Super Food

The ORAC Index

I was very interested in the concept of Superfoods at one point, and spent a lot of time researching the topic. I came across something called the ORAC index. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity.  Phew!  Basically it’s a way of measuring antioxidant capacities of biological samples – in our case FOOD, in a lab setting.  The United States Department of Agriculture produced indexes of foods, but in 2012 withdrew these, because they could not prove in a real life environment, that a biological link between ORAC and biological changes existed.  I think I’ve explained that correctly, please comment if you can help with this.  So basically, the ORAC index is not to be used, but if we did use it, we could see that the top ten Superfoods as listed on the USDA ORAC index are:

Prunes, Small Red Beans, Wild Blueberries, Red Kidney Beans, Pinto beans, Cranberries, Blueberries (cultivated), Artichoke hearts, Raw unprocessed cocoa beans, Blackberries, followed by the next ten :

Raspberries, Strawberries, Red delicious apple, Granny Smith apple, Pecans, Sweet Cherries, Black Plums, Russet potatoes, Choke Cherries, and Black beans, followed by:

Plums, Gala apples and Pomegranates.

So, what I conclude is, even though there is no biological proof that these foods help in real life, they have higher levels of antioxidants as measured in a lab setting.  It looks like prunes, beans, berries, and apples lead the way in superfood land.

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