When discussing Matcha and its health benefits one of the most commonly discussed things is the extremely high antioxidant content of Matcha that gives it its status as king of the super foods. In this week’s educational Matcha blog post, we would like to briefly explain a test used to determine how effective the antioxidant content of Matcha is – the ORAC test.
What Does ORAC Mean?
ORAC is an acronym that stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. In layman’s terms, this test determines how readily available the antioxidants in a food or drink are and how effective those antioxidants are in the body. The ORAC test of Matcha approximates how much of the antioxidants in Matcha are actually having an effect and how positive that effect is. That number is then converted into a value called the ORAC value.
The ORAC Value of Matcha
Matcha contains the most antioxidants and carries one of the highest ORAC values of naturally occurring products that we know of. It’s ORAC value on a per gram basis is 1384. For comparison, other anti oxidant rich foods such as gojiberries and dark chocolate only rank at 253 and 227 ORAC values respectively as you can see in the chart below.
What this chart does not specifically highlight and requires a bit more explanation is how these per gram numbers relate to serving sizes. One gram is actually a quite small amount – it is far smaller than one ounce coming in at approximately 0.03 oz. This is important when it relates back to serving size of a food. One will not, for example, only eat 1 gram of blueberries in a sitting as a more normal serving of blueberries would be around 120 grams (4.5 oz). In the case of Matcha, the traditional serving size is 2g for a total ORAC value of 2768.
The USDA recommends consuming 5,000 – 7,000 ORAC units on a daily basis. Taking that into consideration, a single serving of Matcha provides over half the recommended amount in just 2 grams.
What This Means for the Average Person:
While the specific benefit antioxidants-rich foods and high ORAC value products give are hotly debated, for those who do wish to increase their antioxidant intake and do so through all natural means, Matcha is the best and most efficient option available on the market.