Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro

WHAT IS ORAC?

The antioxidant values of foods are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ORAC of OPC+ While the exact relationship between the ORAC value of a food and its health benefits has not been established, it is believed that foods higher on the ORAC scale will more effectively neutralize free radicals. According to the free-radical theory of aging, this will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that can contribute to age-related degeneration and disease.

The ORAC value of the foods above is expressed in micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams of sample (this is the laboratory measure of ORAC).

The USDA recommeds an ORAC unit ingestion of about 3,000 to 5,000 units daily.

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Scientists with the United States Department of Agriculture have published lists of ORAC values for plant foods commonly consumed by the U.S. population (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, grains, etc.).[13] Values are expressed as the sum of the lipid soluble (e.g. carotenoid) and water-soluble (e.g. phenolic) antioxidant fractions (i.e., “total ORAC”) reported as in micromoles Trolox equivalents (TE) per 100 gram sample, and are compared to assessments of total polyphenol content in the samples.
USDA data on foods with high ORAC scores
Food Serving size Antioxidant capacity per serving size[14]
Small Red Bean ½ cup dried beans 13727
Wild blueberry 1 cup 13427
Red kidney bean ½ cup dried beans 13259
Pinto bean ½ cup 11864
Blueberry 1 cup (cultivated berries) 9019
Cranberry 1 cup (whole berries) 8983
Artichoke hearts 1 cup, cooked 7904
Blackberry 1 cup (cultivated berries) 7701
Prune ½ cup 7291
Raspberry 1 cup 6058
Strawberry 1 cup 5938
Red Delicious apple 1 apple 5900
Granny Smith apple 1 apple 5381
Pecan oz 5095
Sweet cherry 1 cup 4873
Black plum 1 plum 4844
Russet potato 1, cooked 4649
Black bean ½ cup dried beans 4181
Plum 1 plum 4118
Gala apple 1 apple 3903
With nearly all vegetables, conventional boiling can reduce the ORAC value by up to 90%, while steaming retains more of the antioxidants.

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