Antioxidants: Your Defense Against Premature Aging

ORAC what? Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity is a test developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University in Boston to measure the antioxidant levels of foods and supplements. Why is this important? First, let’s explore what antioxidants are. These, in a nutshell, are substances that destroy free radicals. What are free radicals? Free radicals are unstable molecules that have a free electron. What free radicals do is that they steal electrons from other molecules such as our cells to make themselves stable. In the process, they damage our cells and their components.

One of the most vulnerable parts of our cells is the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of our cells. No wonder, once there’s mitochondrial damage (which is another cause of aging), one of the earliest symptoms a person could experience is fatigue or weakness. Antioxidants should ideally be coming from our food. Other sources include nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and therapeutic-grade essential oils. Rich food sources of these antioxidants include prunes, wolfberries, acai berries, blueberries, pomegranates, apricots, kale, etc. Among the essential oils, clove scores the highest at 1,078,000, followed by myrhh at 379,000 and citronella at 312,000.

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