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    20 Most Filling Fruits and Veggies

    Despite conventional wisdom, losing weight and a rumbling stomach don't need to be synonymous. Fill your shopping cart with these satisfying fruits and veggies to nosh your way to a leaner, healthier you! "All I've seen you eat today is rabbit food. Aren't you hungry?" my cousin asked me on our most recent family vacation. Before responding to her, I stopped and thought about what I had nibbled on: an apple, berries, carrot sticks, a salad, and some things like whole grains and proteins, too. But I saw where she was coming from. Unless you're a person who primarily eats fruits and veggies, it's hard to imagine just how filling they can be. "No, not at all, I replied. "I'm eating the ultimate combo meal: fiber and water." The experts agree that the two are seriously satisfying—even when these nutrients are coming from low-calorie things like carrots and apples. "Both fiber and water help to fill up the stomach and make us feel full," registered dietitian Isabel Smith tells us. "Fiber also helps to slow digestion and helps to regulate appetite and blood sugar levels." If you're interested in filling up your plate—without filling out your pants—we're here to help! Below, you'll find a ranking of the 10 most filling fruits and 10 most filling veggies, based on their fiber and water content. Pick up a few of your top picks (along with some of these 40 Things Healthy Cooks Always Have in Their Kitchen) next time you hit the market, start munching, quell your hunger, and watch that excess weight melt away! FIRST, THE FRUIT… 10. Cherries With just 87 calories per cup, cherries make a smart sweet and tart addition to any diet. Although it's a little-known fact, these ruby red treats are also a potent source of potassium. One cup has 306 milligrams of the powerful mineral—which is about what you'd find in a small banana. Nosh on cherries solo as a snack or add them to a bed of arugula or spinach along with some crumbled goat cheese, red onion, and dry-roasted pistachios for a filling side salad. You can even top if off with grilled chicken or fish to make it a meal. 9. Strawberries Not only is it uber satiating, strawberries are a great source of powerful natural chemicals called polyphenols that have been shown to aid weight loss and stop fat cells from forming. Studies also show that eating the bright red fruit can help relieve stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Eat them plain, add them to yogurt or oatmeal, or blend them with a banana, almond milk, and ice for a sweet, sippable snack. 8. Apples with skin As one of the easiest fruits to eat on-the-go, apples are one of my favorite fruits. And it's one that nutritionists love, too. "I've eaten an apple every day since high school," Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT says. "Typically, I have one with breakfast; it's the perfect sweet crunch in the morning. Plus, it's a great way to get healthy, energy-revving carbs and a boost of fiber to keep my blood sugar level stable so I don't come crashing down. Not to mention, since apples are packed with heart-healthy flavonoids like quercetin, when I eat one a day I really feel like I'm helping to keep the doctor away!" 7. Blueberries While they've never been marketed as a couch snack, I'd argue that water-packed blueberries are one of the best things to nibble on if you're a fan of nibbling in front of the TV—which is one of the most dangerous forms of mindless eating. Each little blue bite of heaven has less than a calorie—so you could literally eat a hundred—yes, I said 100—without derailing your diet. The berry is also loaded with polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that help prevent fat from forming and catechins (the same stuff that makes green tea such a fat melter). In one Tufts University study, participants who regularly consumed catechins increased their belly fat loss by an impressive 77 percent! 6. Banana Though it's more often associated with monkeys and slapstick comedy than weight loss, we'd argue that bananas are one of the very best foods for those on a quest for flat abs. Not only can the fruit's water and fiber content keep you away from the vending machine, its potassium can fight off water retention and bloat. The mineral also aids post-workout muscles recovery. Translation: The faster you can get back to the gym after a tough session, the sooner you'll reach your better body goal. 5. Cranberries As long as you aren't eating the sugar-sweetened kind (whether that be granny's Thanksgiving recipe or the dried ones sold in bags), cranberries make for a smart addition to your diet. Not only will their high fiber and water contents quell tummy rumbles—making it easier for your to eat fewer calories—they may help