Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portion sizes for same dose of anti oxidants

When asked - what fruit or vegetable should I eat? My response is one that you enjoy eating. You are better to eat through a big pile of apples that you love, rather than one kiwifruit which you don't like.

That said, if you have a choice, it would be better to go for a nutrient dense food. Eleven years ago a study come out with the equivalence of antioxidant level:
1 glass (150 ml) red wine equivalent to 12 glasses white wine equivalent to 2 cups of tea equivalent to 4 apples equivalent to 5 portions of onion equivalent to 5.5 portions egg plant equivalent to 3.5 glasses of blackcurrant juice equivalent to 3.5 (500 ml) glasses of beer equivalent to 7 glasses of orange juice equivalent to 20 glasses of apple juice (long life)
There are a number of fascinating things:
  1. That red wine is very high in antioxidants. I new it was high, but didn't realize it was that high
  2. That juices have low antioxidant levels. The juices which I would suspect are commercial, are a lot lower in antioxidants than raw food. Furthermore if it is long life there is very little life in the juice. Therefore purchasing juice for the antioxidant level is a poor use of money
  3. Beer is an antioxidant. Beer is made from malt. Malt is made by taking sprouts and slightly heating them (barley sprouts). Also beer contains hops which is a natural herb. Hence it makes sense that beer is an antioxidant. However it have it a higher antioxidant than white wine, or equal to blackcurrant juice is quite surprising. Also being a commercial beer - it would imply that non pasteurized beer would even be better for you. 

 Reference: Paganga G, Miller N, Rice-Evans CA. The polyphenolic content of fruit and vegetables and their antioxidant activities. What does a serving constitute? Free Radic Res. 1999 Feb;30(2):153-62.

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