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Good Nutrition For Fuel Your Body

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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).

Saute: Kale

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

Simmer: Tomatoes

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 healthy pesto.

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 breakfast.

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. 78 reads


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