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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76 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 fr.green tea n some veg.

  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?

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

  4. SI HAVE JUST LEARNED SOMETHING GREAT!!!!!!! LOVE ALL KINDS BERRIES AND SUCH I AM ANCHIOUS TO GET STARTED. THANKS DOC. FOR PUBLISHING THIS INFO. I HAVE LOTS OF MEDICAL THINGS ERONG THAT THIS ARTICAL MENTIONED THESE THINGS WOULD HELP. SINCERELY CONCERNED

  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?

    • 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.

    • 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!

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

    • 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: http://www.benefitsofkefir.com/

    • 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.

  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,

    Sally

  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 health.like 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)

  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.