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ORAC stands for "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity," and the measurement is expressed as "ORAC units per 100 grams" of a given food, herb or supplement.

The ORAC scale is a standardized test used by the US Department of Agriculture to measure the Total Antioxidant Potency of foods and nutritional supplements.  The test gives us a precise method of determining the potency, or power of specific foods, herbs, supplements and compounds and their ability to destroy, or neutralize, free radicals in the body; in other words, their antioxidant power.  The scale measures the amount of free oxygen radicals that a food, herb or supplement can absorb.

What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals, or radicals, are atoms, molecules or ions with unpaired electrons.  These highly reactive, molecules are unstable and contribute to the weakening of the body by destroying our cellular structure and making us more vulnerable to disease.  When molecules in the body oxidize they become free radicals.

Free radicals are generated during long term exposure to extremely low levels of  radiation,   which will exhaust our defenses unless our body has an abundant reserve of antioxidants.

Please read the  Radiation  page to learn which normally health raw foods should be avoided as long as Fukushima is spewing radioactive elements.  Many natural healthy foods healthy foods are  goitrogens.

When these goitrogenic foods are eaten raw,  they prevent  iodine   uptake by the thyroid gland.  I'll continue to eliminate certain healthy raw, organic foods for this reason until at least 90 days after Fukushima quits pouring radioactive Iodine into the environment.

March 11, 2011 Fukushima changed the lives of everyone living in North America.  In spite of what the media and other talking heads are saying  low levels of radiation  over a long period of time are very harmful.

50 Plus Natural Remedies For Radiation Fallout Protection  clearly outlines in detail what my favorite natural solutions are and why I comsider them to be vital for my health.  This is a convenient means to carry this important report with you if you're considering doing some of the same things that I am.  Immediate downloads for:   Kindle, iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android phones.

Free Oxygen Radicals Are Formed In Our Body From:

   *  fried foods & foods cooked at high temperatures
   *  processed foods
   *  RADIATION   XRays & Airport Full Body Scanners
   *  weakened immune systems
   *  disease, stress
   *  during a heart attack or stroke
   *  electrical & EMF pollution
   *  pharmaceutical drugs
   *  toxic heavy metals
   *  toxic chemicals & pesticides
   *  petroleum products
   *  cigarette smoke
   *  food toxins

Some free radicals are unavoidable and not all free radicals are bad when your body is in balance

Damage Attributed To Free Radicals

   *  degenerative disease
   *  memory loss
   *  neurological diseases
   *  atherosclerosis
   *  Alzheimers
   *  Parkinsons
   *  arthritis or other joint disorders
   *  heart disease or stroke
   *  diabetes
   *  HIV
   *  cataracts
   *  cancer
   *  aging

What Are Antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a molecule that is able to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules.  Antioxidants, also know as free radical scavengers, can neutralize or destroy free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to our body.  Antioxidants offer powerful protection, on a cellular level, for your body, to protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Think of antioxidants as the Terminators of free radicals.  Doesn't it make sense to have as many antioxidant Terminators on our side as possible?

Free Oxygen Radicals are the bad guys formed in our bodies and create a chain reaction to damage healthy cells.
Antioxidants are the good guy free radical scavengers, the Terminators who wipe out & eliminate the free radicals.

There Is Good News!

We're not helpless to defend ourselves against the bad guys, the free oxygen radicals.  We just need the right, powerful friends.  We need powerful Antioxidant Terminators to destroy the bad guys.

So, how do you know which foods, herbs or supplements offer the most powerful protection from the damage caused by the free radicals?

According to university research the higher the ORAC value, the more beneficial it is for the body.  The FDA has recommended that people should increase their antioxidant consumption to 7000 ORAC units a day to help lower their risk of Cancer.  As you can imagine, more could be better.

The ORAC is just one important value of a food.  Eating foods with high ORAC values becomes critically important.  Keep in mind that the ORAC measurements are based on 100 grams or about 3.5 oz of a food, herb or supplement.

While we can easily eat a 3.5 oz apple, we're not likely to sit down and eat 100 grams or 3.5 oz of Cinnamon.  ORAC charts are just a tool.

