Monday, May 25, 2009

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

(pictured: a gratuitious photo I took of the Baltimore Inner Harbor that I wanted to share)

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

Do you know what ORAC stands for, and why you should know? The lab at the USDA developed a measure to attempt to quantify the ability specific foods have to offset oxidative stress in the body. If you are new to the concept of ORAC, use the link in this post to take you to a one page summary of the concept.

It is fascinating to see that many of the top foods are fruits and spices. Apples were the item that surprised me the most. I did not expect the common everyday apple to be so packed with nutrition. I used to pass up apples in favor of other more exotic fruit, like mangoes or kiwis. Once I found out that apples were so good for us we began eating them much more often.

My favorite part of this project was to learn that chocolate and red wine scored so well. If you need another reason to consume more of either chocolate or red wine check out the table in the middle of the one page summary.

If you are an information junkie and want to look up the nutrient values of specific foods, follow this link. I lost a good bit of time playing around with this database and researching which foods were more healthy for my family.

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