Berry Beautiful: The ORAC Scale, Free Radicals, Food and You

January 13, 2020

Bilberries in a bowl on a white background, which rank high on the ORAC Scale.

Hello Beauties! 

So by now we know that free radicals are damaging to your skin and overall health, right? Luckily, science has helped us to determine that antioxidants are the key to fighting the effects of free radical damage, not only helping to protect our health, but to turn back the clock as well. Educating ourselves on the best ways to incorporate antioxidants into our daily self-care routine is an excellent step towards fighting wrinkles, collagen breakdown, discoloration and dull skin. 

When it comes to your diet, choosing foods rich in antioxidants is an essential way to help support the body’s defenses against free radical damage. Berries are one of the most potent (and delicious!) food groups in your antioxidant arsenal to help combat damage and the signs of premature aging to your skin. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries … they’re all excellent additions to your oats, chia pudding, salads or smoothies. But which ones are best? To find out which berries are going to give your diet the optimum beauty boost your skin needs, you’ll want to reference the ORAC scale

What is the ORAC Scale?

ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, and basically measures the antioxidant levels in the foods that we eat. Foods with a higher ORAC capacity are essentially super foods, and can give your diet the most bang for its buck when it comes to fighting free radicals. scientific studies have shown that adding foods high on the ORAC scale can raise antioxidant levels in the blood by as much as 20%!

Fun Fact: our products rank at over 1 million on the ORAC scale. Bonus! 

It is estimated that with a standard diet, most people are consuming around 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units of antioxidant-rich foods per day. However, to make a difference with your diet and offer significant protection, it is recommended that you consume between 10,000 to 12,000 ORAC units of antioxidants per day. 

Superberries for Beauty 

When it comes to antioxidant levels, not all berries are created equal. Some of our favorite and most commonly consumed berries are still rich in antioxidants; 100 grams (about ½ cup) of strawberries and blueberries contain about 4,500 ORAC units of antioxidants. But if you want to really up your antioxidant intake, you’ll want to turn to some superberries you may never have heard of before. 

Aronia berries clock in at an impressive 16,000 ORAC units per 100 grams, while Elderberries come in at a close second at around 15,000 ORAC units per 100 grams. Depending on the part of the world you live in, these types of berries may be difficult to come by, but not to worry; aronia berry concentrate can be found in most health food stores. Don’t be afraid to incorporate other types of berries into your diet like goji berries, noni, and mangosteen, as well as classics like pomegranate, cherries and raspberries to give your daily snacks and meals a colorful boost of powerful antioxidants. 

When it comes to caring for our skin, what we put in our bodies is just as important as what we put on it. Choosing skincare products formulated with superfoods and antioxidants is key, but choosing foods that can help to build up your natural defenses against free radicals is just as important too! 

Until next time, snack on some berries and almonds, moisturize and be well! 

Love, Natalie

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