to keep you cancer-free, too. In an analysis of the cancer-fighting phenol antioxidant content of 20 fruits, cranberries were found to have the highest amount. The red tart fruit also contains compounds that help keep bacteria like E. coli and staph from sticking to our cells. It's no wonder the pilgrims and other early settlers ate the berries to fight off disease. Not sure how to prep cranberries without giving yourself a sugar rush? Try making a salsa by combining fresh cranberries with celery, white onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, sea salt, sugar, and fresh lime juice. Simply pulse everything in a food processor and voila—snack time! 4. Blackberries These antioxidant-rich berries not only help ward off disease but also pack more fiber than most other fruits. Not to mention, every cup of blackberries contains half the day's vitamin C, a nutrient that can help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that triggers fat storage in the stomach—the very last place anyone wants to see it. Add them to oatmeal, cold cereals, or salads, blend them into smoothies, or eat them plain to reap the benefits. 3. Raspberries Not only are raspberries rich in water and fiber, they're also notably low in calories and sugar. A cup of the refreshing berry has just 84 calories and 5 grams of the sweet stuff, making this fruit a solid choice for those following a low-carb eating plan. 2. Dates With 66 calories and 16 grams of sugar a pop, it's easy to understand why so many dieters steer clear of dates—but trust us, it's really not necessary to kick this food to the curb in the name of weight loss. In addition to all those calories, each fruit serves up nearly a half-gram of protein and 2 grams of fiber—which is what you'd find in 12 cherries! If you're worried about the sugar, though, cut yourself off after two, and smother them with all-natural nut butter, a salty-sweet protein-rich combination that registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey says she loves. 1. Avocado We know what you're thinking: 'Aren't avocados vegetables?' Nope! 'Cados are actually a single-seeded berry native to Mexico. They're also the numero uno (see what we did there?) most filling fruit on the planet. Jam-packed with fiber, a half-fruit serving provides 25 percent of the day's recommended intake. We can't ignore the avocado's many other benefits, either. The green machine provides nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including B6, C and E, bloat-banishing potassium, magnesium, and folic acid! (Wowza!) And thanks to its high monounsaturated fat content, it can also prevent body fat from forming around the belly. In short, it's a total rockstar! NOW THE VEGGIES... 10. Celery No, eating celery won't actually help you burn calories like the rumor mill would have you believe. (It only takes a little more than half a calorie to digest a stalk.) But it is a neutral-tasting veggie that works well in tons of dishes and can keep you full and satisfied. Add it to soups and stews, toss it into salads, quinoa, rice, and savory oatmeal dishes, or just smear some peanut butter on a stalk as a snack. Yum! 9. Asparagus Not only is asparagus packed with water and fiber, it's rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body flush out water and sodium—two things that make you bloat. Roast some in the oven with some EVOO and dried spices for a simple, yet filling side dish. 8. Cauliflower Stealing the #8 spot on our veggie countdown is cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable that's over 90 percent water. Aside from it's filling attributes, kale's white, tree-shaped cousin is rich in the cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates, that work to reduce cancer-causing inflammation. 7. Cabbage Considering they're both part of the Brassica oleracea family, we're not surprised that cabbage has many of the same health-protective properties as cauliflower. It also provides 2.3 grams of fiber per cup, as well as a hefty dose of glucosinolates. Noshing on this bitter veggie can also help to lower your cholesterol levels by preventing the bile (the fluid secreted by the liver that aids digestion) from absorbing fat after a meal. We like to mix cabbage into Asian-inspired salads and stir fries. 6. Brussels Sprouts Yup, that's right, another member of the cabbage family is on our list! Filled with H20 and a fair share of fiber, sprouts are also one of Shaun T's go-to weight loss foods. "When cooked with a bit of olive oil and spices, Brussels sprouts taste amazing. Plus, they're filling, heart-healthy, and rich in vitamin C," Shaun T. tells us. 5. Raw Broccoli Broccoli, one of these 40 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Superfoods, makes its mark smack dab in the middle of our veggie line-up. Aside from its satiating properties, one study found men who ate three or more half-cup servings of broccoli per week had a 41 percent decreased risk for prostate cancer compared to men who ate fewer than one serving per week. To get in on all of the health-boosting, belly-flattening benefits, add it to soups, salads, stir-fries, or simply dip it in hummus as a snack. 