Antioxidants and how they are measured explained

An antioxidant is a type of food that is willing to lend an electron to your cells. The context to this is fascinating. Cells in your body go, rogue when they lose an electron. Since atoms need to be in the balance, the cell tries to find this missing electron. It looks within its neighbours. In the interim, it creates free radicals in your body. Left unchecked you get cancer. Therefore antioxidants prevent cancer.

Foods that have antioxidants

such as dragons blood (no not what you think), Triphala, cloves, Indian gooseberry, peppermint et al. The values of the antioxidants available in food is measured as ORAC. ORAC is Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity; a measure of how much antioxidant the food has. Developed at the National Institute on Aging, this is now the standard used to understand the value of the food to remove free radicals. Dragons Blood does not come from a Dragon; instead from a red tree sap which oozes from the Croton Lechleri tree in South Africa. It has an ORAC value of 2,897,119, the highest found in all food. Indian gooseberry has 261,500 which does not even come close. The only other food which can compete is Astaxanthin supplements which have 282,200 units.

All human beings have cancer cells. Yes, I am not making this up. You do. Depending on the condition of your health, lifestyle, nutrition, exposure to toxins, etc., this cells may or may not turn cancerous and eventually malignant. Therefore, you would be well advised to add lots of antioxidants to your food. Doing so, combined with reducing your exposure to new toxins either through diet or exposure, will help prevent these free radicals eventually become cancer cells. Even if you know someone who has already contracted the dreaded disease, antioxidants can help. So what are you waiting for?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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