My name is the ORAC; I speak for your knees


Is it a Dr. Seuss character? Is it a whale? No, it’s . . .

A measure of a superfood that helps your knees, and about every other part of your body by reducing inflammation.

It’s a scale that rates the antioxidant content of a food. It stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity.” In other words, it is a food’s ability to destroy free radicals.

This infographic is from a Northwest Wild print catalog; I can’t find it anywhere online. NW Wild (nwwildfoods.com) areĀ  my source for lingonberries, which before I thought you got by going to IKEA and getting those great silver-dollar pancakes with lingonberry (whatever that was) sauce. (Pre-celiac, that was.) Or buy the syrupy jars of the sauce they sell at IKEA. (Pre-no sugar that was.) Nope. I can now get them fresh, organic, unsweetened and in perfect condition.

They are a small, tart berry in their natural state. I get them frozen from Northwest Wild, where I also buy frozen pomegranate arils, rhubarb, tart cherries, dried berries, and raw nuts. They carry marionberries, various types of cold-water fish, and other products I’d like to try in future. Especially marionberries, which those lucky folks in the northwest make such a THING about on the Food Network. I’m sure they are great. I will soon know if they beat the local black raspberries.

However you can’t beat the adventurous nature of NW Wild’s berry gatherers:

Our wild berries are hand-gathered in the lush woodlands of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains where our intrepid foragers often find themselves competing with Black bears, cougars and other native animals for the sweet, juicy berries. We consider wild berries to be the best of the best. Wild berries are free of harmful pesticide sprays, significantly greater in antioxidant levels and possess wonderful distinct flavors unique to only wild berries.

That’s like lions and tigers and bears up-front and personal! Yikes!

Lingonberries and Greek yogurt with some chia seeds thrown in is a pretty darned good non-recipe. They are great in a salad, much like pomegranate arils. If you’re non-dairy, use coconut milk, and wait for the chia to thicken the mix to the consistency of pudding.

My old doctor stressed frozen supermarket blueberries and strawberries as antioxident friends, so this chart was an eye-opener to me. You can waste your efforts to eat healthy unless you get the biggest nutrient value from foods in your diet.

Thanks, Northwest Wild, for sharing your great local produce from the Pacific Northwest by flash freezing. I live on the opposite coast, and the shipments come perfectly, in a styrofoam cooler packed with dry ice.

Always thrilling to get one of these boxes. Beautifully packaged, and taste even better.

Happy Valentine’s day — send your knees something red they will thank you for. Lingonberries!

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