What are antioxidants and what is ORAC? Be beautiful, inside and out
We all want to look good, feel good and enjoy our lives to the full. But when we read about health issues, healthy food and a healthy lifestyle, many of us struggle to comprehend the concept of ‘antioxidants’. What are antioxidants, what do they do for us and what are the oxidants that we must be ‘anti’?
Oxidants are particles that oxidise us. So what does that mean? As stated in the Oxford English Dictionary:
Oxi·dise (oxidisation, oxidisable) combine with oxygen; rust
The oxidisation that takes place in our bodies is comparable to a peeled apple that turns brown or to iron that starts to rust. This occurs because of the free radicals present.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are made up of one or two unpaired electrons, which makes them highly unstable. These free radicals raid our bodies, as it were, in order to steal protein and fatty acid electrons from other cells. Free radicals can even react with our DNA, disturbing our cell structure, which could in turn cause cancer.
Free radicals are by-products of our metabolism. This means that, no matter how healthy we might be, they will always be present in our bodies. However, more free radicals will be present when we smoke, suntan too long, eat unhealthy products, lead stressful lives, drink alcohol or other things. They are very aggressive and dangerous when they are present in the body in large numbers. In due course free radicals could cause cancer or cardiovascular disease, which means they can have drastic consequences.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are those substances that combat the free radicals. This is why it is so important you get sufficient quantities of them. While our bodies can make some antioxidants, we also need to absorb them from our diets. And so it is a smart move to pay attention to the number of oxidants – also known as the ORAC value – in the foods you eat. After all, we all want to get rid of the free radicals, don’t we?
Antioxidant level measured using the ORAC value
How do you know how many antioxidants are present in your food, or even in your bodycare products? Today antioxidants are added to a number of foods and cosmetics, primarily to increase their shelf life. But these are chemicals, ones that we often know by their E-numbers. At Amanprana we opt for antioxidants in the form of natural additives, not to extend the shelf life of the product but rather to preserve your healthy body and healthy mind. So how do we know what the antioxidant levels are? We measure them using ORAC values (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). ORAC is a unit for measuring the extent and the capacity to which a foodstuff can absorb free radicals. The ORAC test has been used since 2004 and the US Department of Agriculture considers it to be a standard test.
Amanprana’s products with a high ORAC value
In the last fifty years our food has regressed greatly in terms of quality. And so the occasional boost in antioxidants is very welcome for many of us.
At Amanprana we are aware that the number of antioxidants in a foodstuff or in a bodycare product will boost their effectiveness and also benefit your health. All the products in our range have a high ORAC value, including the following ones:
- Smoother facial features and a radiant complexion
- Antioxidants for a younger expression: ORAC serum
- Allergen-free for sensitive skin and eyes
- 0% chemicals, 0% alcohol, 0% parabens