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Which Common Fruit has the Most Antioxidants?

A study published in the October 2008 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that wild blueberries have the highest antioxidant levels of any common fruit in the United States.

Researchers from Cornell University measured the antioxidant levels of 25 common fruits for the study. They used a new method called the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay which quantifies the level of antioxidants in a way that closely mimics real biological processes.

The goal of the researchers was to analyze how the antioxidants from these fruits would behave inside human cells rather than simply in a test tube.

While blueberries topped out the list, the study showed that other common fruits high in antioxidants include pomegranates, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries. Bananas and melons had the lowest levels. The researchers did not analyze any "super fruits" like noni, acai and goji in this study.

The results also showed that apples and strawberries were the biggest suppliers of dietary antioxidants. Researchers noted that even though these fruits have lower antioxidant levels than the berries at the top of the list, most Americans consume more of them in their everyday diets.

Antioxidants can be beneficial to your health because they scavenge free radicals in your blood. Free radicals destroy cell membranes, DNA, and proteins. This damage has been linked to a number of diseases including cancer and Alzheimer's, and may also speed up the aging process.

According to the results of this study, getting more fruits intake in your diet, particularly berries, can help raise antioxidant levels and fight destructive free radicals. If including more fresh fruits in your daily routine proves difficult, drinking a "super fruit" beverage may be an easier way to boost antioxidant levels.
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