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List of antioxidants in food



  • Vitamin A (Retinol), also synthesized by the body from beta-carotene, protects dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits from solar radiation damage, and is thought to play a similar role in the human body. Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes (which gain their color from the compound lycopene), kale, seabuckthorn, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots are particularly rich sources of beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble compound that fulfills several roles in living systems. Important sources include citrus fruits (such as oranges, sweet lime, etc.), green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, black currants, strawberries, blueberries, seabuckthorn, raw cabbage and tomatoes. Linus Pauling was a major advocate for its use.
  • Vitamin E, including Tocotrienol and Tocopherol, is fat soluble and protects lipids. Sources include wheat germ, seabuckthorn, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil, and fish-liver oil. Alfa-Tocoferol is the main form in which Vitamin-E is consumed. Recent studies showed that some tocotrienol isomers have significant anti-oxidant properties.

Vitamin cofactors and minerals


Carotenoid terpenoids

See main article at Carotenoid
  • Lycopene - found in high concentration in ripe red tomatoes.
  • Lutein - found in high concentration in spinach and red peppers.
  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene - found in high concentrations in butternut squash, carrots, orange bell peppers, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
  • Zeaxanthin - the main pigment found in yellow corn.
  • Astaxanthin - found naturally in red algae and animals higher in the marine food chain. It is a red pigment familiarly recognized in crustacean shells and salmon flesh/roe.
  • Canthaxanthin

Flavonoid polyphenolics

Flavonoids, a subset of polyphenol antioxidants, are present in many berries, as well as in coffee and tea.

  • Flavanols and their polymers:
    • Catechin, Gallocatechin and their coresponding gallate esters
    • Epicatechin, Epigallocatechin and their coresponding gallate esters
    • Theaflavin its gallate esters
    • Thearubigins
  • Stilbenoids:
    • Resveratrol - found in the skins of dark-colored grapes, and concentrated in red wine.
    • Pterostilbene - methoxylated analogue of resveratrol, abundant in Vaccinium berries

Phenolic acids and their esters

See main article: Polyphenol antioxidant
  • Ellagic acid - found in high concentration in raspberry and strawberry, and in ester form in red wine tannins.
  • Gallic acid - found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and many other plants.
  • Salicylic acid - found in most vegetables, fruits, and herbs; but most abundantly in the bark of willow trees, from where it was extracted for use in the early manufacture of aspirin.
  • Rosmarinic acid - found in high concentration in rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage, and marjoram.
  • Cinnamic acid and its derivatives, such as ferulic acid - found in seeds of plants such as in brown rice, whole wheat and oats, as well as in coffee, apple, artichoke, peanut, orange and pineapple.
  • Chlorogenic acid - found in high concentration in coffee (more concentrated in robusta than arabica beans), blueberries and tomatoes. Produced from esterification of caffeic acid.
  • Chicoric acid - another caffeic acid derivative, is found only in the popular medicinal herb Echinacea purpurea.
  • Gallotannins - hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when gallic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the hydroxyl group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.
  • Ellagitannins - hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when ellagic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the hydroxyl group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.

Other nonflavonoid phenolics

Other organic antioxidants

Food Sources

Spices, Essential Oil and Cocoa are rich in anti-oxidant properties but the serving size is too small to be the top-contributors of anti-oxidants

Foods highest in antioxidants[2]
Rank Food Serving size Antioxidant capacity per serving size[3]
1 Small Red Bean ½ cup dried beans 13727
2 Wild blueberry 1 cup 13427
3 Red kidney bean ½ cup dried beans 13259
4 Pinto bean ½ cup 11864
5 Blueberry 1 cup (cultivated berries) 9019
6 Cranberry 1 cup (whole berries) 8983
7 Artichoke hearts 1 cup, cooked 7904
8 Blackberry 1 cup (cultivated berries) 7701
9 Prune ½ cup 7291
10 Raspberry 1 cup 6058
11 Strawberry 1 cup 5938
12 Red Delicious apple 1 apple 5900
13 Granny Smith apple 1 apple 5381
14 Pecan 1 oz 5095
15 Sweet cherry 1 cup 4873
16 Black plum 1 plum 4844
17 Russet potato 1, cooked 4649
18 Black bean ½ cup dried beans 4181
19 Plum 1 plum 4118
20 Gala apple 1 apple 3903


  1. ^ Stocker R, Yamamoto Y, McDonagh AF, Glazer AN, Ames BN (1987). "Bilirubin is an antioxidant of possible physiological importance". Science 235 (4792): 1043-6. doi:10.1126/science.3029864. PMID 3029864.
  2. ^ Data from Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL (2004). "Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States". J. Agric. Food Chem. 52 (12): 4026-37. doi:10.1021/jf049696w. PMID 15186133.
  3. ^ Units are Total Antioxidant Capacity per serving in units of micromoles of Trolox equivalents.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "List_of_antioxidants_in_food". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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