Antioxidants and ORAC-values
By Jacobus Hollewijn
July 15, 2022
This is a slightly expanded version of a 1-minute radio commercial from September 2021.
Diets high in antioxidants will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that contributes to age-related degeneration and chronic disease.
In the realm of antioxidants there are different fruits that are judged by their ORAC value. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It's a lab test that attempts to quantify the "total antioxidant capacity" (TAC) of a food by placing a sample of the food in a test tube, along with certain molecules that generate free radical activity and certain other molecules that are vulnerable to oxidation . After a while, they measure how well the sample protected the vulnerable molecules from oxidation by the free radicals. The less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the test substance.
There are actually a handful of different tests designed to measure total antioxidant capacity in this way, but the ORAC is probably the best known and most popular.
The higher the ORAC-value, the better that food functions as an antioxidant in our body.
The nice thing about this method is that it measures the antioxidant activity of a food rather than the levels of specific nutrients, such as vitamin C or E.
According to the free-radical theory of aging and disease, diets high in antioxidants will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that contributes to age-related degeneration and chronic disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
Let me give some examples of berries and other fruits whose ORAC-values are significant. They’re not always the best-tasting fruits; you simply consume them for what they DO for you.
Acai, blackberries, black raspberries, camu-camu, goji berries, maqui berries, mangosteen, moringa, and noni.
All-in-all eating these foods is wonderful for our health. They are mostly also available in a dietary supplement form, in a powder, capsule, or in liquid form.
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