Product Review

ORAC Values
Choosing High Antioxidant Foods

ORAC Values are a way to tell how well antioxidant foods and supplements do their job. ORAC means Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. Without getting into chemistry, that means how well negative particles are nulified by the antioxidant particles in the food.

You can read an article I wrote called Foods High in Antioxidants if you would like more information and haven't read it yet.

High Antioxidant Fruits

This first block of antioxidant foods are fruit and go from high to low. There is a lot of ORAC Value differences floating around the Internet. I am showing you tests done in 1999 and 2007 so you can know how to evaluate data you may find on the Internet that is contradictory.

I have provided references for more detail if you are interested. The 2007 version is believed to be more accurate and I use those figures in the last column where I break down the 100 gram figure to the 28 gram / 1 ounce figure which is more appropriate when thinking about how much you will actually eat.

If you have a little food scale, just weigh the amount of fruit you want to eat. Then multiply that by the figure in the right column for that fruit.

Example: Take blueberries. Weigh some on your food scale, and you get 3 oz. Now just multiply 1,834 to get the ORAC value which 5,502.

Orac Values for Common Antioxidant Fruits
Item 1999* 2007** Year Unknown 28g/1oz
Blueberries 2400 6,552 n/a 1,834
Prunes 5,570 6,552 n/a 1,834
Plumes 949 6,259 n/a 1,753
Blackberries 2,036 5,347 n/a 1,497
Raspberries 1,220 4,882 n/a 1,367
Granny Smith Apples n/a 3,859 n/a 1,081
Strawberries, raw 1,540 3,577 n/a 1,002
Cherries, sweet, raw 670 3,365 n/a 942
Pears, raw n/a 2,941 n/a 823

A Word of Caution

When evaluating the ORAC Values from various sources around the Internt, I found values to be inconsistent. For example comparing 100 grams of ground Cinnamon with an ORAC score of 267,536 on the same scale with 1 cup Wild Blueberries at 13,427.

First you would have to figure the Cinnamon for 1 cup which would be 74,910. Then decide how valuable is that. Would you ever eat 1 cup of Cinnamon at one sitting. This comparison is senseless.

Take care to notice if the type of measuring units are the same. Do you use 100 grams as a standard for all to measure weight, or are they using a measuring cup for actual volume and is it the same volume? I've seen some mixing weight and volume. This will not be an accurate scale for you to compare foods.

How to Evaluate Superfoods

Superfoods don't seem to be found in the government databases. So how do you validate the ORAC information? How do you determine if the information is valid? In the following block of antioxidant superfoods, I have given you some information that doesn't have a government validated ORAC value. These are the more recent superfoods under 'Year Unknown'.

For those that are not validated, you will have to decide to use the information or not. The websites that reference them do name the source as Brunswick Labs, MA, USA, but I have not been able to find evidence directly from that source.

Note: Raw Cacao Powder - the ORAC value for the Sunfood Raw Cacao Powder has been confirmed by David Wolfe at the Sunfood website. You can read a portion of that article, Sunfood Nutrition's Raw Organic Cacao Powder where he tells about this, if you are interested.

You'll notice two entries of chocolate in this category below. They are not raw and have been on the market for years. The idea of them being a superfood may be inconsistant with what a superfood really is. Because of the high ORAC value in both cases, I consider them rightly placed even though the processing is inferior to the Sunfood Cacao Beans.

Orac Values for High Antioxidant Superfoods
Item 1999* 2007** Year Unknown*** 28g/1oz
Raw Cacao Powder n/a n/a 95,500 26,740
Raw Cacao Nibs n/a n/a 63,000 17,640
Baking Chocolate, unsweetened squares n/a 49,926 n/a 13,979
Goji Berry n/a n/a 25,300 7,084
Acai n/a n/a 18,500 5,180
Dark Chocolate 13,120 20,823 n/a 5,830

How Much is Enough?

In my opinion, this is determined on an individual basis. There is more to know on this subject so, I'll be doing a series of articles. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you'll be notified as they get written.


  • *
  • **
  • ***Brunswick Labs, MA, USA - Indicated by various websites, but not validated at source.

Disclaimer: The information we share on this site is what we personally observe and experience and does not mean another person will observe or experience the same thing.

We provide the information for educational purposes only and is not meant to mislead anyone. We encourage you to consult with your health care provider if you are looking for medical attention or advice. The information here has not been clinically proven or evaluated by the FDA. We do not profess to cure or prevent any disease.


Health Talk - Uncovering Lost Treasures

Free Newsletter


This is Opt-In only, so you'll receive an email from us to confirm your subscription. We do not share your information, and... it's easy to opt-out.