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

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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165 thoughts on “Top 25 Highest Polyphenol Rich Foods

  1. 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 tea n some veg.

    • well people, at 65, im upset about the world of life supporting foods and neutrition that i have walked past. even avoided. unbelievable. when i learned of turmeric, 3 days into 500mg twice a day. on the 3rd morning i asked the wife not to travel too far from home today, i didnt know what to think. i wasnt thinking turmeric, i can tell you that.i felt weightless. pain free 100%. my attitude was humbling ,wonderful, once i thought turmeric a light went on. i cant say enough.its under a year that i found it.if i were raising children now , their are a few things i would make sure of. these life boosting goods would be no secrete . doctors, would learn something new. probiotics,polyphenols,prevention! the 3 ps for me.makes me want more. thanks, george

  2. 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?

      • There are certain foods, which due to their makeup, can cause this blockage. For one instance: Soy contains high levels of phytates, which have the ability to form insoluble complexes with iron, zinc, calcium as well as other nutrients. These can interfere with the nutrients’ absorption by your body.

    • Some people are allegic to polyphenols and have an over iron tendency so wondering how they really affect the body? Where is the science to look at on this question?

  3. What about the
    scientific name: Vitis Rotundifolia Michx:, common name: muscadine, Vartieal Mucsadine Black Beauty or Darlene grapes.


  5. I completely agree with you in regard to some foods containing polyphenols, but I also heard that soya and any product or food containing soya is bad for your health in quite a few forms as well as all the soya derivatives.
    Lechtin as well is bad for your digestion . Could you tell me what foods or fruits contain it, so we have to refrain from ingestin such a bad enemy of our health.

  6. I’m confused , on the one hand it says don’t eat lectins, which contain soy, then it says to eat soy milk on this list. I don’t generally eat any soy, but anyway., I suffer from sever fatigue among other stomach problems, and this research is really confusing me. Do we just incorporate these foods/spices in our daily meals. I have a lot of stomach issues and the 3 dietitians I’ve seen have been no help, per order of my physicians. Maybe I am missing something. Do you have pamphlets, such as meal plans?

    • Yes, I have done a lot of looking into this. I am doing the following. Avoid all Soy products like the plague, do some research into this and you’ll see why. Look-up foods that contain Lectins and avoid whatever you can. You can still eat a lot of things (your diet won’t change much) If you go into a high polyphenol intake, which is good. Find some good probiotics with 4 strains is the way to go, this will help your gut and the polyphenols feed the probiotics and the gut will absorbed the vitamins etc a lot more, you will feel this extra energy quite quickly. Also a few of the B group vitamins will be of benefit. The reason I say this is because I had/have RRV (Ross River Virus) also 3 blood test over 6 months showed my CEA Cancer antigens going from 10.9-11.1-11.4. I had no energy at all, tired, basically couldn’t do much at all. Now things are different, my energy levels have increased 100’s%, haven’t have a blood test now for 2 months but will soon and am fairly sure the CEA’s will have decreased a lot just based on how I feel. I have been doing this for 3 months now.

      • “Do some research,” you say, but you don’t say where you got the information to support your claim about “avoiding soy products like the plague.” Please post citations to credible scientific publications about this. Or are you just making this up? Note: “Just Googling it” is not research.

        • Where else do you research sheesh. start with google and it will offer you pleathery of articles and research papers. What were you born yesterday. And yest Soy is poison for a body, go to U tube and call up how soy is made and comes from. Do we have spell it out for you, man oh man.

          • “Pleathery”? Idiot.

            “Where else do you do research?” In real, scientific, peer-reviewed scholarly journals, which you search with a library’s specialized search tools. And then you apply critical thinking to what you read.

            “Go to U tube”? Yeah, right in there among all the flat-earth and “Julius Ceaser Shot JFK” and Nazi propaganda videos there will be some quack “doctor” telling me soy is poison. Real helpful.

            Was I born yesterday? No, I was born long enough ago to have two master’s degrees and to know how to do actual research.

          • A very rude reply. Yes, you have to spell it out. Isn’t that your job? However, in answer to his question, I have a soy allergy as do many people. I experienced vertigo for 3 weeks after eating deep fried tofu. Soy is hard to digest.

