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Goji, Açaí and More

 

This page is currently under construction. There's more to come in the following days regarding the unique properties and health benefits of these fruits, to you AND your animals! I appreciate your patience.

 

Quick Jump Links:

Definitions | ORAC | RioVida

 

There are many fruits in the World and I believe that each of them are very special in their own right. They provide nutrients and glyco-nutrients and no one is better than another. However, some are far more powerful in antioxidant properties and those are the fruit juices which I'm going to cover on this page. A personal word of advice is - “Don’t be FOOLED by all the slick marketing terminology you’ll see on the Internet regarding these wonderful berries. Things such as “Spectral Signature”, “The One True Goji” or “Himalayan Goji”  (or any other place for that matter!). Goji is GOJI (Lycium Barbarum) and Acai is ACAI (Euterpe oleracea) no matter where it’s from! There is NO “one true Goji”. Also, if anyone tells you that a goji berry is NOT a wolfberry, they are wrong. Check it out for yourself by doing an Internet search such as: “Latin Name for Goji Berry” or “Latin Name for Wolfberry”. A little bit of homework goes a long way.” - Tina

 

Definitions:

Lycium Barbarum (aka Goji Berry)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wolfberry is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum (Chinese: 寧夏枸杞; pinyin: Níngxià gǒuqǐ) and L. chinense (Chinese: ; pinyin: gǒuqǐ), two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco). Although its original habitat is obscure (probably southeastern Europe to southwest Asia), wolfberry species currently grow in many world regions.[1] Only in China, however, is there significant commercial cultivation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Germplasm Resources Information Network,[2] it is also known as Chinese wolfberry, goji berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll's tea tree,[3] or matrimony vine.[4] Unrelated to the plant's geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use[5] in the health food market for products from this plant.

 

Euterpe oleracea (aka Açaí Berry)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Euterpe oleracea is a species of palm, sometimes known as the Açaí Palm.

According to the University of Florida (January 2008), "A Brazilian berry popular in health food contains antioxidants that destroyed cultured human cancer cells in a recent University of Florida study, one of the first to investigate the fruit’s purported benefits.

Published today (12 January 2008) in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the study showed extracts from acai (ah-SAH’-ee) berries triggered a self-destruct response in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested, said Stephen Talcott, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences." http://news.ufl.edu/2006/01/12/berries/

 

According to Dr. Paul “The Berry Doctor”

It merits looking deeper into açaí (Brazilian palmberry, Euterpe oleracea Mart.) and goji (Chinese wolfberry, Lycium barbarum L.) because each has:

  • At one time or another, been called the world's most nutrient-rich plant food.

  • Been called the most antioxidant-potent food on Earth.

  • Centuries of use as a medicinal plant by peasants and shamans in their respective land.

  • Rapidly growing market interest in many countries.

  • Taste and nutrient qualities making it “exotic” and included among the emerging “superfruits” emphasized for their antioxidant qualities.

  • Diverse applications as a "functional" ingredient in new foods and beverages.

 

California Academy of Health Goji Juice Information From PDF Fact Sheet

Interested in hearing some Goji testimonials? Check out: http://www.gojihealthstories.com

 

 

 

ORAC Values

 

What is ORAC and what does it represent?

ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity.

 

What is the ORAC Assay?

The Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) assay is a technique for determining the complete antioxidant activity of any biological sample. The ORAC assay measures the actual antioxidant activities of humans, food products, food ingredients, agricultural products, and pharmaceutical products.

 

What is considered a common ORAC for consumption on a daily basis?

An average person requires 1670 ORAC each day. In reality, 80% to 90% of people around the world are not consuming half of the daily needed ORACs.

 

There's another perspective on ORAC values and it comes from the following source:

 

According to Trent Rhode at Goji Juices

ORAC is the standard test, adopted by the US Department of Agriculture, to measure the potency of antioxidants in food. The test was developed by Dr. Guohua Cao, a physician and chemist who worked at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland. The ORAC test, though not the be all and end all of antioxidant testing, gives a good idea of the free-radical-destroying potential of a given food. It does this by measuring the time an antioxidant takes to react as well as the capacity of antioxidants within the sample food. It combines these elements into one measurement that is commonly expressed in terms of a 100 gram sample.

It has been suggested that humans should consume about 5000 ORAC units a day for maximum benefits. Unfortunately, most people do not eat nearly enough vegetables and fruit, or the right type of vegetables and fruit, to achieve this. For example, to get your daily ORAC dose from apples, you would need to eat 2,294 grams of apple (or about 22 apples).

It is important to remember, however, that there is a lot more to measuring a food's antioxidant capcity than ORAC. Since different antioxidants have different effects, it is still important to eat a variety of foods (including apples) with high antioxidant levels. For example, although strawberries have a higher ORAC score than spinach, spinach has been shown to be more effective than strawberries in boosting blood antioxidant scores. So, although eating a large amount of antioxidants is always a plus, it is important to eat a variety of healthy foods, not only for their antioxidant levels, but for their other nutritional properties as well.

I totally agree 100% with what Trent says in that last paragraph!

 

The Bottom Line To ORAC

The "bottom line" to ORAC ratings and values is (of course) from the United States Department of Agriculture. Below is an excellent article provided by the USDA...

For the best and most comprehensive look at a huge list of ORAC food values, check out this 2007 USDA PDF!

