Anti-oxidants have been labeled as the magic bullet for a large range of diseases including various types of cancers and cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants occur naturally in our bodies, or are obtained from certain foods; their primary function is to eliminate the damaging effects of free radicals that are in our bodies. The amount of antioxidants in our bodies together with those we get through our diet are usually enough to counteract the harmful effects of these free radicals. However, in cases where the body is overwhelmed, such as during times of stress, or when we are exposed to pollutants and toxins, this may not be enough. We should get as many sources of anti-oxidants in our diet as possible.
Scientists at the USDA have developed a rating scale that measures the antioxidant content of various plant foods. The scale is called ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. They discovered that a small group of “super foods” have up to twenty times the antioxidant power of other foods. Even more amazing, these foods provide more antioxidant power than mega-doses of vitamin supplements! Simply put, the higher the ORAC value of food the more antioxidant power it contains. Antioxidants are essential to good health, especially with respect to aging and age related disorders. Scientists have learned that phyto chemicals, including antioxidants, increase our resistance to disease and boost immunity. It is recommended that one eat foods containing at least 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units a day, which is not difficult.
Scientists have determined that whole plant foods high in antioxidants are more effective for good health than isolated antioxidant supplements.
Hence, one must incorporate foods with high ORAC such as:
|Fruits||Orac value||Vegetables||Orac value|
|Rasberries||1,220||Red bell pepper||713|