    • Barbara,
      Yes you need not eat anything containing soy because it has an enzyme which humans cannot digest properly. [If] anything the only soy products you may consider to consume is ‘miso, or tempeh’ because these foods are fermented……..and you are correct it does mess with your thyroid and your metabolism as well. I believe it is best to stick with vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, butternut squash, garlic, onions, peas, carrots…….fruits such as apples, all dark berries, strawberries, pineapple……….fresh fish, seafood, lean beef, chicken. And limit all processed grains. Try to eat sprouted grain bread, rye bread. Good Luck with your conquest for healthy living and eating! Bon Appetit!

      • Don’t forget the legumes, they are good sources of polyphenols too, Vitamin B and proteins, and are good for the gastrointestinal tract, to name a few. Soak the beans and throw away the water and after washing, slow cook in the crackpot, season it, put some cilantro, cumin, other herbs according to your preference and taste.

      • If soy is so terrible, then why have huge nations thrived on diets that contain huge amounts of soy? Can you give us the name of the alleged “enzyme” that “humans cannot digest”? Can you give a citation to any scientific research about this? Or are you just making up all this nonsense?

    • I do believe he is ‘assuming everyone knows what a ‘serving’ is for each food listed. And if you do not then I am most certain you can google ‘what a serving is for each food listed’. Good luck with your conquest in healthy living and healthy eating! Bon appetite!

      • he wants you to buy his product, if you can find these in supplements do that also look up dr gurdy md as he is the one who has a video and tells you how much he also sells the amounts online and it benefits the skin too as a side bonus also he adds biotin to the list for hair and nails. see if he has a you tube video. also said three handfuls of leafy greens aday kale, spinach and broc.

  7. I found an article on the good benefits of polyphenols and will increase our diets but my husband has a constant stomach ache and bathroom problems and even though has been thru soooo many test the problems persist. His diet is very limited to certain foods none of which are really bad except he consumes a large amount of sugar on shredded wheat cereal and bananas or strawberrys…other than that pretty basic diet..He doesn’t eat anything excessively or drink cokes etc. Any info you can shed on his possible problem would help

    • I know it is NOT at all easy, but I would suggest he totally cuts out sugar. And yes have 1 cheat day a week having sugar. As for myself, it was NOT easy cutting out M&M’s daily……..Probiotics?! Taking a probiotic in pill form from the health food store may help with his stomach ache. It is possible he has a ‘leaky gut’ so he will want to cut out foods which contribute to that. Good luck with your research into healthy happy living!

      • I had gut issues for many many years because of a long history of taking antibiotics. The miracle food for me was slippery elm, it healed my gut. I took 4 capsules 3x a day for months, and once I was feeling way better, continued to take 2 every morning before breakfast, of a high quality brand. Eight years later, I still take 2 every morning, and probably will for the rest of my life! Awesome stuff! I also take probiotics every day, but it’s the slippery elm that makes all the difference for me!

        • I have used probiotics and have found them to be very good for what I used them for. I love my food and I am always eating. Then one day I noticed I was not eating very much at all and my appetite was near non, I was shocked and even friends and family noticed. I went to my doctor and he told me to go on the probiotics and after awhile I think about 2 months I was starting to eat as normal, which considering I eat a lot maybe was not great ( hahahaha). I stayed on them for 6 month and have not looked back, NOW I have to loose weight. I will be trying the slippery elm though that sounds good for the tummy. Thank you for the info and all take care.

    • I took a huge steaming shit this morning and that shitter was filled to the brim with polyphenols !!! And dat suka stank !!!!

      • i need to ask if you were a drug addict say heroin would you have a cheat day to put a needle of drugs in your arm? no so just do it!!!

    • Exclude all foods from his diet that contain gluten. It looks like he has gluten intolerance or maybe he is celiac. Otherwise, to restore the gut flora, try him to have kefir every day. Kefir cured my 20 years digestion problems in just a couple of weeks. Check out this link:

    • I am hypothyroid. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and wild caught fish, basically unprocessed foods. Walk or exercise 30 minutes a day. No smoking or drinking alcohol. Eliminate sugar, honey, maple syrup or other sweets that raise insulin, and use herbs and spices for flavor .No aspirins, or other drugs. When you take your thyroid pill, take It a half hour before food and don’t add multi vitamins until 4 hours after. Lots of pure water is good before
      meals maybe with a touch of lemon or lime juice.

