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Antioxidants ORAC Units Requirements Are Measured By Weight
Ok, please do not go nutso on me as I ask you this question. You might want to kinda hang around a bit after the question so you’ll get what we’re talking about, Ok? Here we go…
Tell me how you feel when I give you this information: your daily antioxidant intake should be measured in micromoles of Trolox equivalents per 100 grams of the specific sample.
Now you see why I told you not to freak out on me? If someone told me that, I’d probably just close the book, turn the page or throw the source of this information away because it means exactly “zilch” to me.
However, do not fret. I’m going to explain the whole process to you and, in the end, I think you’ll not only feel intrigued and comfortable with that statement but also find that it actually does mean something to you, especially if you count your daily antioxidants. Afterwards, the good news, so stay with me.
Ok, why was the statement made at all? If you’re a person who considers antioxidants to be an important part of your daily diet, and you should, you’ll want to know if you’re getting the proper amount of them. Didn’t know there was a “proper” amount of antioxidants to eat daily? Yep, according to the USDA’s own words, research shows that there are actually very specific ranges of intakes for antioxidants on a daily basis. For antioxidants to be able to do their job appropriately, they must be taken within threapeutic ranges, it seems.
To put it another way, you will never get any benefit from antioxidants if you don’t take enough of them and if you take too many, you won’t get any more benefit from them than you would if you just ate enough to get the job done right, which means staying within the given ranges.
So, in essence, you can eat too few antioxidants or you can eat too many antioxidants. By the way, if you do eat too many antioxidants, you will not suffer any untoward or harmful effects, you just won’t derive any more benefit from them that you would if you only consumed the number within the range.
Whew…now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s find out exactly what these “ranges” are. Up until just recently the USDA had recommended that an adult person consume a daily amount equal to between 1000 ORACs and 5000 ORACs. Recently, that number was revised. Currently, the USDA recommends that an average adult receive an optimum daily amount of 7000 ORACs in order to get full protection from free radicals.
You may be wondering what an ORAC is? It’s simply an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity which is a measurement of the amount of one unit of antioxidant power. This is how the potency of an antioxidant is determined.
Ok, this ORAC scale is expressed in the question I asked above, which was, “…micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams of sample.” This is just a statistical statement explaining that the ORAC units are measured by the weight of the food that is in question.
To put it another way, you measure the antioxidants in a specific food, say, strawberries, by the number of possible ORAC units in 100 grams of strawberry. In order for you to be able to consume the appropriate number of ORAC units per day, you must know this number if you are calculating the ORACs yourself.
So, if you’re wanting to eat several different fruits to get your daily antioxidant requirements, you’d need to know how many ORACs are in each fruit so you could eat the proper amount each day. This is why you need to know how many ORACs are in so many ounces of fruit.
It can be a complicated calculation if you try to do all the gathering of information and figuring yourself. You are in luck though because there are probably hundreds of charts with this information, all over the Internet and all you have to do is a search for something like, “amount of orac units in apples.” You will find a chart with lots of fruits, vegetables and other foods that gives you this information. Here are a few of them already figured for you below:
Fruit———————————————–Serving ———————ORAC———————- ORAC per 100 g
acai berries (frozen pulp)————————4 oz pouch (100 g) ———5,500———————-5,500
strawberries ————————————-5 fruits (125 g) ————–4,500 ———————-3,600
blueberries—————————————1/2 cup (70 g)—————-4,450———————–6,500
apple (Granny Smith) —————————1 (100 g)———————-3,900———————–3,900
banana——————————————-1 (150 g) ———————1,300———————–880
strawberries ———————————— 5 fruits (125 g)—————-4,500———————–3,600
grapes (red) ————————————10 grapes (100 g)————-1,300———————–1,300
honeydew melon——————————–1/4 (400 g)——————–960————————-240
orange ——————————————1 (100 g)———————–1,800———————-1,800
peach——————————————–1 (200 g) ———————-3,600———————–1,800
Now that you have this information and today you want to eat blueberries alone for your antioxidant food, you would simply calculate the number of grams of blueberries to eat today, which, for 7,000 ORACs would be about 1250 (5500/4 ounces) per ounce and 7,000 divided by 1,250 equals 5.6 ounces of blueberries that you’d need to eat.
What if you don’t just want to eat one single fruit? What if you’d like to vary your fruits through the day? No problem. Let us say that you would like to eat apples, bananas and grapes to reach your antioxidant needs for the day. Ok, for simplicity sake let’s just divide your ORACs evenly into three groups. This means that you’ll need to acquire approximately 2,330 ORACs per fruit. However, sometimes it would be impractical to strictly divide them into three groups. I’ll show you why. All you really need to do is figure out how many of each fruit you need to eat and eat more of the ones you like the most.
So, with apples you’d need to eat only one which would give you 3,900 ORACs. Then, for bananas, you’d need to divide 1,300 into 2,330 which would give you about 1.79 bananas. It would be wasteful and impractical to only eat 3/4 of a banana so let’s just eat two and get 2,600 ORACs. You’ve now consumed 3,900 from the apple and 2,600 from the bananas which equals about 6,500 ORACs from these two fruits alone. All you need to meet your daily optimum antioxidant needs is 500 ORACs and you intend to get them from grapes. All you need to eat is about 4 grapes because 10 grapes will give you 1,300 ORACs which is about 130 ORACs per grape and all you need is 500 more ORACs. 4 times 130 equals 520.
So, throughout the day you’ve eaten one apple, two bananas and four grapes to reach your optimum antioxidant intake. That was easy, huh? You can figure this any way you want to with any fruits you like. If you like certain fruits better than others, feel free to add more of them and less of the less favored ones.
That’s some really good news, you must admit. It’s not difficult for you to eat the correct amount of healthy, nutritious, natural protecting foods every day and not have to gorge yourself in the process.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to restrict this list to fruits only. You can do the same thing with veggies. Find their ORACs per measurement calculations online and then figure out how much of them you need to eat, per meal or snack and draw up a little chart so you’ll have it handy for your calculations and you’ll know how many of your favorite (or not so favorite) veggies you’ll need to eat everyday to reach your ORAC goal.
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