I’m a big fan of antioxidants. Those phytochemicals are the superpowers of fruits and vegetables. They help protect from many diseases, especially cancer, prevent free radicals damage and plays an important role in the natural detoxification process. A new method to assess the antioxidant power of each food has been put together. This is known by the ORAC value.
What is ORAC?
Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is a method to measure the antioxidant value of foods. The method used assesses the antioxidant content of each food based upon in vitro tests. This means that it has been tested in lab only, and no on humans. Each food studied has been given a particular value according to its antioxidant power on cells in lab tests. While this can be useful, it’s important to note that, along with the vitamin content, antioxidant levels will vary from a sample to another depending of many factors like the storage, the preparation, the ripeness, the soil where it has grown, etc.
How to use the ORAC values list
Having a diet based on antioxidant rich foods can help you stay young and healthy. So selecting foods with a high ORAC value can help us in doing so. The important thing here is not to debate over the antioxidant content of blueberries versus pomegranate, but more to make sure that we eat as many high antioxidant foods as possible. And since each and every antioxidant has a specific health benefit, variety is also something to consider. Keep in mind the usual portion though. Many spices have a very high antioxidant power, but as we usually consume very little of these, the overall antioxidant we get per serving can be comparable to a small pear or apple.
Where to find ORAC food lists?
There are many ORAC food lists on the web. Here’s one of them, but you can always google “ORAC list” to find some more.