    • Cloves and star anise have the highest concentration, but they are not foods you would have a “serving” of; only a pinch. Therefore in practical terms, you can consume most polyphenols from these foods. For those so hung up on what a serving size is, it’s relative to an individual’s size – so probably roughly what you could hold in your own hand.

  8. I want to thank you for the list of polyphenols. I have been eating polyphenols in the past
    without knowing what they they were polyphenols. You have extended my list which I find
    very informatine. thank you again.Geri

  9. A Sample of what a day or two would look like showing the foods to eat with polyphenols the main focus.

    3 meals a day and 2 other “snack” times.

    Thank you,


  10. some of those things on the list are also bad for you, not saying that your not partially right what about folic acid and the acid that’s in most of these berries

  11. I always knew red wine was good for such, as well as Strawberries and black berries. I eat much Spinach to help my iron intake, but moving forward I will consume these foods in abundance.

  12. soy is not good for you at all. I avoid it completely. It is a gmo form poison. The berries are good resveratrol, green teas, black and purple berries. Pomegranetes, mulberry, elderberry ect.

  13. From my reading Black Elderberry, while high in polyphenols, can also be toxic depending on it’s state (ie whether is has been cooked or not – raw is not good) and that is contains high levels of cyanoglycoside sambunigrin in some species. The berries from these toxic species will give stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea. The only safe one to eat is Sambucus nigra and still then the berries need to be cooked. You can order dried Sambucus nigra berries online, but these still need to be cooked in some way. Often syrups, cordials and wines are made from cooked berries. The seeds, stems, leaves and roots are all toxic in all species of Sambucus.

    Again from my reading, regarding iron depletion, it is only when polyphenols are taken in excess that iron depletion is an issue. This is only generally from a supplement form rather than food form.

    • My friend in finger lakes region New York makes the best tasting elderberry wine from the wide elderberries they pick. I don’t see how something that tastes so good could be poisonous but I don’t know if they cook them and I don’t know if you can buy them at the store.

  14. Thank you for this informative site. I am 59 and need help eating foods that help rid high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The highest antioxidant foods is what I am wanting to consume along with other healthy foods. I really want to stay away from any soy products since they are destructive to the digestive system. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  15. You state “I have listed below the Top 25 Richest Food Sources of Polyphenols with the serving amount in parentheses.” But there are no parentheses and no serving size amounts, just the foods are listed.

  16. Yes, these foods are very healthy especially when you want to avoid lectins. But it’s hard because some of these are not good for thyroid soy and grains

  17. I would like to eat more garlic but do not want to look like or smell like garlic. I do cook with real garlic. Do not want to take a supplement. Any suggestions.
    Thank you

  18. Hi can you recomend me a fantastic red wine with no alcohol and no sugar I live in montreal anada where is the best red wine noalcohol and no sugar added thank you

    • Unprocessed and organically grown soybeans are great naturally eaten like EDAMAME. I believe what’s wrong is too much, too often, especially that many soybeans are genetically
      modified (GMO). I don’t like to use the word Never, we just have to be aware that majority of foods in the market are GMO and processed.

  19. I just watched Dr.Steven Gundry’s video on what not to eat and what to eat for energy and long life and he mentioned those same fruits and he said that we would need to eat a ton of them to get the polyphenol-rich-foods that we need to get rid of our problems and we would have to pay for his supplements to get the needed nutrients without spending a fortune , Do you have the same views Couldn’t I do the same thing if I just started eating these fruits in cereal such as Grape Nuts ?

    • I watched that also…very interesting product but I am sure it can be done with eating all the good things he mentioned , taking care regarding lectins . A good amount of the polyphenols is better then none?

    • A lot of larger grocery stores have in their fresh food section some clear plastic cups of up to a quart in size of polyphenols. So to get them in your system faster, what if you put a cup of them in your blender with water or yogurt? It’s delicious for breakfast or anytime. I cheat and put in a little sugar (only 15 calories in a teaspoon.)

  20. thank you for the list however I am confused about the soy milk, soy yogurt and whole grain rye bread. I was under the impression, that soy is high in lectins.