4. Baby Carrots They may be small, but baby carrots are sort of amazing. No matter how you enjoy them—dipped in hummus, baked with EVOO and spices, or transformed into a creamy soup—this filling orange vegetable contains nutrients that boost immunity, reduce cholesterol, protect the heart, and yes, keeps your peepers healthy, too. The fact that noshing on them will keep you full and slim is just another one of its many benefits. 3. Snap Peas Throw a cup of these in a Ziplock back and chow down when that afternoon hunger strikes. Pairing them with hummus will up the fiber count even further—just plan to stick to one of these best hummus choices to ensure you stay on track with your healthy eating and weight loss plan. 2. Beet Greens If you typically toss beet leaves in the trash you might want to consider changing your ways. Packed with vitamins K, A ,and C, and ample amounts of fiber and water, the leafy green is both filling and health-protective. 1. Artichokes And the veggie winner is… the almighty artichoke! A large French artichoke contains just 76 calories and packs a fair share of the day's fiber, a nutrient that's been linked to lower body fat. The veggie also has a powerful diuretic effect, meaning it can banish that pesky belly bloat and excess fluid that's making your six-pack look more like a two-pack. By Dana Leigh Smith via Eat This, Not That

    6 Things Your Body's Trying To Tell You

    Trust your body's instincts Not long ago, my husband and three of our kids went charging up Mount Katahdin—think of it as New England's mini Mount Everest. I'd spent months hiking with friends to make sure I was in shape and, at the start, hustled to keep pace with our teenagers as we hauled ourselves up the steep boulders. But within a couple of hours I was straggling; they leapt past me like giddy mountain goats while I carefully picked my way up the rocks. Was I disappointed? Actually, no. I felt smart. My 40-something body was telling me how to protect it from injury—and my hips and feet thanked me later. It turns out that our bodies routinely transmit this evolving wisdom, gently steering us away from activities or indulgences we can no longer tolerate to ones that will ensure continued good health. Here are six other things your body's trying to tell you. 1. When you're dehydrated Over the course of a lifetime, our kidneys, which transport water to our tissues, gradually lose a bit of their efficiency. Also, nerves that signal thirst gradually decline. The combination means that you may be unaware of the fact that you're not getting adequate hydration. Listen to your body: Sip throughout the day. While there's no reason to torture yourself with eight 8-ounce glasses if you don't like it, make a habit of consuming enough fluids every day. Not an H2O fan? Try adding herbal tea at each meal. 2. When to go easy on dessert From early adulthood to late middle age, our metabolic rates fall by an average of 10%. “That's because people tend to become more sedentary as they age,” says BarbaraBushman, PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at Missouri State University, “and that inactivity reduces muscle mass, in turn lowering metabolism. The metabolic drop is also due to a decline in cellular activity, so even women who maintain a consistent level of fitness find that they need fewer calories to maintain the same weight.” Listen to your body: Think of the metabolic slowdown as your body's way of getting you to be more mindful of what's on your fork or spoon. Instead of an ice cream sundae, think: healthier fruit parfait. 3. When to hit the hay “My body can no longer handle being awake until 2 am and then getting up at 6,” says Riconda Solis Lamb, 44, a mom of two teens who has long relied on the midnight hours to catch up on everything from reading to cleaning to exercise. “Now if I'm up late, it's like I have narcolepsy at the office the next day.” The National Sleep Foundation says that's because the architecture of sleep changes as we age; we spend more time in light stages of sleep and less in those that are deeper and more restful. Combine this with the fact that most of us don't get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and a late night really hurts. Listen to your body: Get more sleep than you think you need—always at least 7 hours. Switch off phones, computers, and the television an hour earlier, then turn in. 4. When you need to stretch Even as our body wisdom increases, our flexibility