What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are powerful vitamins and minerals found in certain foods and in red wine that help combat free radicals. Free radicals are groups of atoms that have an unpaired number of electrons. This makes them very reactive towards other molecules and can start off chain reactions that damage cells. These reactions can even destroy or damage DNA and make cells malfunction or die completely.
Getting More Antioxidants
Want to get more antioxidants in your diet? Here are a few different foods you can eat:
Fresh berries are a great place to get more antioxidants. Whether you choose to consume blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or goji berries, these fruits will be very rich in antioxidants along with a number of other vitamins and minerals that help to enhance your health state. The berry with the most antioxidants is the acai berry. Unfortunately, you won’t find it in the fruit aisle of your local grocery store because it’s impossible to get outside of the Amazon.
The next place to get your antioxidants is leafy green vegetables. Any vegetable will fit the bill here as well, but the leafy green varieties such as spinach and kale provide an extreme dose of good nutrition and will really help your body out. Kale is rated as one of the most nutrient dense foods out there, so it is one that you will want to make sure that you are taking in regularly.
Next, a healthy fat source in your diet that’s also rich in antioxidants is nuts. Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts will all provide great nutrition and help to fend off free radical damage. Walnuts are especially great as they contain omega fats, which provide a seemingly endless number of health benefits. However, remember that nuts are higher in calories, and you could end up gaining weight because of them. Eat them in moderation.
The ORAC Measurement
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test is used to determine the amount of antioxidants in a food. Many different fruits, vegetables, and spices have been given a ORAC number. The USDA even published a table of these values up until 2012. This test was created by Dr. Guohua Cao, a physician and chemist who worked for the National Institute on Aging. It can be used to determine how many antioxidants are in products such as the Organic and Kosher Certified Pure Acai Berry Pulp Puree.
Dr. Cao’s test used a fluorometer to determine how well antioxidants could protect fluorescent molecules from oxidative degeneration. This degeneration was caused when free radicals came into contact with a body’s cell. When the cells lost fluorescence due to the damage done to their fluorescent molecules, they began to no longer function correctly, and they eventually died.
As you can see, eating foods high in antioxidants is definitely a good thing, but it can be hard to tell which foods have a high ORAC score and which don’t because foods generally aren’t labeled this way. That's why you may want to start taking an acai berry supplement. Research has shown that a supplement such as the acai berry may be able to provide you with a number of benefits.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.