  21. Hello my name is Rebecca I’m over weight hi trygliceroid high bloodpressure high cholesterol don’t want to take medicine so please tell me what I can do confused

    • See if you can find bitter melon in your local stores, health stores, or produce stands at a local farmer’s market…if not find it online…it will help you with your issues…you can find recipes & info on pinterest too for bitter melon

  22. Why isn’t ooglong tea on the top 25 list of polyphenols? It has many benefits. Tea is a natural gift that is rich in antioxidants. It also contains vital vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium, as well as vitamin A,vitamin B,vitamin C,vitamin E and vitamin K. Additionally, it contains folic acid, niacin amide and other detoxifying alkaloids. It is developed in semi-fermented processing, providing the oolong tea with numerous polyphenolic compounds, adding even more valuable health benefits to oolong tea. Oolong tea also contains caffeine and theophylline and theobromine which are similar to caffeine which on consumption may stimulate nervous system.
    Weight Management

    The polyphenol compound found in oolong tea is very effective in controlling the metabolism of fat in the body. It activates certain enzymes, thereby enhancing the functions of fat cells in the body. It is commonly believed that daily consumption of oolong tea can reduce obesity. More widespread studies need to be done on humans, but early studies are very promising. In one animal study, mice that were given polyphenols in addition to a high-fat and high-sugar diet still showed a decline in overall body weight and fat index. Some earlier studies actually showed that the caffeine content was the active ingredient behind the weight loss, but it now appears to be mainly due to polyphenols. Apparently, the active components in oolong tea make fat work for you! Thank-you

  23. Thanks for listing foods easily found in supermarkets. Are GM foods also rich in antioxidants? Does polyphenols good for people with heart diseases?

  24. Like to find out more of the foods and if they are good substitutes for or can used in conjunction with Fomap diets(due to my severe IBS)

    • Thank you very much for the list of foods that have polyphenols in them. I also copied the honorable mentioned (in the top 50) I was hoping for more of the top 50 so I could balance my diet off with more of the right veggies. So is there any chance of getting the rest of the 50 honorable mentioned, PLEASE.
      Yes could I be cheeeeeeeeecky too and say it would be lovely to have the spicey pumpkin cake recipe. Thank you again for going to the trouble to put all this info on the web for us.

    • Hi Dale, don’t mean to stick my nose in but I had suffered with IBS since 1984, my body changed with the last pregnancy. For years going to Doctors and medication, I was never put on an elimination diet. About a year and ahalf ago my son was diagnosed with IBS and found to be lactose intolarent. So I did my own elimination diet. No change till I stopped dairy within 24hrs I noticed a difference and 3 days later I was back to my normal self, pre 1984. I say this because I was never sent to a dietition and never put on an elimination diet and I am wondering if you have if you have great but it you have not then I think you would be wize to follow that path, because you maybe able to leave IBS behind you. It is very liberating to have such a huge problem lifted off my mind. If you have been down that track then I hear that a % of the foods you can modify to suit you because the fodmap diet does have a margin of tolerance for different people.. So good luck and I hope you can find that balance you can live with.

  25. I thought anything that contained soy was not good for your body, along with wheat grass and goji berries. Have I been mis-informed?

    Everything else sounds wonderful and I shall be adding those things to my grocery list.

  26. I need to know how much potassium is in Vital Reds, per capfull as per your labeled instruction. I have been taking it for 6 months and my potassium level went way up, Please advise

  27. “…cloves have the highest polyphenol content per 100 grams followed closely by dried peppermint.”

    Then shouldn’t cloves be somewhere on your list?

    By the way, DO NOT sell or give my contact info to anyone else.

  28. What do you think about what Dr. Steven Gundry says about soy products?
    He says its back by his own research and that we should avoid ALL soy products that they not good for your body at all, he gives quite a few reasons.

    • Occasional to moderate soy intake won’t negatively impact you. Data supports the fact that it will provide a slight reduction in your cholesterol. I rarely eat soy because I don’t like the taste. But there is a lot of fear mongering around soy.

  29. It looks like the darker fruits are what is best, but what about the vegetables? You only mention three in the honorable mention column.

    • Hi, yes I agree, I have just asked if I could get hold of the other veggies so I could balance my diet out with the more beneficial veggies. Gudonya.

  30. being a diabetic, I get differing advice what to eat, I have been told now not to take any soya or protein products and caffine related items . all bad for diabetics, So my question is why one doctor says one thing and another doctor says something different, and what is beneficial for diabetic II, I WAS BEING TOLD FISH WAS GOOD AND OLIVE OIL , MUSHROOMS ,GARLIC, NOW I READ THEY ARE ALL BAD FOR DIABETICS . CONFUSED ,,, WHAT IS GOOD THEN .

