Sources of Antioxidants and ORAC

Sources of Antioxidants

By increasing the daily intake of antioxidants through diet and supplements, free radical activity within the body could be reduced. Our bodies contain natural antioxidants in the form of vitamins, minerals and hormones, but due to the incredible amount of stress modern society puts on us it can be good to take in more in our diet.

Sources of antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene. These can all be found in many fruits – such as elderberries and vegetables.

Antioxidative Capability of Elderberries compared to other fruit

In 2007, The United States Department of Agriculture looked at the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) or overall antioxidant capability of various berries. They studied the antioxidant capacity of certain berries in terms of how effective they were at attacking these damaging free radicals. The higher the figure obtained the more antioxidant capacity the berries had.

Of the berries studied, the elderberry had one of the highest total antioxidant capacities.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Fruits
Fruit
ORAC mmol TE/100g
Total Phenolics (mg GAE/100g)
Hydrophilic ORAC
Lipophilic ORAC
Total ORAC
Blackberry
5245
103
5347
660
Blueberry
6520
36
6552
531
Cherry (sweet)
3348
17
3365
339
Chokeberry
15820
242
16062
2010
Cranberry
9382
202
9584
718
Elderberry
14500
197
14697
1950
Grape, red
1260
NM
1260
177
Orange
1785
34
1819
337
Plum
6241
17
6259
367
Raspberry
4745
138
4882
502
Strawberry
3541
36
3577
368
Tomato, plum
546
NM
546
36

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods – 2007

Notes: The above data represents average values and the actual content in any individual sample of fruit may show significant variation from the above quoted values. The USDA database provides details of the estimated accuracy of the above values. However, despite this variation, the above values can be taken as a reliable indicator of the those fruits which are likely to have the highest ORAC potential.