declines. Lamb, who lives in Rogers City, MI, says she's made peace with feeling like Oz's Tin Man after a rainstorm. “I used to jump out of the car after a 2-hour drive and feel fine,” she says. Now it takes a little effort to unfold her legs. By our mid-40s, most of us have lost between 3 and 4 inches in the sit-and-reach test. “The elasticity of tendons, ligaments, and joints decreases,” increasing the potential for injuries, says Bushman. New evidence also links poorer flexibility to heart disease: Japanese researchers found that middle-aged and older people who do poorly on the sit-and-reach test have stiffer arteries than more flexible people. Listen to your body: Do more activities like yoga and tai chi, which boost both flexibility and balance. And after any workout, take time to stretch, holding each pose for 15 to 20 seconds while breathing deeply. 5. When to drop a grudge Psychologists have known for some time that people tend to become more forgiving the older they get. Researchers at the City University of Hong Kong have a new explanation for this phenomenon: Our sense of the future becomes more constrained and regulating our emotions becomes more important, so we are motivated to kiss and make up. Listen to your body: Cultivate a kinder heart. A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that cardiac patients who undergo forgiveness counseling—they learn to work though and overcome hostile feelings, and thus grudges, they hold toward others—have significantly fewer heart symptoms, such as angina, than those who don't get the counseling. 6. When to skip that extra glass of wine A moderate amount of booze eases stress and anxiety and may protect against heartdisease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and stroke. Alas, aging seems to reduce women's ability to tolerate alcohol. Why? The body retains less water, so alcohol becomes more concentrated, and therefore more potent. Drinking even a little more than usual increases the risk of tipsy mishaps, including falls. Listen to your body: A little vino now and then is a good idea, but stick to no more than one glass at a time, and don't exceed seven servings per week. By Sarah Mahoney via Prevention

    12 Mistakes You're Making In The Gym

    You see, to me there are more than just form and technique mistakes that people are doing in the gym that are holding them back from really getting the best workout they can. That's too simple. What about the bad habits, or personality?! Ever think those things could kill your workout? I see bad form and terrible technique all the time but it’s the little things to me that can add up to become bigger little things...you smell me? After doing a bit of thinking I started to compile a list of some mistakes that I know people do all the time (I'm a guilty of a few). Check this out! Not Bringing Your Music I could go into detail on this one but do us all a favor and make sure you bring your best jams. Most people with bubbly personalities or to many friends in the gym tend to talk to much. That means not only are you messing my workout up but your also hurting yours. Music is also a beast motivator. There is nothing like getting ready for a lift listening to that one song that gets you fired up. I remember when I wrestled in high school and the one song I would listen to before every match was "Break Stuff" By Limp Bizket. I don't know why, it just got me fired up. What gets you fired up!? Make a play-list of your top 10 most motivating songs and hit shuffle. Your workouts will get better. Only Doing Your Skill Set We all do it in more areas of our life thanfitness. We like to do what we are good at. It's time to step it up. Do something new. If all you do are lunges and leg press because you think your beast at them then try one of the other hundred ways of working legs. It's nice to be really good at a few things but you want to be good at as many things as you can. It also gives a challenged to your workouts. Doing something new usually causes you to either drop weight or spend more time mastering...it’s like your starting from scratch! Embrace it, you haven't always been a beast! Focusing On The Little Unless you’re competing for your pro-card and taking buckets of steroids you don't need 6 different arm exercises on arm day. I have learned so many weird bodybuilding tricks over the years that it would be confusing to explain them all. One thing I have learned, is if you focus more on the major muscle groups and worry less about how much your wrist twists at the top of your bicep curl then your doing fine. Stop adding all these filler movements and exercises and talk about different angles and blah blah blah. The average person doesn't need that. Yes, angles play a role in lifting but not as much as you think. Plan It Out Where are you