Figs First

Put down that expensive antioxidant supplement and pop a few dried figs instead. In laboratory tests at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, dried figs demonstrated more than six times the antioxidant power of vitamin C, E, or beta-carotene. Even better, tests on humans showed that they boosted antioxidant capacity in the bloodstream by as much as 18 percent—much more than has been seen with other antioxidant-rich foods like green tea. (Other dried fruits posting impressive results include apricots, cranberries, dates, and raisins.)

Apparently, the loss of sugars and water during the drying process boosts the fruit’s phenol content, which accounts for the free-radical-scavenging effects. For a nonfat, low-calorie, antioxidant-loaded snack—and a shot of fiber, to boot—munch on three to five dried figs, apricots, or dates, 1/4 cup of raisins, or 1/3 cup dried cranberries.

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