Fighting Aging with the Power of High ORAC, Alkaline Foods

Fighting Aging with the Power of High ORAC, Alkaline Foods

by: Cassandra Stirling

While browsing through your local health store, you may have noticed various ORAC ratings assigned to specific supplements.  In fact, ORAC values are now being displayed on packaged food items as well. If you are concerned about the aging process, than ORAC values are something you should be paying attention to. Antioxidants have been proven to have a direct benefit on the skin and the signs of aging.  They help with rebuilding the cells of the body, keeping your cells healthier longer, in turn making you feel younger.  In a nutshell, the higher the ORAC value, the greater the anti-aging effect.     

ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.  It’s a measure of how good a food/substance is at absorbing free radicals and rendering them harmless.  The rating was designed to account for the synergy that often exists in a food product.  For instance, it’s one thing to measure the amount of vitamin C in orange juice, but it’s another thing to measure the power of the individual components of that orange juice working together to create an even superior antioxidant.  Many antioxidants work better when in the presence of other antioxidants or other nutrients that complements them or help them accomplish their roles.  For example calcium works best in the presence of magnesium and vitamin D.  Because of this type of synergy, ORAC ratings provide a more accurate picture of how the food as a whole fights free radicals and hence delays the aging process.

Fruits and vegetables generally have the highest ORAC values however, foods like cinnamon, green tea, red wine, cacao, and beans are also high.  The USDA recommends we consume 3000-5000 ORAC units a day but most of us don't get anywhere near this amount.   The average person only receives about 20% to 25% of this recommended allowance in his or her daily food consumption. If you are following an alkaline diet, you should have no problem meeting your ORAC requirements because of it's plant based nature. For those of you who are still transitioning into the alkaline lifestyle, juicing is a great way to get a highly concentrated ORAC juice without the filling pulp.  Blended drinks have a similar effect especially when you are liquefying leafy greens.

If you still have trouble getting your daily ORAC dose, try taking an antioxidant supplement to fight free radicals and the signs of aging.  Choose the ones with the highest ORAC score so that you get the most bang for your buck. Acai powder is a concentrated freeze-dried source of the high ORAC Brazilian Acai berry.   It tastes delicious when added to a fruit smoothie. Other supplements with high ORAC ratings include grape seed extract (ORAC approx 4200), green tea extract (ORAC approx 3900), Resveratrol (ORAC value of 7200) and Olive Leaf with an ORAC of greater than 7500.   They are all available in convenient capsule or tablet form in our co-op store.  

When comparing ORAC data, care must be careful to ensure that the units of food being compared are similar. Some evaluations will compare ORAC units per grams of dry weight while others will evaluate ORAC units per grams of wet weight.  Others even look at ORAC units in servings such as per cup.   It is also important to note the state in which the food was measured.  For instance a freeze-dried powder will have a higher value than it’s naturally occurring counterpart.  The same goes for juices.  In addition, a dried fruit will yield a higher value than the whole food if using the same measurement because of the difference in volume. Take a look at some of the most commonly consumed, alkaline, high ORAC foods.  


ORAC Value (μ mol TE/100grams)

Acai pulp/skin powder 


Golden Seedless Raisins




Lentils raw


Artichokes (raw)




Garlic raw




Almonds raw




Apples red raw with skin


Raisins seedless


Gogi Berries (raw)


Broccoli raw


Red Cabbage


Asparagus raw


Other alkaline foods with high ORAC values include most herbs and spices so incorporate those freely into your diet.  Cinnamon has one of the highest ORAC ratings of all foods.   So as you can see, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on creams and procedures to look young. The answer is right in front of you. Eating a balanced alkaline diet will keep you looking young and vibrant.   You are what you eat so give your body the age fighting power it needs by filling it with high ORAC alkaline foods.  Turning back the hands of time may be impossible, but thanks to the power of antioxidants, the aging process can be significantly slowed.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

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