Startling New Evidence: You Can Slow the Aging Process, Scientists Say
by David L. Kern
What if you could actually slow your rate of aging, and live healthier for longer, simply by eating certain foods? U.S. Government scientists now say it's possible.
Floyd P. Horn, then Administrator of the scientific research arm of the USDA, broke the exciting news in February 1999. "Young and middle-aged people," said Horn, "may be able to reduce risk of diseases of aging -- including senility -- simply by adding high-ORAC foods to their diets."
I don't know about you, but I find that statement tremendously exciting: "simply by adding high-ORAC foods."
Buddy, Can You Spare Some ORAC?
Unfortunately, most Americans have no idea that there may be a simple solution to preventing - or at least postponing - the ravages of decline, disease, and feeble old age.
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It's a test developed by the USDA and Tufts University to measure the antioxidant speed and power of foods and supplements. The ORAC test is quickly becoming the accepted standard for comparing antioxidant capacity.
And as you may know, oxidative stress, or free-radical damage, is implicated in all diseases associated with aging, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes - a short list of the 5 major killers of Americans.
She Told You So
An easier way to understand ORAC is to look at particular foods. Let's take spinach, for example. We all know spinach is good for us. Mom said so. And Popeye.
When USDA scientists tested spinach, they found it has an ORAC value of 1260 units per serving. So spinach qualifies as a "high-ORAC food," which may help slow the aging process. It turns out Mom was right. She knew it would keep you healthier. But she probably never told you that spinach may keep you younger - to actually help you age more slowly.
Sound the Alarm
We have an epidemic of age-related disease in America. The statistics are shocking. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in Atlanta now says that 80% of elderly Americans have at least one chronic disease. And 50% have two or more! And the ORAC tests help explain these terrible numbers. The truth is, our diets are woefully deficient in nutrient-dense, high-ORAC foods.
USDA researchers estimate that you need somewhere around 5,000 ORAC units in your diet every day to get the ORAC benefits that slow aging and prevent disease. But they also estimate that the average American gets only 1,200 ORAC units a day. This means that most of us are eating our way to one or more of the chronic diseases of aging.
Is it any wonder, then, that the diseases of aging are out of control? The average American gets less than the antioxidant (ORAC) value of one serving of spinach every day.
So what do you do if you hate spinach? No worries! There are many foods that rank high on the ORAC scale. Many delicious fruits and vegetables have high ORAC values: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, alfalfa sprouts, and Brussels sprouts are all rich in ORAC. Just find the ones you like, and eat more of them.
Vitamin C, a common health supplement, scores 1,890 units per gram. (For comparison, spinach delivers 12.6 units per gram) And that's another very good reason to supplement your diet with antioxidant vitamins. But if you want to get serious about a true anti-aging diet, there are specialty food ingredients available that deliver far higher ORAC values than ordinary foods and vitamins.
The Next Level of ORAC
Scientists are now testing "superfood" antioxidants that can give you astonishing ORAC protection- much higher than ordinary foods and vitamins. One of these new generation ORAC foods, derived from the skin of immature apples, tests as high as 13,000 per gram on the scale- over 1000 more powerful than spinach!
Anti-aging enthusiasts are now using these super-antioxidant ORAC foods to get maximum protection for aging and related physical and mental decline. Why? Because high-ORAC foods may slow aging. And the next-generation ORAC food ingredients are showing remarkable health benefits in human and animal studies, against the same diseases associated with aging - heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
So let me ask you:
* If you are growing older
* If 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic disease
* If the USDA says that high-ORAC foods may slow aging
isn't it time that you consider adding a lot more high-ORAC foods to your diet?
Or maybe, you didn't get the memo.
Copyright © 2005 David L. Kern
About David: David L. Kern is a health researcher and specialist in anti-aging nutrition. "There is now solid scientific proof," he asserts, "that we can actually slow the aging process." Discover the latest breakthroughs in high-ORAC anti-aging nutrition at http://www.applepoly.com/anti-aging