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ORAC Value - 2 Easy Ways To Get Antioxidants

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August 12, 2022
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

The ORAC value measures the antioxidant capacity of a given food or supplement. This value compares the relative antioxidant content of different foods or supplements and may help choose those with the highest antioxidant activity. Foods and accessories with high ORAC values are thought to offer excellent protection against oxidative damage and may help to improve overall health.

ORAC Scale

The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale measures the antioxidant content of foods and supplements. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the ORAC scale to help people choose foods and accessories high in antioxidants.

Trolox is a water-soluble form of vitamin E used as a standard for measuring antioxidant activity. ORAC values are expressed in terms of micromoles of Trolox Equivalents (TE) per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). The higher the ORAC value, the higher the antioxidant content.

Some common foods and supplements with high ORAC values include berries, dark chocolate, green tea, and certain types of accessories. ORAC values can vary depending on the food or supplement and how it was grown, processed, and stored.

ORAC values are not a measure of the actual amount of antioxidants that the body will absorb. In addition, other factors, such as cooking and storage, can affect the antioxidant content of food. The ORAC scale is an excellent way to choose foods and supplements high in antioxidants.

Learn about AETHEION's ORAC Value

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that can protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals occur when the body breaks down food or becomes exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. These molecules can damage cells, including DNA, and play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

While the body produces some antioxidants, many experts believe it is not enough. Therefore, people may need to get their diet's antioxidants or supplements. Antioxidants in food include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Some common antioxidant nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotene; lycopene; selenium; and flavonoids.

An ORAC value can help people choose foods and supplements high in antioxidants. However, it is essential to remember that ORAC values are only a measure of potential antioxidant activity and do not necessarily reflect the number of antioxidants the body will absorb. In addition, other factors, such as cooking and storage, can affect the antioxidant content of food. Therefore, it is always best to consume various fresh, whole foods to benefit from antioxidants.

Antioxidants in Food

Most fruits and vegetables contain some antioxidants, but some are higher in antioxidant content than others. The ORAC value can help people choose foods that are high in antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables with the highest ORAC values include berries, dark green leafy vegetables, and colorful peppers. Antioxidant supplements are also available and can provide a concentrated source of these nutrients. However, it is always best to get antioxidants from food first because antioxidants work together with other nutrients in food to promote health. In addition, whole foods contain fiber and other essential nutrients not found in supplements.

antioxidants in food

What Are the Benefits of Antioxidants?

There are many potential benefits of consuming foods and supplements high in antioxidants. Antioxidants may help protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. These nutrients may also help prevent or delay the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. However, more research is needed to understand how antioxidants work and whether they provide any real health benefits.

While no single "miracle" food or supplement can prevent or cure all diseases, consuming a diet rich in antioxidants is an excellent way to promote overall health. Antioxidants work best when finished as part of a healthy diet that includes a variety of other nutrients. Therefore, the best way to benefit from antioxidants is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

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