I’m always excited to learn about new terminology and the different phrases being used in the world of super greens powders, I find it’s really helping to expand my knowledge in the search for the ultimate blend of nutritional ingredients.
A subject I haven’t come across before is the measurement of the antioxidant value for an ingredient or substance – measured as ORAC – Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity.
I recently read about this as I was interested in getting more free radical-busting ingredients into my diet. But I need to know more about what they are, why they might matter, and how to tell the difference between these measurements and the ingredients they refer to.
Super greens are a good way to do this research, so I am looking at a product (helpfully called) ORAC-Energy Greens, a blend which promises to ‘provide the antioxidant protection we all need’.
So what is this blend, and what does it claim to do? Read on for my ORAC-Energy Greens review.
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and is a measure of the capacity of certain ingredients and substances in foods to quash the ability of free radicals to cause oxidative damage.
Claiming to have the antioxidant power of 24 servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop, the ORAC measurement in ORAC-Energy Greens equates to ‘over 40,000 ORAC per serving’.
Now, discovering what this number might mean, putting it in context with other substances, ingredients or blends, is my next mission. The ORAC-rating was potentially useful in terms of comparing and quantifying the antioxidant qualities of an ingredient, but it was unfortunately recently scrapped as the USDA decided that in-vitro only testing was telling us very little about how antioxidant substances behave in the body, or indeed together with other ingredients.
This small issue notwithstanding, our product – ORAC-Energy Greens – certainly seems to be promising a lot – if indeed this ORAC rating is an important figure – I’m only now wondering why I’ve never heard of this subject before!
Alongside the antioxidant properties of the ingredients, ORAC-Energy Greens contains ‘bioavailable & alkalizing grass juice powders, aqua superfoods, freeze-dried berries & veggies, stress-harmonizing adaptogens, probiotics’, so it really is a product packed to the brim with healthy-sounding ingredients.
There are different versions of ORAC-Energy Greens available, it comes in caplets and powder, however, my review is on the powder version as I don’t feel capsules are an effective way to take supplements such as this with so many ingredients.
Background on Paradise Herbs
ORAC-Energy Greens is made by Paradise Herbs, a company that manufactures products ‘as nature intended’ so that as much of the true nature of the supplement is retained as possible.
The range of over 100 supplements includes superfoods, proteins, and exotics such as Maca, all available in capsules, powders, or nectars. Paradise Herbs are especially proud of their sourcing and work in alliance with growers all over the world.
Paradise Herbs also have high manufacturing standards and ensure that there are no fillers (such as stearates) in their supplements. Their tagline is ‘Quality, Purity, Potency’ and I’m excited to see how their products stack up to meet this high target.
ORAC Energy Greens Ingredients
Firstly it is important to point out that there are more than 50 ingredients in ORAC Energy Greens. Secondly, the serving size is fairly small at just 6 grams. This does mean you’re getting a LOT of ingredients into a small serving, which gets me thinking – are there going to be enough ingredient amounts to be effective?
Thankfully, Paradise Herbs reveal every ingredient and their amounts on the label. Here is the complete breakdown of the ingredients in each of the blends.
Organic Alkalizing Green Juice Powders (1560 mg)
Organic Wheat grass (young leaf) 312 mg, Organic Egyptian Wheat grass (Triticum polonicum) 312 mg, Organic Alfalfa grass (young leaf) 312 mg, Organic Barley grass, (young leaf) 312 mg, Organic Oat grass (young leaf) 312 mg
Organic Vegetables (830 mg)
Organic Spinach (freeze-dried) 125 mg, Organic Broccoli sprout (freeze-dried) 125 mg, Organic Parsley (freeze-dried) 170 mg, Organic Kale (freeze-dried) 125 mg, Organic Tomato (natural source of lycopene) 285 mg
Nature’s C with Qpower 812 mg
Quercetin (Qpower), Acerola berry extract, Organic Camu Camu berry extract, Organic Amla berry extract, Organic Acai berry juice powder, Organic Goji/Lycium berry extract
Organic Nutrim Oat Bran 500 mg
Super Beta-Glucan Mushrooms 250 mg
Agaricus fruiting body extract 50 mg, Cordyceps mycelia CS-4 extract 50 mg, Maitake fruiting body extract 50 mg, Reishi fruiting body extract 50 mg, Shiitake fruiting body extract 50mg
Probiotic & Prebiotic Blend 250 mg
(dairy-free-1.2 billion at time of mfg.) L. Acidophilus, L. Casei Rhamnosus, B. Longum, S. Thermophilus, L. Plantarum. Prebiotics-Oat beta-glucan fiber, Beet fiber, Inulin FOS (Chicory)
Organic Berry Blend 125 mg
Organic Strawberry (freeze-dried), Organic Raspberry (freeze-dried), Organic Blueberry (freeze-dried), Organic Tart Cherry (freeze-dried), Organic Pomegranate (freeze-dried), Organic Cranberry (freeze-dried)
Organic Energy Blend 125 mg
Organic Acai berry juice powder 62.5 mg, Organic Gelatinized Maca root 62.5 mg
Super Antioxidants 125 mg
Organic Green & White Tea extract 62.5 mg, Grape seed extract 62.5 mg
Cleansing & Tonic Support 125 mg
Milk Thistle seed extract 62.5 mg, Artichoke leaf extract 62.5 mg
Imperial Adaptogen Extracts 125 mg
Eleuthero root bark, Rhodiola root, Jiaogulan/Gynostemma-aerial part, Reishi fruiting body, Holy Basil leaf, Ashwagandha root, Astragalus root, Schisandra berry, GoJi/Lycium berry, Cordyceps mycelia Cs-4, American Ginseng root, Suma root, Licorice root, Ginger rhizome, Tangerine Peel
GingerZyme 125 mg
Ginger rhizome extract, Turmeric rhizome extract, Cinnamon bark extract
How Does ORAC Energy Greens Taste?
