Today's consumer is exposed to the term "antioxidants" now more than ever. Consumers hear outlets like ABC News and CNN tout blueberries as an excellent antioxidant source and see many high profile products publicize their antioxidant capacity. Unfortunately, a great deal of misinformation and confusion has been created. Consumers certainly recognize antioxidants as being "good" for them, but their understanding of exactly why is often misunderstood.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
This article discusses the ORAC values associated with antioxidants and explains what the ORAC value is and how it is important to you as a consumer. The intent is to make you a better informed consumer of nutritional products.