Antioxident-Rich Plants, for real

Not long after I began dissecting and altering my lifestyle to become more sustainable, I realized the benefits of supporting local farms. What's better than buying produce from local farms? Growing yourself. As I had just bought a house, I made it my goal to convert the overgrown weedy backyard into an organic garden.

While my backyard garden is still a work-in-progress, I _have_ put some thought into _what_ to grow. I'm certainly no dietitian, but I figured--health wise--I should grow something with antioxidants.

Enter Capitalism

Acai berries are most probably bullshit

Acai berries are most probably bullshit

Unfortunately, googling for antioxidant-rich plants is helpless--you just get bombarded with advertisements for berries grown far-away in distant countries whose forests are being obliterated by the all-mighty, American fat-ass who thinks that drinking a concoction of acai Berries with their nightly McDonald's Double Cheeseburger, Large Fries, and Supersized CocaCola will help them get ripped abs like the guy they see on TV. *ahem* But I digress...

Acai berries seemed to get most of the attention, but I quickly saw plenty of contrasting sources--some claiming acai is the God among naturally-occurring antioxidant-rich plants, and others claimed that acai was only moderately rich in antioxidants.

Enter Academia

It was difficult to sort the lies from the legitimate scholarly sources, but I finally found a report produced by the Institute for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo in Blindern, Norway titled: A Systematic Screening of Total Antioxidants in Dietary Plants.

I've only skimmed through the 11-page "Journal of Nutrition," and I'll be the first to admit that I honestly don't know _what_ antioxidants they're counting when they say that Secale cereale (Rye, white flour) from the Poaceae Family has an overall mean of 0.23 mmol of antioxidants for every 100g of flour. Nor do I realize what the methods these antioxidants preform and how that affects our bodies. But, it looks to me like these Norwegian guys get the idea.


As far as I can tell, here's a list of the top 11 most antioxidant-rich plants found from the sample of tested cereals, roots, tubers, vegetables, (dried) fruits, berries, pulses, nuts, and seeds from this study:

1. Dog Rose _39.46 mmol/100g_
2. Walnuts _20.97 mmol/100g_
3. Pomegranates _11.33 mmol/100g_
4. Crowberry _9.17 mmol/100g_
5. Wild Blueberry/Bilberry _8.23 mmol/100g_
6. Wild Strawberry _6.88 mmol/100g_
7. Wild Blackberry _6.13 mmol/100g_
8. Sour Cherry _5.53 mmol/100g_
9. Sunflower Seed _5.39 mmol/100g_
10. Cultivated blackberry _5.07 mmol/100g_
11. Cowberry/Cranberry _5.03 mmol/100g_


Interesting to note that this study didn't actually test acai berries, so I have no idea how beneficial they actually are. Needless to say, my garden will include some Dog Roses (Rosa canina). Pretty, Aromatic, delicious, *and* good for you. I read their rose hips make a terrific jelly.

"Roses are red and violets are blue,
but plant the roses instead--they're better for you."

Rosa Canina Flower

Rosa Canina Flower

Rosa Canina Hips

Rosa Canina Hips


Not sure if these are organic, but here's a couple sites I dug up for buying Dog Rose Seeds:
* Buy Dog Rose Seeds at The Green Chronicle Shop
* Buy Dog Rose Seeds at Cherry Gal

January 27, 2010 · Michael · 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: diet, health

5 Responses

  1. Russell - January 28, 2010

    I agree! I would blog about subjects such as this but, I have to admit, I am a bit of a fat ass!

  2. guttersnipe - January 29, 2010

    give up the meat, man. I was already a twig when I became vegetarian, but I've met scores of new veg heads who said they easily lost a ton of weight when they first became vegetarian.

    If nothing else: Meatless Mondays. Try it!

  3. Nikki Lane - September 5, 2011

    This made me laugh 🙂
    I love you, so damn much!

  4. Nikki Lane - September 5, 2011

    Also, did you see anything about turmeric?

  5. Rajit - March 25, 2014

    stuff like cinnamon, and other spices have more than 10 times more antioxidants in them. green tea is my favorite; very rich source of antioxidants.

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