Antioxidants in foods are regularly promoted to us as a way to reduce damage from free radicals. Free radicals are generated as normal part of our metabolic process and are they are increased as we eat or exercise more. There is plenty of confusion around which antioxidants are the most potent. In this article we will try to decipher the measuring process and share some different antioxidant values for foods, herbs and supplements.
There are three common ways to test for antioxidant value in different substances ORAC, FRAP and TEAC. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Antioxidant Capacity and is a more expensive and accurate way to measure antioxidant properties. FRAP stands for Ferric Ion Reducing antioxidant power. TEAC stands for Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity and is a less complex and inexpensive way to measure antioxidants. Given the option try to use ORAC values whenever possible. They normall have this format of u mol TE/100g. This represents the antioxidant power per 100g of material. Keep in mind that a typical pill size is .5g so when we discuss supplements like astaxanthin 100g is an enormous value approximately equal to 200 pills! None of these three forms of testing can be compared against each other.
While goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, cloves and cinnamon consistently top the charts there are plenty of other super potent antioxidants that we regularly consume. Artichoke hearts, ginger and pinto beans to name a few.
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