We took the ORAC values from the USDA May 2010 chart.  You'll find other sources with wide ranges of values for foods.  What's important isn't the exact ORAC rating, since any food is composed of many other important beneficial nutrients.

It's also important to keep in mind that just because a particular food or herb may have a high ORAC value, that value will be significantly different if the food is GMO, frozen, not fresh, canned etc.  It may not have any nutritional value.  Refer to the Dirty Dozen  to choose only organic foods if you're concerned about their antioxidant capapabilities.

In a perfect world, it's always better to eat fresh, raw food   right from your garden.  Flavor is at it's peak and nothing can compete, but when that isn't possible choosing the next best option is better than not including real food in your routine.

The USDA didn't publish some of the ancient and more important natural healthy native foods such as  Maca Extreme (raw, organic)Mesquite, Amalaki  and Hemp,  so it will require more research before I can offer those ORAC values.

ORAC Values of 40 Foods, Herbs & Spices

Chaga 365,570      Goji 25,310 Raspberries 5,146 Broccoli 910
Cloves 314,446      Chokecherry 15,820      Cilantro 5,141 Plumb 949
Cinnamon 267,536      Ginger 14,840 Strawberries 4,256 Beets 860
Oregano 200,129 Elderberries 14,500 Red cabbage 4,200 Oranges 750
Turmeric 159,277 Peppermint 13,978 Raisins 2,890 Red Grapes 739
Thyme 143,264 Pomegranate 10,500 Cranberries 2,890 Bell Pepper 710
Rosemary 137,720 Black Pepper 10,205 Kale 1,770 Cherries 670
Rosehips 112,200 Blueberries 9.621 Spinach 1,290 Grapefruit 483
Dark Chocolate 56,685      Plums 6,083 Brussel Sprouts 980      Corn 400
Acai 41,000 Garlic raw 5,541 Alfalfa Sprouts 930 Carrots 200

Easy Ways To Include Antioxidants

Get a large glass jar, quart or half gallon size and throw in some of the antioxidant rich organic powders from the above list, shake well and add a tablespoon or two to smoothies, tea, soups, over salads, on top of yogurt.  It's a lot easier than to swallow a bunch of pills, but you also might want to  Pop A Purple  it's loaded with 22 fruits that are antioxidant rich, plus enzymes & probiotics too!   And in the evening you could  Pop A Green calming multi.  which contains 25 antioxidant rich herbs & vegetables.  Discover what works best for your lifestyle.   Remember that cooking food at tempertures over 128 degrees F destroys vitally important  Enzymes that your body needs.

I'm a lazy cook and would be lost without my  VitaMix  it's not just another blender, it's a whole food machine that helps me:

   *  Save time in the kitchen -  make meals in minutes, quick clean-up - 35 kitchen tasks!
          4 unique processes w/o attachments!
   *  Save money on groceries -  use the whole fruit or vegetable and less waste.
   *  More nutritious meals -  Vita-Mix processing releases hidden nutrition.
   *  Online support -  in Vita-Village-chat with thousands of Vita-Mix owners.

Even in the winter when having a garden isn't possible, it is possible to still eat raw food with all of my herbs.  Snow on the ground?  Not a problem, with my raw goat milk smoothie & raw veggies, here are some of the herbs that really boost my immune system, provide great nutrition and antioxidant support.  Just toss them in!

Goji berries
Rice Bran
Sea Buckthorn berries
14 Organic Greens
He Shou Wu
Raw Protein Powders
Hemp seeds
Organic Coconut Oil

Healthy Food Links

     Glycemic load      Little Changes      Recipes
Dirty Dozen      GMO      ORAC Chart      Soy
Food Wars      Goat Milk      Raw Food World      Super Foods

Hippocrates ~ "Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue.  They are developed from small daily sins against Nature.  When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear."

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Copyright All Rights Reserved 2010 -2012 Toni Reita ND

Under the current FDA laws in the united States, it is illegal to make any medical claims for any health supplements or any other natural product.   This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to make any medical claims, diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any physical or mental condition, nor to prescribe any substance.  This site provides helpful natural information and is supported by compensation from quality advertisers and affiliate relationships.