Know Your Antioxidant Rating

  • 3 Jun 2009
  • Reading time 1 min
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The total antioxidant power of a food can be measured by a test which determines a food’s ORAC.

The total antioxidant power of a food can be measured by a test developed at Tufts University in Boston, which determines a food’s ‘oxygen radical absorbance capacity’, ORAC for short.

Each food is assigned a certain number of ORAC units. Foods high in these units are especially helpful for countering oxidant or free-radical damage in your body.

We should all have at least 3,500 units a day but 5000 to 6000 will give you even more protection against ageing, and diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Heating destroys antioxidants, so aim to eat most of your fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.

The chart below shows the top 20 foods with antioxidant power. A full list of foods tested by the US Department of Agriculture is available.

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