We could not survive without oxygen. Nonetheless, oxygen is also a source of free radicals, which attack fats, protein and genetic material and damage the strength and functionality of cell membranes, enzymes and DNA. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that numerous pathological conditions, including aging, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, various cancers and Alzheimer’s disease, are at least partly associated with the damaging effects of excess free radicals.
Nutrition experts estimate that people need to consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units a day to help maintain good health. A lab testing procedure called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Assay or ORAC measures the ability of foods to absorb and deactivate the hydroxyl radical.
- ¼ cup of dried cherries rates 3,060 on the ORAC scale.
- ½ cup of frozen tart cherries supplies, on average, 1,362 ORAC units.
- Montmorency tart cherry concentrate supplies 5,000 – 8,000 ORAC units per 2T serving (Cherry Active, 2011; Cherry Marketing Institute, 2012).
In 2013, Brunswick Labs introduced a more complete free radical analysis called ORAC 5.0. In addition to the hydroxyl radical, ORAC 5.0 measures the ability of foods to absorb and deactivate peroxyl, peroxynitrite, singlet oxygen and superoxide anion. The more oxygen radicals a food absorbs, the higher its ORAC 5.0 score, and the greater its antioxidant ability.
We tested our 2013 tart cherry juice concentrate using ORAC 5.0. The new numbers are astounding –
There are 1,931.54 ORAC units per ml of concentrate or 57,946.2 ORAC units per 2T serving,
making King Orchards Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
a perfect way to benefit from a high antioxidant diet.