www.whyville.net Jul 25, 2010 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Helpful Food

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Food is great. We need it to survive, it tastes good, and we can bond with friends and family over it. But did you know that food can do so much more than that? Certain foods can target different areas of your body, improving and enhancing them. Try these ideas for yourself and see how food lends a helping hand.

If you want to avoid getting sick, try: Beef, orange vegetables, mushrooms, and tea.

Beef has zinc, which reduces you risk of infection. The skin is the first line of defense against disease, and the vitamin A in orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, helps the skin out. Mushrooms aid white blood cells, which fight of diseases. Tea is packed with antioxidants.

If you want strong, healthy hair, try: Salmon, dark green vegetables, beans, nuts, poultry, and eggs.

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These support a healthy scalp. Dark green veggies have vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce sebum. Sebum is the body's natural hair conditioner. Beans provide protein for good hair growth. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans are a great source of zinc. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so stock up on those nuts. Poultry and eggs are some of the best sources of protein. Protein prevents weak and brittle hair.

If you want a restful night, try: Cherries, bananas, toast, oatmeal, and warm milk.

Cherries, eaten about an hour before bedtime, will help you sleep because they have melatonin. Melatonin controls the body's internal clock to control sleep. Bananas have potassium and magnesium, which help relax muscles. They also have serotonin (it helps you relax) and melatonin. Insulin production is triggered by foods with a lot of carbohydrates, like toast and oatmeal. Insulin helps induce sleep. Warm milk has the relaxing serotonin and the sleep-promoting calcium.

If you need help focusing, try: Fish, sunflower seeds, and eggs.

Fish has those omega-3 fatty acids, which help various body functions, including the nervous system. The nervous system affects memory and learning. Put a shield around your brain with the vitamin E in sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds also have magnesium, which can sometimes prevent migraines. Eggs have a nutrient called choline, which has two roles in the brain. It's part of the molecules that surround the nerve fibers in the brain, and it's also part of the molecules that send messages between nerves and muscles.

Food can speed you up, or weigh you down. Choosing foods that fit your specific needs and lifestyle is an important life skill. Focus on what you put into your body, and the results will amaze you.


Author's Note: Sources: http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/top-10-foods-for-healthy-hair?page=2


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