The ORAC scale is a measurement of antioxidant power. Knowing about ORAC values is important mainly in deciding which antioxidant supplement has the best cellular antioxidant protection.
The ORAC scale is a unit of measurement of the antioxidant ability of a substance to neutralize harmful free radicalsin your cells. The ORAC rating is a test developed at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, USA to measure antioxidant activity and free radicals. ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This scale measures how many radicals a specific food can absorb. The more free radicals a particular food can neutralize, the higher it rates as an antioxidant and the greater its ORAC rating. The ORAC rating has been effectively used to determine what the best antioxidant foods are.
Although experts disagree on the top 10 list of antioxidant foods,even using the ORAC scale, here is the top 10 antioxidant foods as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture:
1. Black chokeberry
Although the ORAC values for particular foods are interesting, knowing specific numbers are not necessary. Instead, eating a variety of deeply colored, fresh plant derived foods, especially beans, fruits and vegetables is all that you need to know in order to consume healthful amount of ORAC units. The key here is variety! Each food has particular nutrients the others lack.
When comparing any type of ORAC value, be careful to make sure that both the units and the foods being compared are similar. For example, a single prune may have a different ORAC value than a plum. Actually, though they both have the same antioxidant capacity, prunes appear to have a higher ORAC value per serving than the same dry weight of fresh plums due to the lack of water in its fresh counterpart.
Knowing a bit about the ORAC scale, manufactures of all types of antioxidant supplements have used this knowledge as a marketing tool to sell you their particular product.
It is up to you, the consumer, to use your knowledge of the ORAC ranking to make sure you are getting the best supplement for the health of your cells.
When choosing antioxidant supplement, choose the one with the highest ORAC score. Do some research on the different products and compare them. If the company refuses to give you this data, go with another product that does more research.
This same question could be asked
of any of the highly poplar juice drinks. One of the marketing pitches
is that this particular juice has a very high ORAC value compared to
other similar, but supposedly inferior antioxidant juice drinks. While
it’s not my intention to neither endorse nor disprove this company’s
claims, my advice to you before purchasing any type of antioxidant
supplement, especially exotic juices, is to thoroughly research the
both the ORAC values and even more importantly, how the promoters came
to that conclusion.