Best Antioxidants Foods!

Our bodies are battlegrounds against infection and diseases. Normal body functions such as breathing or physical activity and other lifestyle habits such as smoking produce substances called free radicals that attack healthy cells. When these healthy cells are weakened, they are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids, which include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals.
The level of antioxidant capacity in a food is measured as Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). ORAC values are measured per 100 grams of weight, or 3.5 ounces. Here are five high ORAC food types, which are best eaten fresh from organic sources.
1-Fruits and Berries: The Himalayan goji berry and tropical Acai berries rank highest with ORAC ratings of 25,000 and 18,000 units respectively. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and strawberries have high ORAC ratings.
Almost any berry will provide a good amount of antioxidants. Cherries and apples are top ORAC providers also. Deeper colors indicate richer antioxidant bioflavonoid content.
Dried fruits rank high as well. Raisins (dried grapes) come in with a 10,000 unit ORAC rating with prunes close behind at 8,000.
2-Vegetables: Cooked veggies that have greens leading, especially spinach, kale, and broccoli. Artichokes have the highest ORAC rating, between 9,000 and 10,000. A surprise entry is the Russet potato.
3-Legumes: Black beans and kidney beans have the highest ORAC ratings. It’s best to buy them dry from bulk organic bins, soak them overnight and cook the next day. Legumes also provide a good deal of fiber to help your digestion.
4-Nuts and grains: Pecans have the highest ORAC rating at 18,000, with walnuts and almonds following. Steel cut oats are high in antioxidants along with quinoa and whole grains.
5-Miscellaneous: Chocolate and coffee lovers rejoice, they are both high ORAC foods. Chocolate should be unprocessed, dark and high in cacao content. Cacao, the basis of chocolate, has an ORAC rating over 50,000 per 100 grams. Coffee is between 15,000 and 18,000 ORAC units .

Beans and Lentils to reduce Cholesterol!

Beans and lentils are sky-high in fiber, a good portion of which is the heart-healthy soluble type.
They’re also a great low-fat replacement for animal protein, which is often full of saturated fat.
Beans can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks.
-For breakfast, make a burrito with scrambled egg whites, black beans, and salsa.
-At lunch, a bowl of lentil soup with a few whole grain crackers hits the spot.
-For dinner, skip the typical side dish of pasta, potatoes, or rice and try seasoned beans instead.

Fiber against bad Cholesterol

Why not lower your bad cholesterol by eating fiber rich foods? Cholesterol is found in body tissues’ cell membranes, and the blood carries this sterol through your body. Cholesterol is a combination of steroid and alcohol, and is also known as a plaque that affects your blood vessels. Fiber rich foods keep this plaque from building up to dangerous levels.
If cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, it can result in sickness and death. Eating fiber rich foods can stop this build-up from occurring.
Foods that lower bad cholesterol can also help in proper bowel functions, lowering your chances of bowel or colon cancer. Fiber rich foods help your body to fight against dangerous plaque deposits. These include wheat bran, barley and oat bran. You can eat these fiber rich foods for breakfast, in cereal form, or sprinkle them into other food. You can add barley to soup, and pears and apples are enjoyable as a healthy snack.
Legumes and beans are fiber rich foods that are low in fat and high in helpful fiber. They contain lecithin as well, and this nutrient can lower your cholesterol.
Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol, and are also fiber rich foods. Raw carrots have pectin, which also helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in your body. Some fruits contain pectin too, including berries, citrus fruits and apples. Including these healthy foods in your diet will help in keeping your heart healthy.