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Frequently Asked Questions


Which fruits and vegetables are the best to eat?

One way to think about that question is to look at data that measures the "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity" (ORAC) of various fruits and vegetables. The following data will show you how some common fruits and vegetables compare to each other in terms of their ability to eliminate potentially damaging free radicals that are found in our body.

Top Antioxidant Foods
ORAC scores for 3.5 ounces
Prunes 5770 Kale 1770
Raisins 2830 Spinach 1260
Blueberries 2400 Brussels Sprouts 980
Strawberries 1540 Broccoli Florets 890
Raspberries 1220 Beets 840
Plums 949 Red Bell Peppers 710
Oranges 750 Yellow Corn 400
Red Grapes 739 Eggplant 390
Cherries 670 Carrots 210

Source: UC Berkely Wellness Letter, November 1999


You can see that most of fruits and vegetables with the highest ORAC are the deeply colored ones (ie blackberries, plums, kale and the like). This does not mean that these are all you should eat. We are just finding out about the many thousands of molecules in all of our plant foods that can potentially optimize our health in many ways, not just fighting cancer.

So even those foods on the bottom of this chart likely still have many other molecules that will be helpful. That's where the recommendation for eating a variety every day is important . In fact, I urge people to eat at least 3 different deeply colored fruits and vegetables each and every day as part of their minimum of "5 -A-Day ". That's also why it is recommended that you try something new frequently. That new plant food may have something extremely beneficial that we are only beginning to identify.



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Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables Which fruits and vegetables are the best to eat?  updated 6/02
Fruits and Vegetables What is your opinion of the vegie washes that are on the market? What do you use on your fruit and vegetables? posted 4/03
Fruits and Vegetables What are your thoughts on the importance of consumption of organic foods for cancer survivors? posted 4/04



These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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