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Antioxidants

Antioxidents and HealthIf you read about health topics in magazines or newspapers, you will have heard about the importance of antioxidants squelching free radicals to help prevent chronic disease.

Indirect Antioxidants In Herbs


Vitamin C and E are well known “direct antioxidants” found in foods, meaning that they squelch free radicals but then they are inactivated. They basically have one shot and after it, they are over and out. However, now there is research showing that there is a class of “indirect antioxidants” that can reactivate the direct antioxidants and also stimulate the body to produce its own antioxidants over a much longer period of time. These are the types of antioxidants found in herbs, cruciferous vegetables, certain fruits, wine, cocoa and tea.

 

Antioxidants Work Synergistically


Researchers now understand that all antioxidants work best in synergy with each other so it is essential to consume a wide variety of herbs and foods to get a diversity of antioxidants. Indirect antioxidants, which are prevalent in herbs and spices, aid the body in fighting the millions of free radicals produced daily in our cells.

 

Antioxidants in Teeccino's Ingredients


Flavonoids and proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are water-soluble antioxidants making them instantly absorbable from hot beverages. They last in the body as long as 72 hours and attach themselves to your cells to protect them from damage. They reactivate spent Vitamin C. Teeccino contains ingredients that have both flavonoids and proanthocyanidins in them as documented in studies performed by the USDA. 

 

  • Carob, which is in every Teeccino flavor, contains significant amounts of flavonoids in common with tea such as (-)-Epicatechin 3-gallate, (-)-Epigallocatechin 3-gallate, (+)-Catechin. Carob also contains significant amounts of the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and myrcetin that are also found in tea. However, coffee has only trace amounts of (-)-Epicatechin and (-)-Epigallocatechin.
  • Barley, almonds, cocoa powder and dates all contain a variety of proanthocyanidins, a group of antioxidants made famous by being found in grapes, red wine and chocolate. In comparison, brewed tea contains three types of procanthocyanidins, but coffee only has minimal traces of one type.
  • Fig antioxidants have been shown to protect lipoproteins from oxidation and protect blood plasma up to 4 hours after consumption. Their antioxidant protection overcame oxidative stressed induced by drinking high fructose corn syrup in carbonated sodas. In one antioxidant test, figs produced a better result than green tea.
  • Ramon nuts, featured in Teeccino's Maya flavors, have a wide variety of antioxidants including the well researched (-)-Epicatechin. In 2 out of 3 tests of different types of free radical activity, ramon nuts squelched free radicals significantly better than either almonds, walnuts or peanuts. Walnuts are commonly thought of as being the nut with the most beneficial antioxidants so these results show that ramon nuts have a very high level of antioxidant bioactivity.

The Government's Study Of Antioxidants in Food and Herbs


The FDA and the USDA has gotten involved in testing foods and herbs for classes of indirect antioxidants known as polyphenols using tests for specific types called flavonoids and proanthocyanidins (OPCs). Both of these types of antioxidants have proven action against free radicals in the human body. The FDA is trying to prevent unreasonable claims being made for antioxidant activity that may not yet be proven in humans. The USDA has been very helpful in publishing the USDA Database for Flavonoid Content in Selected Foods so levels of antioxidants that are known to be active in humans can be compared.

 

ORAC Scores Aren't Reliable Measures of Antioxidant Activity

 

Maybe you’ve heard the term “ORAC” as a score to prove that certain fruits are high in antioxidants. Marketers trumpet ORAC scores, which is a type of measurement for antioxidant activity in vitro, (meaning in a laboratory dish, not in a human body) with each one trying to claim their product has more antioxidant activity than any other. Unfortunately, not nearly enough is known about how antioxidants behave in the human body as opposed to how they behave in the lab dish. Additionally, ORAC scores don't evaluate activity against a variety of free radicals, so a food or herb with a relatively low ORAC score may have a high score against other types of free radical assays. The ORAC test has been criticized and may be an invalid means of making antioxidant claims for these reasons.

 

Here’s our take on the subject:  A lot more research has to be done to substantiate antioxidant claims for particular health benefits. However, it is proven that a wide variety of antioxidants, particularly flavonoids and OPCs, should be consumed daily to promote optimal health and to prevent chronic disease by fighting free radicals that cause damage to our DNA.

Nature’s guide for the presence of antioxidants is in both color and intense flavor. Eat many different colored foods, enjoy a wide variety of flavors and drink herbal beverages like Teeccino and herbal teas that provide indirect polyphenols to help keep your antioxidant activity at a maximum!


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