Don't Get Swayed by ORAC Antioxidant Values!

Have you encountered any food item with prominent antioxidant values. I mean exact antioxidant measurement in ORAC scale. Maybe you have seen it already or you love eating foods with high ORAC declaration. Free radical are really notorious in causing diseases and antioxidants are its good fighters. So eating antioxidant reach foods is a good way to fight free radicals effect.

I first encountered the term “ORAC” upon receipt of the two bottles of Numi Pu-erh tea. I taught it was an organization which test foods for antioxidant values but it turned out to be a method for determination.

ORAC, an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. It was developed by USDA in cooperation with Tufts University during mid-1990. Gained credibility in 2007 when USDA published food ORAC values and updated in 2010. However it was removed in February 2012 when marketers indiscriminately use it for product promotion, claiming ORAC values way beyond data and seem making it a measure of food healthfulness.

ORAC test is a patented and sensitive process. It is protected under law and few labs have the right equipment to do it. According to naturalproductsinsider.com, ORAC test was introduced by Brunswick Labs. It is a proprietary cell-based antioxidant assay (CAA) for measuring product safety and efficacy in biological environment. It is an in vitro (a test tube test) method to measure antioxidant potential, however, does not provide real life info. Brunswick is a benchmark lab for orac test.

It is the most sensitive and most reliable measure for antioxidant capacity. It is estimated by ferric reducing power and expressed as micromole Trolox equivalent (TE) per 100 grams (uTE/100g). It is 5% more or less accurate.

More taught.

1) It is a crude process and should not be used for marketing purposes or basis of foods actual health performance.

2) A well performing antioxidant in a test tube might not do well inside human body.

3) Antioxidant anthocyanins may not be well absorbed in the body. Some powerful antioxidant of raw brocolli were not recorded in lab test.

4) It has no real relevance to food’s antioxidant effects to human body.

5) ORAC is still a valuable analytic tool in connection with investigative methods.

sources: 1,2,3

Nasunin in Eggplant Peels | Antioxidant, Brain Food and Anti-Cancer

Eggplant is a great plant to have. Plant several in front yard or backyard. It also grow well in pots. It is a low maintenance crop – able to bear fruits with less care. It can be prepared into five easy recipes. Items one to four suit well for lazy persons or individuals with tight budget.

purple eggplant

1) Inihaw na talong. Broil over ember until the skin became almost burnt and wrinkled. Dip in sauce, mixture of soy sauce and calamansi. Skin is tough and often discarded.

2) Tortang talong. Broil eggplant as instructed above. Remove the skin. Flatten. Dip in beaten egg and fry.

3) Pritong talong. Fry and dip in sauce. I do this the least cause it is able to absorbed a lot of oil.

4) Nilagang talong. Boil in water until tender. Dip in sauce.

5) Pinakbet. Cook it with okra, tomatoes, ampalaya, bagoong, onions, garlic and other spices.

I prefer broiled, torta, and fried eggplant than nilaga and pinakbet. The first three recipes bring out the best flavor.

We should plant and eat eggplant not just because it’s an easy to prepare vegetable. It has more benefits than what we thought. It contains a unique antioxidant “nasunin”. It resides within the eggplant skin. So eating it but discarding the skin is a grave mistake.

Nasunin.com has a detailed information about the antioxidant. To sum up:

1) Nasunin collects excess free iron to prevent damage to brain cells and the rest of nervous system.

2) It has anti-cancer property. It prevents the formation of new blood vessels thus depriving cancer cells of nutrients and eventually causing cell death.

On the contrary, it maybe bad for pregnant women and persons suffering from anemia.

Rosemary Extract As Organic Antioxidant : Approved By European Union

I am very familiar with the rosemary herb. The small plant with many branches growing upward. Each branch are surrounded by plumb needle like structures pointing up. Anyone should not be afraid to hold it cause the leaves are not needles and will hurt, only needle like.

rosemary herb

This plant is included in herb collection of my former horticulture professor. The herb is under extensive research. I know it can be processed to tea and use in culinary purposes – nothing more! Thanks to my reader eye and busy fingers. I discovered that it is a powerful antioxidant. Am I the last one to know this information?

Antioxidant is a substance that scavenge free-radicals. Free radicals are responsible for cell damage, rapid aging process, heart attack and formation of cancers. Rosemary’s antioxidant activities are done by the following bioactive compounds:

carnosic acid
rosmarinic acid
camphor
caffeic acid
ursolic acid
betulinic acid
rosmarinidiphenol
rosmanol
labiatic acid

WOW! Speaking of nine antioxidant compounds of those little plants. Small herb with big benefits. It is really perfect for making tea and culinary uses.

The antioxidant action of labiatic and carsonic acid is similar to artificial butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The BHT and BHA chemicals I saw in chemistry laboratory have a TOXIC warning printed on label. I bet food grade and analytical grade have the same thing in common – they are both toxic.

Here is another good news: The European Union approved the use of rosemary extract as food additive – as antioxidant. However its use is limited only to certified organic products. Use in artificial foods such as softdrinks and candies are not allowed. The source of rosemary herb must also be certified organic and must be extracted organically or by means of ethanol.

To gather extract by ethanol: 1) Gather rosemary needles (leaves) 2) rinse it well with several changes of water 3) air dry quickly (use electric fan for the purpose) 4) half fill in clean glass jar 5) cover with 80-proof vodka (1 part leaves: 2 parts vodka) 6) Cover and let stand for four to six weeks (keep in dark, dry and cool place).

