ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) is a measurement of the antioxidant rating of different foods. Antioxidants fight against harmful free radicals, known to be one of the main factors of the ageing process and also associated with the growth of cancerous cells. Although antioxidants are produced naturally in the body, the number decline with age, hence the need to acquire them from our diet.
Antioxidants work by significantly slowing or preventing the oxidative (damage from oxygen) process, caused by free radicals that can lead to cell dysfunction and the onset of problems like heart disease and diabetes. Antioxidants may also improve the immune function and perhaps lower your risk of infection and disease. In your body, the antioxidant process is similar to stopping an apple from browning. Once you cut an apple, it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C, it stays white.
Different fruits and vegetables contain varying levels of antioxidants. The higher the ORAC score, the better the food can neutralise free radicals. By choosing fruits and vegetables with a higher ORAC score, you can maximise your intake of antioxidants in your daily diet. Look for fruits with bright colours – lutein has a yellow pigment found in sweetcorn and turmeric and orange pigment in cinnamon and squash; lycopene is a red pigment found in tomatoes and melon, and purple pigments in berries and grapes. In general, the deeper the pigment in a fruit the higher its ORAC score. This is evident in fruits like cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, figs, cherries and oranges. However, high levels of antioxidants are not only found in fruits and vegetables. Nuts such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews also rank highly on the ORAC scale.
Our new muesli contains blueberries, raisins, apples, pecans, walnuts and pistachios. We’ve also added pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds for that extra omega and mineral boost. And to add even more goodness of antioxidants and flavour, we’ve put a pinch of cinnamon in. We'll be at the Your Healthy Living Show
on the 12th and 13th of June letting everyone taste the lovely samples! It is available to buy in our stores or from our webshop here.
Currently on promotion is Red Grape Cherry Antioxidant Drink by Mile High. With an extraordinary high ORAC value of 3,600 (compared to tomato juice at 275) it's well worth a try, buy at either of our stores or buy online here