The unit of measurement for free radicals: ORAC

The number of units of active antioxidant ingredients, in other words Free Radical catchers, present in food products is measured in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbing Capacity – antioxidatives Potential). We now know that Free Radical in the have many negative consequences such as cardiovascular disease, raised cholesterol levels and the promotion of carcinoma growth to mention but a few. However, like always in nature, there are agents which are capable of neutralising the negative ones, in this case free radicals. These are free radical scavengers or antioxidants, which occur in numerous food products.

The following list of selected ORAC values* provides an overview of recommended food products in respect to their antioxidant content per gram:

  • Ground cloves: 2.903
  • Matcha: 1.573
  • Grape seed flour : 1.000
  • Elderberries: 146
  • Walnuts: 146
  • Cranberries: 90
  • Kidney Beans: 60
  • Oranges: 18

Matcha therefore has one of the highest ORAC value available among food products. Good quality ground cloves do win out, however in general we rarely consume more than a few milligrams of it per week. Incidentally, a minimum daily intake of 5,000 ORAC is recommended. This equates to approximately three bowls of Matcha tea.

*Quellen: Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 2004, 52, 4026-4037 // ORAC Analysis on Matcha Green Tea: Brunswick Laboratories

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