Every few months it seems there's another news story touting a specific fruit as having high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that have been associated with the prevention of cancer and other illnesses. It's difficult to know from these stories how much antioxidant activity these fruits really have, especially in comparison to each other.
Researchers at Cornell University in New York set out to compare the cellular antioxidant activity levels in 25 commonly consumed fruits in America. They found that pomegranates, wild blueberries, and blackberries had the highest levels. These levels were 30 to 40 times higher than fruits such as melons and watermelons.
Other fruits rated high in antioxidant activity listed from highest to lowest are cultivated blueberries, plums, raspberries, strawberries, red grapes, apples, cherries, and pears. Lemons, bananas, and avocados, along with melons, were at the bottom of the barrel.
So, if antioxidants are your goal, eat exotics, such as pomegranites and wild blueberries. For more information on this research, go to: Journal of Agricultural Chemistry.