If 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.
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 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.
Polyphenols like flavonoids and proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are water-soluble antioxidants making them instantly absorbable from brewed 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 the 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.
- Dandelion roots contain the flavonoids, luteolin and quercetin, along with polyphenol compounds like caffeic and chlorgenic acids also found in coffee, wine, and fruits like apples and berries.
- 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.
- Ramón seeds, 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, ramón seeds 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 ramón seeds have a very high level of antioxidant bioactivity.
Maybe you’ve heard the term “ORAC” as a score to demonstrate antioxidant activity in foods and beverages. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This series of tests measure antioxidant activity against free radicals that cause aging and can contribute to disease development in the human body.
A brewed cup of Teeccino, independently tested by Brunswick Laboratories using the comprehensive ORAC 6.0 assay, evaluated its antioxidant capacity against five primary reactive oxygen species found in humans. Teeccino was shown to have significant antioxidant capacity against all 5 free radicals. Its total ORAC score ranged between approximately 7,000 – 10,000 µmole TE per an 8 fluid oz cup (236 ml). This is comparable to eating approximately 8 oz of fruits like blueberries and strawberries. Roasted arabica coffee has an ORAC score of approximately 6600 µmole TE per 8 fluid oz cup.
As we suspected, Teeccino’s dandelion flavors had the highest ORAC scores followed by Teeccino’s Maya flavors with ramón seeds. Both dandelion root and ramón seeds have been shown to have high antioxidant capacity in other scientific studies. We were pleased to learn that all of Teeccino’s flavors scored higher than coffee, which is touted as being the best source of antioxidants in the standard American diet.
You can see various ORAC scores for common foods, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables on the USDA Database For The ORAC of Selected Foods. ORAC scores are a useful tool to help you pay attention to eating super foods and herbs to protect your health on a daily basis.
Take Action To Promote Optimal Health
It is well 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 coffees and herbal teas like Teeccino that provide indirect polyphenols to help keep your antioxidant activity at a maximum!