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Good nutrition from these foods will ward off the bad stuff and keep you healthy
Health for Your Hair
Spoon Up: Low-fat cottage cheese
Hair is almost all protein, so attaining a strong, vibrant mane starts
with eating enough of it. Reduced-fat cottage cheese is a protein
heavyweight, with 14 grams in half a cup.
Pack: Pumpkin seeds
Zinc helps reduce shedding, says Francesca Fusco, M.D., assistant
clinical professor of dermatology at New York's Mount Sinai Medical
Center. Toss a tablespoon of these zinc-heavy seeds into your cereal.
Health for Your Brain
Surf for: Arctic char
This cold-water fish is a great source of the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA,
which can improve brain function and ward off the blues, says Elizabeth
Somer, R.D., author of Age-Proof Your Body. Omega-3s help squelch
inflammation in the brain and regulate feel-good neurotransmitters.
Sprinkle fillets with sea salt, ground pepper, and fresh lemon juice,
then pan-fry on medium-high until one side is slightly brown. Flip and
cook until the inside is slightly pink (6 to 8 minutes total).
Feed the 100 billion neurons in your noggin with nutritious kale. A
study in the journal Neurology reports that getting two-plus servings
per day of veggies--especially leafy green ones like kale--slows
cognitive decline by 40 percent. Temper kale's bitter flavor by sautéing
it lightly with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, a chopped garlic clove, 2
tablespoons of pine nuts, and a pinch of salt.
Health for Your Skin
Cozy up to your nearest Italian eatery. The fruit is especially
beneficial when cooked--more of the carotenoid lycopene makes it into
the skin, where it can limit UV damage to lower skin-cancer risk and
hold off wrinkles.
Experiment with: Hemp
The omega-3 fatty acids in hemp help your skin retain moisture so you
don't look like a cast member from Dawn of the Dead. Toss a tablespoon
each of lemon juice, pine nuts, and shelled hemp seeds into a blender
with a cup of hemp-seed oil ($10 for 8 oz, , a chopped garlic clove, a
pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup fresh basil. Whirl to create a delicious and
Health for Your Heart
Snap Up: Asparagus
Italian researchers have found that the B vitamin folate reduces
homocysteine, an amino acid believed to promote inflammation, which can
up your risk of heart disease. Eight steamed asparagus spears deliver 20
percent of your daily folate requirement, as well as other heart-chummy
nutrients like potassium.
Sip: Purple Grape Juice
Pull over, OJ! According to researchers at the University of Glasgow,
purple grape juice is high in phenolics, "a group of powerful
antioxidants that swallow up heart-damaging free radicals," says Anne
VanBeber, R.D., Ph.D., a nutrition professor at Texas Christian
University. To cut calories while guarding your arteries, mix equal
parts grape juice and seltzer.
Health for Your Muscles & Joints
Mix In: Ricotta Cheese
Loaded with all of the amino acids muscles need to grow and mend, whey
protein is a virtuoso when it comes to helping you build a buff bod.
While milk curd is used to make most cheeses, ricotta is produced from
the whey that's left behind in the cheese-making process. Mix low-fat
ricotta with scrambled eggs, salsa, and broccoli sprouts for a killer
Drizzle: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Ditch fat-free dressings. Olive oil contains oleocanthal, an
anti-inflammatory that may work like ibuprofen, report scientists in the
journal Nature. Drizzle two teaspoons of Spectrum organic extra-virgin
($12 for 12.7 oz, spectrumorganics.com) onto your veggies.