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Select Supplement Article

What are they?
Recent research has revealed a group of fruits that are so exceptionally high in antioxidants and so packed with other nutrients that specialists are referring to them as "superfruits". Some of the more exotic examples of these are: açaí, goji, noni and sea-buckthorn.

What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that have the ability to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are reactive substances that damage nutrients and body tissues.

We are exposed to free radicals in air pollution, UV rays, cigarette smoke, and even as byproducts of our own metabolism. Free radical damage results in cancer, cardiovascular disease, physical degeneration, and the visible signs of aging. In order to know how powerful of an antioxidant each substance is, and for the purpose of comparison, we use its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a laboratory test that is used as the general standard for measuring antioxidant capacity. Although ORAC is not a universal standard, it is a commonly accepted way of comparing water-soluble antioxidants like anthocyanins to each other. On this scale, all of the superfruits register many times the antioxidant capacity of ordinary fruits and vegetables. This indicates that compared by weight, they probably do offer a greater health benefit. Different extracts and brands of each superfruit rate differently on the ORAC scale, likely because of the different ways that they have been processed. It has been recommended that the average person get at least 1670 ORAC per day with additional health benefits occurring around 2,000 – 3,000 ORAC per day or more.

Nutritional Information

superfruit orac range
superfruit orac range (per 100 grams)
açaí · up to 102,700 (fruit-pulp-skin powder)
goji · up to 25,300
noni · up to 1,500
sea-buckthorn · up to 70,000

Açaí berry
Açaí berry is a fruit that is incredibly rich in antioxidants as well as high levels of healthy omega fats like those in olive oil. Some studies show that açaí fruit pulp has even more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Açaí can be found in commercial juices, and concentrated in supplements. For more information on açaí, click here.

Goji Berry
Goji is considered to be a superfruit because of its high antioxidant capabilities and its relatively high protein, trace mineral, and soluble fibre content by weight. This superfruit has been found to particularly protect the brain, liver, and eyes, as well as boosting well-being and overall mental health. It can be found in supplements, but its benefits are most easily obtained by simply eating the dried fruit itself. For more information on goji berry, please click here.

Noni fruit
Noni fruit is a good source of fiber and is believed to contain more than 150 different nutrients, including vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C and E), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium), protein, amino acids (including all the essential amino acids), phytonutrients, polysaccharides and digestive enzymes. For more information on noni fruit, please click here.

Seabuckthorn is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene, as well as carotenoids and phenolics, such as catechins, gallocatechins and epigallocatechins. It is also a source of Omega 3, 6, and 9, as well as the lesser-known omega 7 fatty acids (40% of Seabuckthorn oil is omega 7 fatty acids), vital to collagen production. This superfruit has implications in the treatment of a number of different health conditions. For more information, please click here.

Health Benefits of Superfruits
Because of their power-packed nutritional and antioxidant levels, superfruits are able to go above and beyond basic nutrition. In general, the antioxidant capability of these fruits allows them to play a role in the prevention and treatment of disease. Free radicals have been particularly associated with cardiovascular disease, degenerative eye disease, aging, and cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods may be able to help prevent and even treat some of these conditions. Also, research has often implicated each superfruit in unique further health benefits. Because of this, superfruit supplementation is a great way to easily add high doses of antioxidants and extra nutrients to your diet.

Important Information
Please click on the links above for important information on each individual superfruit. It is important to note that there exists a wide variety of differing opinions on the ORAC scores of each superfruit and which one "is the best". Often the individual preparation or extraction of the fruit has the greatest impact on the antioxidant capability and nutrient content. Because of this, it is a good idea to either use the actual fruit and prepare it yourself if possible, or take supplements only from companies whose preparations methods you know and trust.

Nutritional Information
for informational purposes only. please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. click here for full disclaimer.

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