Friday, February 20, 2009
Fountain of Youth
As you well know, antioxidants protect against the aging effects and cellular damage caused by free radicals. Well, about a year and a half ago, I read about a study that ranked the antioxidant values of commonly eaten fruits and vegetables. The analysis is called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). In other studies, those that ate high-ORAC foods had lower biological ages as measured by memory, balance, and capillary strength. The current recommended serving of fruits and vegetables per day translates to approximately 4,000-7,000 ORAC units per day. Here is a list of top-scoring fruits and vegetables in ORAC units (about 3½ ounces) Fruits: Prunes - 5570, Raisins - 2830, Blueberries - 2400, Blackberries - 2036, Strawberries - 1540, Raspberries - 1220, Plums - 949, Oranges - 750, Red grapes - 739, Cherries - 670, Kiwi fruit - 602, Grapefruit, pink - 483 Vegetables: Kale - 1770, Spinach - 1260, Brussels sprout - 980, Alfalfa sprouts - 930, Broccoli Florets - 890, Beets - 840, Red bell pepper - 710, Onion - 450, Corn - 400, Eggplant - 390 Try using baby spinach, red bell peppers, blueberries and mandarin oranges in your next salad. Or combine raspberries and blackberries with low-fat yogurt for a healthy breakfast. Also mix together raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and nuts (pecans or almonds). 1 serving of this antioxidant mix = hand full. Always have a serving after working out. Who knew? The fountain of youth was always in my (and now your) refrigerator.