Thursday, December 24, 2009

Healthiest Foods: Fruit

The body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help prevent certain cancers, especially skin cancer. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. You can nack on them dried, or fresh, but when still firm because they lose nutrients when they get soft.

They contain Oleic acid, which is an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise with your next burger.

Raspberries contain ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries also have a lot of vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup of raspberries only has 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. You can add low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food.

Vitamin C and beta-carotene are both major ingrediants in cantaloupe and both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Also, half a melon has 853mg of potassium which is almost twice as much as a banana. The potassium helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. You can cut a cantaloupe into pieces to freeze and make a smoothie.

Cranberry Juice
Bladder infections can be prevented by drinking cranberry juice because the juice prevents harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Make sure you get the 100% juice and you can add it to your water, but don't add sugar.

Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant in tomatos. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach, and colon cancers in half if eaten every day. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Add a tiny bit of olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.

Figs are a good source of potassium and fiber. They also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol, and preventing water retention. Birthcontrol Pills deplete B6, so if you take the pill, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber.

These are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen (many women need more iron). A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. You can add raisins on your oatmeal or cereal. Raisins are good for women during that time of the month.

Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which helps prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Lemons and Limes are good when squeezed over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor.

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