ORAC Value Measures Antioxidant Level of Foods

Cocao Beans

Cocao Beans

ORAC value is not something everyone is familiar with, but in order to realize ascended health, eating foods with high ORAC values is absolutely essential. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It is effectively, the measure of the levels of antioxidants in a food and their subsequent ability to rid the body of free radicals. Antioxidants prevent cellular damage, and when there are damaged cells (through the ravages of free radicals and toxicity) cancer, faster aging and a variety of other disease ensue. Conversely, when free radicals are eliminated, we look younger than our chronological age and rarely, if ever, get sick.

ORAC VALUES, Under-appreciated and Under-loved

ORAC values have been dismissed by mainstream science and allopathic medicine as ineffective since the studies that prove their efficacy were done in vitro, but as with many natural healing methods, the results of free radical damage continue to be noticeable by multiple natural health practitioners, nutritionists, and scientists equally. Free radicals affect the mitochondria of cells, and can cause ischemic brain damage and stroke, among other diseases. Chinese medicine has looked to the removal of free radicals for treatment of numerous health concerns for centuries.

 

While mainstream medicine and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has dismissed the ORAC value of foods as irrelevant, continued science has shown that foods high in free-radical reducing antioxidants can prevent a compromised immune system and the precursors for many diseases. Alternative measurements of foods’ beneficial qualities are measured with the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent, and the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay. Not surprisingly, many of the foods listed as top ten on ORAC value charts are also known healing herbs and super foods.

 

How ORAC is Measured

 

ORAC values are based on scientific testing. Specifically, the oxidative degradation of the fluorescent molecule (either beta-phycoerythrin or fluorescein) after being mixed with free radical generators such as azo-initiator compounds. Furthermore, Azo-initiators are considered to produce the peroxyl radical by heating, which damages the fluorescent molecule, resulting in the loss of fluorescence. Antioxidants are considered to protect the fluorescent molecule from the oxidative degeneration. As the oxidative degeneration decreases, so does the fluorescent intensity.

 

The following foods are listed as high ORAC value foods (even though the EFSA and USDA think this is irrelevant), and interestingly, these foods often have phytochemicals and other naturally occurring constituents that help promote longevity, heart health, reduction in cancers and diabetes and other beneficial qualities.

 

These values are considered biologically irrelevant by the EFSA and USDA.

 

Food ORAC Scores

  • Raw unprocessed Cocoa bean

100 grams

28,000

Chokeberries

Chokeberries

  • Chokeberry

100 grams

16,062

  • Small Red Bean

½ cup dried beans

13,727

  • Wild blueberry

1 cup

13,427

  • Red kidney bean

½ cup dried beans

13,259

  • Pinto bean

    Pinto Beans

    Pinto Beans

½ cup

11,864

  • Cranberry

1 cup (whole berries)

9,584

  • Blueberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

9,019

  • Artichoke hearts

1 cup, cooked

7,904

  • Blackberry

    Blackerry Orac Star

    Blackerry Orac Star

1 cup (cultivated berries)

7,701

  • Prune

½ cup

7,291

  • Raspberry

1 cup

6,058

  • Strawberry

1 cup

5,938

  • Red Delicious apple

1 apple

5,900

  • Granny Smith apple

1 apple

5,381

  • Pecan

    Pecan Pie Anyone?

    Pecan Pie Anyone?

1 oz

5,095

  • Sweet cherry

1 cup

4,873

  • Black plum

1 plum

4,844

  • Russet potato

1, cooked

4,649

  • Black bean

½ cup dried beans

4,181

  • Plum

1 plum

4,118

  • Gala apple

    Orac Food Ideas

    Orac Food Ideas

1 apple

3,903

  • Pomegranate

100 grams

2,860

 

Boost ORAC Values Year Round

With nearly all vegetables, conventional boiling can reduce the ORAC value by up to 90%, while steaming retains more of the antioxidants. New foods are being added to this chart all the time by independent scientists studying the antioxidant value of various foods, and herbs. The foods highest in ORAC value are considered to be the most effective at boosting health, immunity, energy and vitality for the most profoundly enhanced health.

About Christina Sarich

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa and Yogananda into her writings. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

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