The Emerging World of Antioxidants
Antioxidant ORAC Value

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules which prevent the damaging effects of oxygen free radicals in the body. The damage caused by oxygen free radicals is called oxidation. Examples of oxidation are bananas turning brown when left on the countertop, or the rusting of iron.

An antioxidant is an enzyme or other organic molecule that can counter-act the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals in tissues, or molecules that protect the body from any free radical.

The presence of antioxidants in the body can "mop up" free oxygen radicals before they damage other essential molecules (source: Wikipedia).

Less than 10% of Americans are consuming the necessary fruits and vegetables recommended by the USDA to obtain the necessary antioxidants that their bodies need to fight off the damaging effects of free radicals.

FRUITS
ORAC
VALUE
 
Unprocessed
Cocoa Powder

26,000
Acai Berry*
18,500
Dark Chocolate
13,120
Prunes
5,770
Raisins
2,830
Blueberries 2,400
Blackberries
2036
Cranberries
1,750
Strawberries
1,540
Raspberries
1,220
Plums
949
Oranges
750
Grapes, red
739
Cherries
670
Kiwifruit
602
Grapes, white
446
Cantaloupe
252
Banana
221
   
 
VEGETABLES
ORAC
VALUE
 
Kale
1,770
Spnach, raw
1,260
Brussel sprouts
980
Alfalfa sprouts
930
Spinach, steamed
909
Broccoli florets
890
Beets
841
Red bell pepper
713
Onion
450
Corn
400
Eggplant
390
Cauliflower
377
Peas, frozen
364
White potatoes
313
Sweet potatoes
301
Carrots
207
String beans
201
Tomato
189

Source:data from U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
*Source: Brunswick Laboratories

How are Antioxidants Measured?

The antioxidants in any food are measured by its capacity to absorb free radicals. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) values as determined by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture measure the capacity of a food to absorb oxygen free radicals.

The USDA website recommends a Daily Antioxidant Intake Range of 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC. However, recent studies have suggested that more active lifestyles require higher levels of antioxidants.

Chocolate has one of the highest ORAC values ranging from 13,000-26,000 units per 100g depending on how it is processed.

              Activ        -     Protein Bar     -     Nuggets      -     Omega Bar

Xocai Active ORAC ValueXocai Protein Bar ORAC ValueXocai Nuggets ORAC ValueXocai Omega Bar ORAC Value

XOÇAI: What do the numbers mean?

Dr. Steve Warren, M.D., D.P.A.

There are numerous scientific articles describing the health benefits of phenols and flavonoids which are potent anti oxidants. How do we know if we are getting enough anti oxidants to meet our body’s needs? Science is just in its infancy in determining how much antioxidants we need and what types of antioxidants are needed in what proportion. There are many claims of one product having a higher antioxidant number than another product but how do we know? There are several types of scientific test available to measure the quantity of antioxidants in a product. The main tests are known as the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), the HORAC (hydrogen radical absorbance capacity), and the NORAC (nitrogen radical absorbance capacity). These tests measure many of the antioxidants which neutralize many of the harmful free radicals. The values determined by these tests help scientist rate different products based on their antioxidant properties.

However, like most scientific or medical tests you have to put them into perspective based on many variables. There are numerous factors which influence and determine the specific number of these tests. The amount of water or fat, the temperature, how thick it is, when the fruits were harvested, how they are processed, how they were stored, how old the fruits are, etc. are several of the numerous factors which influence what the antioxidant values will be. In a scientific study all these variables are controlled so that they can compare the same numbers against other numbers. In the real world we cannot control the variables so looking at specific numbers makes no sense in comparing one product to another. The antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids are flicked in their values so talking about the specific number of product X to product Y doesn’t work. It isn’t the specific number that is important it is the range of values for a product. We need to compare very high products to high or medium or low value products and not look at the specific number.

All the scientific tests have been done on Xoçai like ORAC, NORAC, HORAC, total phenols, and flavonoids (epicatechins and catechins). Xoçai has very high antioxidant level in terms of ORAC, NORAC, HORAC, total phenols, and epicatechins. The FDA has recommended that we digest at a minimum 4000-5000 ORAC values a day. There is no maximum amount but there has been some thought that very high dosages are harmful. It is also important to remember that each antioxidant is different and works at different sites in the body and at different times. A wide range of antioxidants are needed to meet the body’s need. Xoçai contains numerous types of high quality antioxidants and provides a very high level of antioxidants a day in the three 1 oz servings. Each of our needs vary each day whether we are exercising hard, have a fever or an acute illness, a chronic illness, or just stressed. We need to have an adequate source of antioxidants which are metabolized well into our systems. Xoçai provides an excellent source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, vitamins, minerals, and fiber to meet the daily needs.

It has been estimated that <1% of Americans get enough antioxidants a day to meet their needs. The consumption of fruits and vegetables is very low in our country. Xoçai is a simple and very effective way of adding antioxidants to our diet. If beyond the antioxidant needs our bodies needs the phytonutrients in Xoçai to meet the needs for inflammation, for energy, for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and for many of the body’s chemical processes. Remember that it is important to observe how a product works and the overall benefit rather than focusing on a specific number. It is still too early in our knowledge of antioxidants and phytonutrients to understand all the benefits of drinking an antioxidant beverage. The oxidative stress we face daily needs to be countered with a high quality functional food.

The darker the fruit the higher the antioxidant levels a fruit has. This is very true for Xoçai with the combination of açaí berries and blueberries. Bitter is better is also true when choosing high antioxidant products. Dark cocoa has a bitter taste because it is very high in antioxidants. Xoçai combines the dark fruits with dark cocoa in a high quality high antioxidant drink which needs to be part of your overall diet and healthy active lifestyle.

QUOTE

The exact antioxidant test numbers are not the important factor but whether it works or not. Xoçai has very high antioxidant properties and the results will indicate how effective it is. Don’t focus on the specific numbers but focus on the science behind the consumption of a functional food very high in antioxidant nutrients and how you feel each day. The old adage that you can fight with a pig in a mud puddle and the only winner is the pig because he loves mud is true. Don’t argue over specific ORAC values just know that Xoçai is providing you with more than the daily minimum FDA requirements for antioxidants. Bitter is better and dark is better is the hallmark for Xoçai. We combine the premium antioxidant products into a daily functional food to boost our body’s ability to counter oxidative stress and the many illnesses associated with that stress.

   
Xocai Omega Bars - Extremely High ORAC Value