High-ORAC Foods May Slow Aging (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/1999/990208.htm)

By Judy McBride
February 8, 1999

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8--Foods that score high in an antioxidant analysis called ORAC may protect cells and their components from oxidative damage, according to studies of animals and human blood at the Agricultural Research Service's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts in Boston. ARS is the chief scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

ORAC, short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a test tube analysis that measures the total antioxidant power of foods and other chemical substances.

Early findings suggest that eating plenty of high-ORAC fruits and vegetables--such as spinach and blueberries--may help slow the processes associated with aging in both body and brain.

"If these findings are borne out in further research, young and middle-aged people may be able to reduce risk of diseases of aging--including senility--simply by adding high-ORAC foods to their diets," said ARS Administrator Floyd P. Horn.

In the studies, eating plenty of high-ORAC foods:

  • Raised the antioxidant power of human blood 10 to 25 percent
  • Prevented some loss of long-term memory and learning ability in middle-aged rats
  • Maintained the ability of brain cells in middle-aged rats to respond to a chemical stimulus--a function that normally decreases with age
  • Protected rats' tiny blood vessels--capillaries--against oxygen damage

Nutritionist Ronald L. Prior contends, "If we can show some relationship between ORAC intake and health outcome in people, I think we may reach a point where the ORAC value will become a new standard for good antioxidant protection." (See table at end for ORAC values of fruits and vegetables.)

The thesis that oxidative damage culminates in many of the maladies of aging is well accepted in the health community. The evidence has spurred skyrocketing sales of antioxidant vitamins. But several large trials have had mixed results.

"It may be that combinations of nutrients found in foods have greater protective effects than each nutrient taken alone," said Guohua (Howard) Cao, a physician and chemist who developed the ORAC assay.

He and Prior have seen the ORAC value of human blood rise in two studies. In the first, eight women gave blood after separately ingesting spinach, strawberries and red wine--all high-ORAC foods--or taking 1,250 milligrams of vitamin C. A large serving of fresh spinach produced the biggest rise in the women's blood antioxidant scores--up to 25 percent--followed by vitamin C, strawberries and lastly, red wine

In the second study, men and women had a 13- to 15-percent increase in the antioxidant power of their blood after doubling their daily fruit and vegetable intake compared to what they consumed before the study. Just doubling intake, without regard to ORAC scores of the fruits and vegetables, more than doubled the number of ORAC units the volunteers consumed, said Prior.

Early evidence for the protecting power of these diets comes from rat studies by Prior, Cao and colleagues. Rats fed daily doses of blueberry extract for six weeks before being subjected to two days of pure oxygen apparently suffered much less damage to the capillaries in and around their lungs, Prior said. The fluid that normally accumulates in the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs was much lower compared to the group that didn't get blueberry extract.

Neuroscientist James Joseph and psychologist Barbara Shukitt-Hale at the center tested middle-aged rats that had eaten diets fortified with spinach or strawberry extract or vitamin E for nine months. A daily dose of spinach extract "prevented some loss of long-term memory and learning ability normally experienced by the 15-month-old rats," said Shukitt-Hale.

Spinach was also the most potent in protecting different types of nerve cells in two separate parts of the brain against the effects of aging, said Joseph.

"These cells were significantly more responsive when the animals ate diets fortified with high-ORAC foods--especially spinach--compared to unfortified diets," Joseph said. "The spinach group scored twice as responsive as the control animals."

Why spinach is more effective than strawberries--which score higher in the ORAC assay--is still a mystery. The researchers conjecture that it may be due to specific compounds or a specific combination of them in the greens.

More details on this research appear in an article in the February issue of Agricultural Research, ARS' monthly magazine. The story is also available on the World Wide Web at:

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/feb99/aging0299.htm

Top-Scoring Fruits & Vegetables - ORAC units per 100 grams (about 3 ½ ounces)

Fruits   Vegetables  
Prunes 5770 Kale 1770
Raisins 2830 Spinach 1260
Blueberries 2400 Brussels sprouts 980
Blackberries 2036 Alfalfa sprouts 930
Strawberries 1540 Broccoli flowers 890
Raspberries 1220 Beets 840
Plums 949 Red bell pepper 710
Oranges 750 Onion 450
Red grapes 739 Corn 400
Cherries 670 Eggplant 390
Kiwi fruit 602    
Grapefruit, pink 483

 

Scientific contact: Ronald Prior, James Joseph, Guohua Cao or Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, Boston, Mass., phone (617) 557-3310, fax (617) 556-3299, prior@hnrc.tufts.edu; joseph_ne@hnrc.tufts.edu; cao_am@hnrc.tufts.edu; hale_ne@hnrc.tufts.edu. Last Modified: 01/03/2002

 

 

What is the ORAC level in the Acai fruit?

 

The Acai fruit will give you an ORAC level of 3871. This is determined from a dosage of 1 gram or 1000 mg.

 

The antioxidant content in Acai leaves rival fruits struggling to play catch up:

·          50 times greater than mangoes.

·          Three time greater than blueberries.

·          Two times greater than pomegranates.

·          10 to 33 times greater than red wine grapes.

 

RioVida Contains Acai`

4Life Transfer Factor RioVida is the one-and-only juice beverage in the world that provides the benefits of 4Life Transfer Factor Tri-Factor Formula. RioVida is also infused with powerful antioxidant fruit juices, such as açai, pomegranate, blueberry, elderberry, and purple grape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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