There are many claims to the title of most powerful antioxidant. You will find websites selling supplements, juices, power drinks and food products, each of them claiming to be the most powerful dietary antioxidant source.
A rating scale was created to measure antioxidant content of foods derived from plants. They named this rating system the measurement of the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of plant-based foods. Using this form of measurement, foods can be determined to contain different levels of antioxidants.
How you consume an antioxidant source can determine how much of the antioxidant you will absorb into your body. Supplements contain highly concentrated doses of antioxidants. Drinking a juice made from a source of antioxidants can result in higher ORAC ratings than eating a piece of fruit or a vegetable, although you may reap better health benefits from eating the whole fruit or vegetable than from drinking the juice.
Studies have shown that eating whole foods is the best way to consume antioxidants, although supplements are shown to have significant value also. You will reap more overall health benefits from eating whole foods as your method of ingesting antioxidants because you will also get fiber, water and other nutrients from the whole foods that you would miss if you simply took antioxidant supplements.
If you're looking for a mega antioxidant source, look no further than your legumes, berries, nuts and wine sections of your grocery store.
Legumes are the most powerful antioxidant whole food source available, followed closely by berries. Specifically, red beans (dried) and red kidney beans deliver the highest ORAC per servings. Blueberries, cranberries and raspberries deliver the highest amounts of antioxidants per servings for fruit.
Red wine is the alcoholic beverage with the highest antioxidant content and pomegranate juice has been determined to be the best fruit juice (a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry supports this latest claim, upsetting acia berries and goji berry juice claims). White and green teas are the best beverages outside of fruit juices, providing a calorie-free way to get your antioxidants. Coffee is another surprisingly good source, and pecans deliver the most antioxidants of the nuts and seeds family.
Goji berry juice and curcumin are two of the highest rated supplemental forms of antioxidants, but these are not whole foods you would find widely available for consumption in average meals.
Working together or separately, antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that compromise the structure and activity of healthy cells.
Wouldn't you be interested in an antioxidant that was many times more potent than vitamins C and E? What if this substance reinforced your body's own antioxidant system?