Some reviewers state that the taste is unpleasant, and the makers haven’t included any particular flavorings to mask the taste of the ingredients (which are primarily grasses, botanicals, fruits, and vegetables).
A study showed that wheatgrass can cause nausea and appetite loss. Probiotics (if not taken before) can also have an effect on the digestive system which may take a while to get used to.
Does ORAC Energy Greens Actually Work?
As we have seen from the ingredients list there is a vast amount of stuff in this blend, from grasses to veggies, probiotics and fungi, berries, and botanicals. I am going to state upfront that I am absolutely delighted with how much detail they have given customers about their ingredients.
The listing is transparent, giving the actual measurements of each individual ingredient in each portion of the blend, which not only means I know how much of the ‘Alkalizing Green Juice Powders’ makes up the blend, but I know how much Wheatgrass, Barley grass, Alfalfa, and Oat grass I am getting. That’s really impressive! All too often in a super greens review, I am complaining about how much manufacturers annoy me by not doing this!
I’m going to take a few examples of the ingredients to check whether the amounts recommended for effectiveness are similar to those doses in the ORAC-Energy Greens blend.
It is recommended that around an ounce of wheatgrass juice is the starting dose for people not yet used to taking it daily.
The recommended dose of barley grass is about 15g per day (source). ORAC-Energy greens has 312mg of each grass in a serving.
Cordyceps is a fungus that is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for its purported anti-aging properties. It may well, therefore, be included in the blend of ORAC-Energy greens for a similar purpose, but we can’t be sure. One thing that is clear is that cordyceps and other fungi are growing in popularity as supplements.
It is recommended to be taken in doses of 1000-3000mg per day. The blend includes 50mg.
The probiotics are certainly beneficial also, although there is not a particularly high dose in this blend (1.2billion, with recommendations varying from between 1billion and 10billion CFU), it is definitely a bonus that you wouldn’t need to take a separate supplement.
That said, there is concern about the effectiveness of including fragile ingredients like probiotics into a multi-ingredient formula. So, it’s uncertain exactly how effective combining probiotics in a greens formula can be.
You can see from this extrapolation that there may be some benefits derived from taking ORAC-Energy Greens daily.
As with many supplements, including super green powders like this one, many of the ingredients tend to be underdosed compared to the amounts you see quoting in the science. This does put into question the effectiveness of taking it, particularly against many of the marketing claims.
ORAC Energy Greens Customer Reviews
I feel I should include this testimonial from David Tait, the Scottish marathon runner;
I have been using your ORAC-Energy Greens formula and it is fantastic. I have incorporated it into my marathon regime. I like the fact that the protein source is clean and how all the ingredients are either organic or wildcrafted and pesticide and GMO-free. The vast spectrum of nutrition I maintain from a two-scoop serving I believe is unsurpassed in any other supplement available. It is a magical product
Some other reviewers on Amazon are included below
Great presentation. Horrible taste. Excellent source of nutrients and vitamins. Mix with some cranberry juice to take the kick out of the taste.4 stars
Does not help. I bought this supplement to give me energy but it did not help me at all. I did not notice any change in my health. I kept hoping that the second month might bring me results (this is a two-month supply) but alas, no change so far and I am almost at the end of the second month.1 star
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
Because the website for Paradise herbs isn’t a sales site, you need to go and look for the policy of the online seller you choose.
Where to Buy ORAC Energy Greens?
You can look up ORAC Energy Greens online at official website, but in order to buy it sends you through to a merchant site such as iHerb.
A better option is probably on Amazon especially if you’re a prime member.
Is It Worth the Price?
12.8oz (364g) currently retails at $34.99, which for 60 daily doses is quite reasonable. People pay considerably more for products which, arguably, have considerably fewer ingredients.
I definitely think that ORAC-Energy Greens is worth a try at this price, even if you feel that it falls short in a couple of areas it is certainly delivering a very broad spectrum of nutrition.
The Bottom Line
The fact that ORAC-ratings are no longer really talked about when discussing the antioxidant ‘power’ of ingredients needn’t necessarily put you off this product.
I would say that ORAC-Energy Greens seems to have been formulated with a great amount of consideration for transparency (hence the dosage information and ingredients amounts) and also the makers are very clear about their integrity when it comes to sourcing and the quality of their ingredients.
If you were to look into taking each of the 50 ingredients individually as supplements it would not only cost a lot of money, it would certainly negate the convenience of having them all available in one daily dose, and
I would say that for the money, ORAC-Energy Greens is certainly budget-friendly, but I do have concerns over whether you would get sufficient dosages of each ingredient in one serving.
Paradise Herbs have in my opinion focused on putting in a wide range of ingredients into their greens formula over quantity of fewer ingredients. I would prefer the latter to know I am getting a potent dose of greens.
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own with the help of a USA manufacturer because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single serving each day.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference - we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )