© 2011 Nancy Emerson Lombardo

Spices and herbs have startling high ORAC values per 100 grams.  Because of their intensity of flavor, the usual serving size however is 1 teaspoon or less for ground spices and dried herbs, and 1-2 Tablespoons for fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, coriander/cilantro, and garlic and fresh spices such as ginger.

The table below shows a selection of popular herbs and spices, and to put in perspective, ORAC values for a few  vegetables, fruits, grains.

A special note for chocolate lovers!

Chocolate lovers take heart:   Pure cocoa powder has a very high ORAC value per 100 grams; this is cut in half when cocoa powder is processed to make the dark chocolates we know and love.    But the ORAC value of many dark chocolates are still very high.   Select dark chocolates which are made with at least 70% cocoa powder–these are healthy for our brains and bodies, eaten in moderation of course.  At or above the 70% cocoa powder mark, dark chocolate will help you lower blood sugar and cholesterol, even if the other 30% is sugar and more cocoa butter.  Try to avoid chocolates containing milk as not only would these tend to have cholesterol from milk fats but more importantly tend to have had much of the anti-oxidant nutrients removed from the chocolate.

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