Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity

Free radical damage happens as cells turn over and create waste; it is accelerated when the body is under stress, or in the presence of toxic substances. This simple fact is one of the leading theories on aging and cancer, but we can help the body by providing it with foods high in antioxidants. Think of it as arming every cell with high-quality swords, ammunition and maps.
High-ORAC foods are believed to fight free radical damage. The antioxidant power of foods is assessed by ORAC value, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which is established by the renowned U.S. National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The website 
www.oracvalues.com lists all the foods that have been tested and their values.

There is some pretty weird stuff at the top of this list such as sumac bran. Unless you are lost in the forest or starving when you have a flat tire on the side of a northern road, I doubt you are picking sumac and eating it. You could! And you can certainly find it dried as a spice in Middle Eastern shops or high end food purveyors. But there is an easier way.
The useful stuff at the top of the ORAC list is some of the smallest, most obvious items in your pantry: spices.
Find as many ways as you can to increase your use of these at the very top this list. Or, simply click through for a recipe.








Cocoa Powder



Photo Credit
Racheal McCraig Photography

Theresa Albert, Food Communications Specialist, Nutritionist
Theresa's French Canadian influences are a part of her "no bologna" style as everything is on the table...not just the dinner. She has the unique ability to distill complex health concepts into simple, savvy steps to improve any lifestyle choice. Because she wants to have it all too, she gets to the point with humour and truth.
Theresa is a sought after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular fascination with human relationships with food and culture. Her words can be read in such esteemed publications as The Toronto Star, Metro News, Today's Parent, Canadian Living and Canadian Family, Best Health and Shape Magazine. Her opinions voiced on CTV Newschannel, CBC and Global are always informative, thoughtful and entertaining. She has two books published in Canada and the US: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck.
She can be found on twitter as @theresaalbert and at