as spices and nuts.

Among the fruits tested, purple berries, cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest when it came to the best antioxidant sources. Beans, artichokes and Russet potatoes were also the top contenders among the vegetables tested. Pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts also had the best antioxidants in the nut category.

But no matter which food source is a better antioxidant source or which one isn’t, the bottom line remains the same: eat more fruits and veggies. This was according to Ronald L. Prior, PhD, a chemist and a nutritionist with the USDA’s Arkansas Children’s NutritionCenter in Little Rock, Ark.

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