Importance of ORACs
Free radicals are molecules or atoms that are unstable and are produced courtesy of the normal process of metabolism and from external sources like exposure to industrial chemicals, air pollutants, etc. It is a fact that we are exposed to free radicals all the time because they are everywhere.
Free radicals are able to cause other molecules to strip their electrons and this often leads to a chain of reactions yielding oxidative damage. This type of damage, over a longer period of time, has been shown to account for degenerative aging changes and various age-related diseases such as coronary heart disease and Alzheimer disease. To counter or neutralize the damage generated by free radicals, we need antioxidants.
It has been established that the consumption of high antioxidant foods is important for slowing the oxidative processes and damage caused by free radicals resulting in age-related diseases and degeneration. You should eat a food combination including nuts, spices, and fruits having high ORAC scores which boosts blood antioxidant scores.
What is ORAC?
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) refers to a lab test or a method used for quantifying or measuring the antioxidant capacity in any food or substance. This test was developed around 1990 by the NIH (National Institutes of Health).
This test involves placing in a test tube a food sample together with particular molecules that are able to produce free radical activity and also those molecules susceptible to oxidation. After a while, there is a measuring of how well the food sample managed to safeguard the oxidation of vulnerable molecules by the existing free radical molecules.
If the free radical damaged is lesser, then that means that the test substance antioxidant capacity was higher. In other words, if the ORAC is higher, this means higher antioxidant activity.
The Antioxidant/ ORACs Intake Amount
Most researchers and scientists suggest that your body is able to effectively use from between 3000 to 5000 antioxidants/ORACs every day. Other studies have even suggested that 10,000-12,000 ORAC units may be needed daily for the antioxidant levels in the blood to be affected significantly and adequate protection provided from free radical damage from different sources. This is especially advised if you happen to be exposed to lots of environmental toxins and you are suffering from a chronic physical illness.
You should note that while there is no recommended intake of ORAC units, you should avoid excess intake. That is because there is tight regulation of the blood antioxidant capacity. The excess antioxidants are excreted by your kidneys.
Foods High In ORACs
It is important to understand that often healthy foods have ORAC scores that are high. Consequently, here are some of the foods high in ORACs for your consumption.
Fruits are important for helping fight cancer, heart disease, and for protection of the immune system.
• Goji Berries– ORAC Score is 25,300. About 20 Grams needed to reach DRI
• Black Raspberries- ORAC Score is 7,700. About 65 grams needed to reach DRI
• Prunes- ORAC Score is 5,770. About 87 grams needed to reach DRI
Green vegetables are important for the body in protecting aging eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts development. Cruciferous vegetables are important for reducing cancer risk.
• Garlic- ORAC Score is 1939. About 258 grams needed for reaching DRI
• Spinach- ORAC Score is 1,770. About 282 grams needed
• Baked beans- ORAC Score is 503. About 994 grams needed
• Cabbage- ORAC Score is 295. About 1695 grams needed
In conclusion, as you have seen from the foods high in ORAC above, the Goji Berry has the ability that is unmatched for the absorption of free radicals that attacks the body and is injurious. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants can greatly help our bodies protected against free radicals bombarding us from different sources including from drinking water, breathing air, and food preservatives.