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March 19, 2010



Another amazing post! The ORAC index is new to me--and I'm running with it. I always learn so much from you. Thanks for taking the time to share what you are finding out!


Chris (apple lover)

Firstly, I heartily second Carla's comments.

And secondly, all hail the humble apple! I see from your handy list of ORAC values that apples are near the top of the list.

Is there a more wonderful fruit? Not for me. I love them! You put one in your mouth and experience an explosion of flavour and texture. You have different taste experiences with each variety. They keep well and (we learn) are really haelthful.

And we can grow them in our temperate western climates without the need to pollute the planet by shipping them across the world.


Kyle Neal

A good way to get the green tea benefits is matcha, if you have never tried it. It is the actual young green tea leaves, dried and ground into a fine powder. A very small serving is the equivalent of about 6 cups green tea. You can drink as a latte, or add to your green smoothie. To read more about it, I recommend I have no affiliation with them, other than as a customer - they just have a nice explanation of the antioxidant benefits of matcha if you are unfamiliar with it. Thank you for all the great info on your blog. I am constantly referring to it and sending it to friends.

Kathleen Woods

A good source of Early Harvest EVOO is They carry Nunez de Prado Extra Virgin Olive Oil Early Harvest. It is the finest Spanish organic olive oil. Pricey, but worth it. And they put it on sale once a year. Usually in January.

Thanks for your posts. I enjoy them.


Another great digest - thank you for taking the time to read all this and getting the salient points across in such a user-friendly way! A few thoughts:

- I've started drinking white tea (I alternate it with green) after discovering recent studies showing that it contains slightly higher levels of catechins (anti-oxidant flavonols) than green tea and *twice* as many anti-skin-ageing factors (anti-collegenase & anti-elastase). (Thring TSA, Hili P, Naughton D. Anti-collegenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine - available free on Pubmed.) In another study I read yesterday, white tea combined with an NSAID more than halved the number of pre-cancerous intestinal polyps in rats genetically predisposed to colon cancer. (I can send you this study if you're interested.) White tea also tastes better than green - it has none of the biterness, but instead, a nice sweet, grassy flavor.

- I have small reservations (hypothetical ones, as I have no evidence fgor this view) about smoothies that include raw brassicas: as I understand, these can have thyroid-suppressing effects that lightly steamed breassicas don't. I know people swear by them - but I do worry that over the long term this could have detrimental effects. Probably not a problem for people who are 100% fit and healthy, but for borderline hyp[othyroid people (very widespread), I do wonder... Also, although broccoli etc are now available year-round, I prefer to eat my brassicas during the winter months, lightly steamed or braised in their own juice, and to eat 'watery' summer vegetables in the spring & summer. (Alas, not quite there yet... though my local vegetable farmer tells me a few bold asparagi have been peeking out of the soil! :-) )

- I found a fascinating paper re. ORAC values last week that shows how cooking increases antioxidant values *substantially* (in some cases - cabbage and green peppers for instance - by more than 400%!); peeling on the other hand (apples & cucumbers) was shown to reduce antioxidant content by 30-60%. Halvorsen BL, Carlsen MH, Phillips KM, Bohn SK, Holte K, Jacobs DR Jr, Blomhoff R. Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):95-135. 2006. PMID:16825686.

- Given the ORAC/peel/organic connection, I have to conclude that since peel is packed with anti-oxidants and the peel of non-organically formed produce may contain pesticide residues, it's best to eat organic produce whenever you plan to eat the peel (e.g. apples, peaches, starwberries etc). I don't mind eating non-organic produce where I don't eat the peel anyway (bananas, avocadoes, etc).

- Love your beta-carotene/oil story! Living in France, I can't resist slathering garlicky olive-&-walnut-oil vinaigrette on my salads and melting a small pat of butter in my vegetables... Now I feel vindicated!


A whole teaspoon of turmeric? Wow! I thought I was doing well with 1/8t turmeric on my oatmeal. I'm going to have to crank it up!

I remember reading about some of turmeric's beneficial health properties in David Servan-Schreiber's "Anticancer." As I recall, he said that turmeric should be taken with black pepper for better utilization in the body, though I don't know the ratio. I've been assuming a generous grating of black pepper is adequate. If I have to measure a complementary serving of black pepper with a spoon ... well, I prefer my morning oatmeal to taste more like morning than like 3-alarm chili!

Thank you for another great summary of useful information.


Do you make your smoothie in a Vitamix machine? Mr. MG just got one for us and was so happy to learn I've wanted one for years. Thanks for sharing your smoothie recipe -- we made our first one based on your creation!

Do you ever eat some nuts or other fat with your smoothie? Since chewing is an important activator of digestion, I also wonder if it is best to eat (chew) some food when we drink smoothies to improve overall digestion and absorption. I never cease to be amazed by the extensive communication between different parts of the GI tract (and the brain, too!) during the digestive process!


I just read your Smoothie Adventure post that answers my questions & more! Thanks!

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