Roasting Enhances Antioxidant Content of Peanut Skins and Flour

Peanut lovers have more reasons to eat roasted peanuts. Those who like eating skinless peanuts should also consider eating peanuts with skins intact.

According to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists (Jack P. Davis and colleagues), increasing roast color intensity steadily increases the antioxidant capacities of peanuts, peanut flour and peanut skins. Specifically, peanuts that are incrementally roasted at 362 degrees Fahrenheit from zero for 77 minutes have higher antioxidant values. broken peanut

Peanut skin should always be included in the roasting process because it has high antioxidant values.

Darker roasted peanuts have better Vitamin E retention than light roasted peanuts. Increased concentration of Maillard reaction products might be responsible in protecting Vitamin E loss. However, dark roasted peanuts have limited food applications.

The research may not apply to deep fried peanuts. Most peanut snacks are deep fried, few vendors are selling roasted in Manila buses. Roasting is a healthier alternative to deep-frying, no added oil plus more antioxidant.

How to Fight Aging – Antioxidant Foods

lettuce-as-antioxidant

Do you want to stay young but don’t want to take any anti-aging drugs? Or you just don’t have the budget to do so? Whatever your answer, this article is good for you to read. Written by Florentino G. Solanzo of FNRI.

Antioxidants: Your Modern Day Anti-Aging Nutrient

During the last few years, we have witnessed the explosion of modern-day anti-aging nutrients known as antioxidants.

Antioxidants are compounds present mostly in fruits and vegetables, which neutralize excess free radicals that are generated by the body during normal metabolic metabolism. They belong to a group of substances known as phytochemicals.

Free radicals are the most vicious and the most toxic substances by-product of metabolism. When not neutralized, they can travel through the body cells, disrupting the structures of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates and causing cell damage. Such damage is believed to contribute to aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cataracts and the like.

lettuce-as-antioxidant

Cellular antioxidant defense mechanisms can be classified into primary and secondary systems. The primary defense system includes familiar nutrients such as vitamins (vitamin E and vitamin C), carotenoids (B-carotene and lycopene), thiols (glutathione, lipoic acid), ubiquinols, flavonoids and polyphenols (from herbs, teas, grape skins) and minerals such as zinc and selenium. A variety of enzyme systems such as the catalase, superoxide dismutase, gluthathione peroxidase are also part of the primary defense system. They are thought to interact directly with harmful free radicals. The secondary defense system includes enzymes that break down protein, lipids, and in DNA repair mechanisms. They are mostly involved in repair of already damaged protein and lipid molecules.

Where can we get enough supply of these antioxidants? Most people only know that the best sources are those that are available in drugstores in the form of vitamins and supplements. But these are very expensive. Toxicity may result from overdose intake of

these substances as they are commonly taken in mega doses or in amounts more that our body needs. Remember that … “more may not always be better.”

Unknown to many, most of these antioxidants are present in foods especially fruits and vegetables. As long as we follow the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) message # 1. “Eat a variety of foods everyday”, and # 5 Eat more fruits, vegetables and root crops”, we will have no problem meeting our daily requirements for these nutrients.

Food sources rich in vitamin C include bayabas, kamachili, kalamansi, balimbing, kasuy, aratilis, atis, and oranges.

Beta-carotene rich foods as dark green vegetables include malungay, kamote tops, kangkong, pechay, kulitis and the like. Yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots, kalabasa, kamatis mangga, papaya, and tiesa are some of the rich sources.

Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts and legumes, germ oil from wheat, corn, cottonseed and by-products such as mayonnaise, salad dressing and margarine. Animal sources include egg yolk, liver, butter, and milk.

Lycopene is found in processed fruits like tomato catsup and pineapples. Other sources of antioxidants are grapes, apples, soy and soy products. Always remember that the best source of antioxidants is still those from food.

To promote better health … eat the right foods in the right amounts. Always

be guided by the FNRI’s Ten Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos!

Health Benefits of Garlic Chips

garlic-chips

garlic-chips

Garlic has many health benefits . But most of us cannot eat garlic in pure form. One way to enjoy and rip the benefits of garlic is to eat garlic chips.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic, one of the most essential ingredients in the kitchen, does more than provide rich flavor to your favorite dishes. It is considered as one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. Garlic is known to provide numerous health benefits and is said to cure a lot of body ailments. Here are some of the goods things that you can get from eating garlic:

  • Improves cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels

Have you ever noticed that people who eat lots of garlic have lower incidences of cardiovascular disease? People in Asia and the Far East use garlic regularly in their food and they happen to enjoy great cardiovascular health. Garlic is proven to lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.

  • It serves as a natural antioxidant

Garlic contains allicin, an ingredient which increases the amount of enzymes and glutathione peroxidase in your blood. Garlic can also slow down the aging of the liver and help combat the harmful effects of nicotine.

  • It fights off bacteria

It was during the 19th century that the anti-bacterial properties of garlic were discovered. Garlic contains some of the potency found in penicillin which can help fight certain bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli and Candida albican.

  • Can help reduce blood clotting

Studies have revealed that garlic can actually help reduce blood pressure. People who took garlic supplements had their blood pressure lowered around 1% to 5%. This can help lessen the chances of stroke and heart diseases.

  • It can control acne

On its own, garlic has not yet been proven to prevent acne but some studies show that it can be combined with other ingredients to produce an effective anti-acne treatment.

When eating garlic, it is best to crush it or chop it up. This will release the active compounds which produce the health benefits mentioned above.