Top 25 Highest Polyphenol Rich Foods

Ground cloves aren’t just good for flavoring spiced pumpkin cake

Often times foods are talked about in regards to their antioxidant content.

Eat this as it is full of antioxidants

Antioxidants, as a class, are very hyped in the media/health arena but the term antioxidant seems to be rather vague and nondescript as there are many different types of antixodants found in different foods, in different amounts, with different functions.

The confusion is compounded by the fact that we as scientist don’t really know the best way to measure the power of antioxidants in foods. There are all kinds of measures – Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC), Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC), etc.

It is just confusing.

But, thanks to a group of French scientists, things are now a little less confusing. These researchers got together in an effort to organize a large portion of this information by compiling a polyphenol database. Polyphenols are a very large class of antioxidants. You may be familiar with antioxidant buzz words like quercetin, lignins, flavonoids, and/or resveratrol. Theses are all example of subclasses or specific examples of polyphenols.

After compiling a polyphenol database containing 452 foods and 502 different types of polyphenols, the researchers ranked foods based on total amount of polyphenols per serving and published this information in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The fact that the researchers took the time to make the list on a per serving basis is important from a practical stand point. Often times scientists talk in terms the amount of polyphenols per 100 grams. While this is informative scientifically, when was the last time you ate 100 grams (~17 Tablespoons) of ground cloves (cloves have the highest polyphenol content per 100 grams followed closely by dried peppermint).

Below I have listed below the Top 25 Richest Food Sources of Polyphenols with the serving amount in parentheses.

Top 25  Riches Food Sources of Polyphenols (per serving)

  1. Black Elderberry
  2. Black Chokeberry
  3. Blackcurrant
  4. Highbush blueberry
  5. Globe artichoke heads
  6. Coffee, filtered
  7. Lowbush Blueberry
  8. Sweet Cherry
  9. Strawberry
  10. Blackberry
  11. Plum
  12. Red Raspberry
  13. Flaxseed Meal
  14. Dark Chocolate
  15. Chestnut
  16. Black Tea
  17. Green Tea
  18. Pure Apple Juice
  19. Apple
  20. Whole Grain Rye Bread
  21. Hazelnut
  22. red wine
  23. Soy Yogurt
  24. Cocoa Powder
  25. Pure Pomegranate Juice

Honorable Mentions (in the top 50)

  • Black olives
  • Spinach
  • Pecans
  • Black beans
  • Red Onion
  • Broccoli
  • Soy Milk

Surprisingly Low on The List

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pumpkin
  • Roasted Peanuts
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4 Comments

  1. eris December 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    thank u 4 posting this, a very important information about antioxidant, some people should know about.i know i am taking antioxidant each day n i'm getting it fr.green tea n some veg.

  2. Pamela Thomas June 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Thanks for posting these 25 foods. I don’t see the serving size in parentheses. Am I missing something?

  3. debbie July 28, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    How about posting the recipe for the pumpkin spice cake?

  4. Mana December 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    How can the Polyphenols in Foods Cause an Iron Deficiency when they also contain iron and vitamin C. Dose all Polyphenols block absorption of iron by the intestines?

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