  31. I have RA. After 20 years, I stopped taking DMARs July 2016. I immediately started feeling better but still low, low energy. Early 2017 I gave up sugary teas and started drinking blonde roast coffee in the pod. I have not been on steriods for RA since. I take them now for Pleural Effusion. I will drink more coffee and I will add many more berries to my diet to keep the inflamation down!

    Thank you for your site Dr. Mike.

  32. This is more of a question than a comment. I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but merely a guy who has developed a sudden interest in his health. Having come to realize we truly are what we eat and all diseases come as a result of dietary intake i want to change my habits before it becomes necessary to seek help from a doctor. I want to intake more polyphenols however after reading how to use this phenol-explorer i still am confused. I would like to know which phenols help in prevention of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And which aid in the removal of plaques from the walls of my circulatory system. In short what foods should i eat to aid what i have listed as my concerns….thank you

  33. I thought Soy was bad for you is “soy milk” different than the soy they put in veggie burgers or many vegetarian dishes??

  34. I have food allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and most berries. Fresh berries such as strawberries, blueberries and blackberries make my throat glands itch. Melons, bananas and avocados do the same. What do you suggest as alternatives and maintain a balanced diet. I do Sri k two cups of coffee in the morning and one teaspoon if apple cider vinegar in water.

  35. I read that you can lose weight quickly by eating and drinking polyphenols! French wine is suppose to be full of them too. Any thoughts! What about herbs in tea and Apple Cider Vinegar?

  36. I want to thank you for the list of 25 foods! I know you put a lot of work into this. If you are allergic to tannins in wine (red) (white) ect. Would it be possible to get the full list of fruits vetables? My email is Mrs green jeans 777 at Gmail .com. Thank you so much for all your work.
    I don’t see serving sizes do you have to push on vegetable or did they miss putting them on the site? Thank you all agian…?

  37. Hi and thank you.

    “O” yes, here it comes, having dietary problems, while looking up stuff I came upon a link by a Dr Steven Gundry (heard surgeon) who recommended high Polyphenol foods, however one of the three foods he said we should never eat is SOY.



  38. Do you have any knowledge of people being allergic to polyphenols? I am. Would you consider it a reasonable idea that if I improve my gut health this allergy could clear up? Any other ideas? Thank you.

    • Please give us the names of these so-called “nutritionists” and please cite the scholarly journals in which the studies allegedly showing that soy products should “not be eaten at all” appeared. (Hint: “I heard it on some late-night talk show” or “Space aliens showed me this in a vision” are not valid citations; and Weekly World News is not a scholarly journal.)

  39. I do not understand. Doctor Steven Gundry is talking about products what is not good and that is also soy products. Now I see on the list for polypenols there are several soy products?
    So now it is good?/?? please explain to me?

  40. Thank you for the information and polyphenols. A lot of the foods that were mentioned I do eat myself I guess that’s a good thing!

  41. I am researching Lectin and Polyphenols and I am finding that some of the foods that are rich in Polyphenols also contain Lectin.
    Where do I go from here?


  42. I appreciate the list, but there’s a couple of items you’ve listed which are bad for your health. Soy, it’s filled with Lectins, which damage the body.

  43. I’ve just watched an American video that was extolling the virtues of Polyphenol nutrient in food. It also said that Soy products were the worst possible food you could eat!! (He also says Goji berries are toxic.)

    Can you believe anything you see on the net? There are so many charlatans out there!!!

  44. This tells us that the multiplies of the biggest digit in any base number system acts the same because the multiplies of nine in the base
    ten quantity system .
    We might name this, providing you with half
    a recreation or giving you an unfinished recreation.

  45. I would eliminate the soy items as they are high in lectins which are toxic to the body, and Dr. Gundry is NOT a business may selling products! He is a respected cardiovascular surgeon who had done incredible amount of study in this area. If he says stay away from soy products and goji berries it is because his studies show they are harmful to your body.

  46. I read that soy which is high in lectin should be avoided. Dr Gundry. Also I don’t see mulberry listed. You don’t have to go to the store and get them, picked off the bush.