How Much Antioxidant Do We Need?

by Sumi Chen

I would be surprise if you have not heard of the term ‘antioxidant’. Since antioxidant has been introduced to the mass market, it has gained spectacular popularity because of its capability to absorb and neutralize free radicals in our bodies.

In lay-man terms, free radicals are natural by-product of the body turning food into energy. However, excess free radicals is a problem because they attack the body cells – which can cause premature ageing, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

It is near impossible to reduce free radicals in our body. An excess of free radicals can be caused by:

  • polluted environments
  • stress
  • radiation (computer, mobile phones, tv)
  • smoking
  • sunbathing
  • processed food

Given our modern lifestyle, we are very prone to free radicals. The only way to mitigate the effect of free radical is to increase our intake of antioxidant.As encourage by doctors and nutritionists, we need to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

So how much fresh fruit and vegetables should we eat? 5 servings a day?

The answer lies within the ORAC measurement. ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a standardized measurement of the total antioxidant power of substance. Antioxidant power is the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. This means that the more free radicals a substance can absord, the higher its ORAC Score.

Nutritionists recommend that we consume around 5000 ORAC units per day to significantly impact antioxidant activity in the body. According to scientific studies, one serving of fruits or vegetables contain 500 ORAC units. If you do the math, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is clearly insufficient. You now need at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to consume the recommended amount of ORAC units!

Consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is already a huge challenge let alone to consume 10 servings. However, do not fret, you do not need to consume 8 kilos of blueberries to get that 5000 ORAC units a day. There are supplements and health products in the market to help you to obtain the 5000 ORAC units a day. The key is to know what you are purchasing for your health.

About the Author

Sumi is a natural and organic beauty and wellness practitioner. She is passionate about health and nutrition. Learn more about antioxidants from her website or shop at her certified organic skin care and wellness shop at



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