going to go? What are you going to be doing between sets? What exercises are you going to do first? Which ones are your compound exercises and which ones are not? How much weight did you do last time? How are you going to change your program up this week to support progression? Most of these questions need to be worked out before you start moving around. Call me old school but I am getting back into writing everything down so I know where to challenge myself next week and what needs to change for the next month cycle. Sure you can just walk in to a gym and start moving stuff around but you’re not going to get far. So if you’re serious about seeing results, start writing. Protein Powder It's not that big of a deal. There are thousands of brands of protein supplements on the market. There is no way I could tell you which ones are the best out of them all. I can saythat getting an organic, grass fed whey would probably be the best but I personally don't do that. Costco sells a giant tub of 100% whey protein that I have been buying for years. Lately, I have gotten away from drinks and turned more to chewing my protein.... to each his own. Watch the carbs, sugar and any other filler crap that they put in those other powders. If your whey powder tastes like a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato then odds are it’s not the best for you. Lifting With Your Boys I have lifted with small groups of guys before and the majority of the time gets spent messing around and getting too much of nothing done. Stick to one partner or none at all (see my next point). The more people you have the less you can get done. 45 minute workouts turn to 1:15 minute workouts. You may have all the motivation and drive in the world but banking on the rest of the guys your with to have that same drive...don't hold your breath. Stop using the gym as your social hour. Lift Alone I am blessed to have a beast partner that pushes me and is always down to try new things. We are seeing results and getting things done. I have had partners in the past that always showed up late or never at all, never really changed much up. I just wasn't there to do that and like anyone else time is precious. These kinds of partners are not going to help you get results. You’re better off lifting alone and getting more things done. "But I need a spotter" I answer this in my next point. Lift Till You're Blue In The Face Do me a favor for a few weeks try not going to ultimate failure and then some with every set. Tone it down some. Do as many reps as you can with perfect form then hang it up. You can do this with any rep range whether it’s a low rep or high. Do what you can with good form and leave it alone. This protects your central nervous system from being over worked and not being able to help repair your body after your workouts. You will feel better and recover faster for the next lift. Lift With Your Girl As long as you two part ways the minute you walk into the door. Odds are she is afraid to do anything heavy and will walk over to a few machines and end up in the stability ball and band area. If you take the time to explain to her the importance of doing heavy weights and compound exercises and she is on board, then let her join you. My wife is pretty rocking. She will do just about anything I tell her to as long as it’s not going to put her life in danger (although sometimes there is always that chance). She is willing to push heavier weights and stay away from the bosu balls. Total respect for you ladies doing work in the gym! :) Being A Member Of A Globo Gym Meat market, drama, and clickish tendencies is what I hear the most coming from these places. They are great for the classes and variety of equipment but if you’re like any other social person your workouts could turn into a social hour. I'm not knocking them completely. Total respect for the guys and gals who go into those places and grind out killer workouts and not get mixed up in all the mess!! BUT....The hottest gyms are the little hole in the wall studios you see around town. Working for Old Dominion University as a trainer for a little while gave me somewhat of a feel for the bigger gym atmosphere. Spending most of my career in small studios has really allowed me to grow a passion for the smaller studio feel. It’s just better. You get the family atmosphere and depending on the owner you can find some pretty odd objects to use in your workout. Doing Olympic Lifts With Straps I have heard horror stories of noobs trying to hang clean or full clean weight and actually breaking their wrists because of the weight and lack of proper technique. You can't clean tons of weight and expect your wrists to have the proper range of motion (along with the rest of your arms) as a noob. If your new to the clean then go light and work on your catch and ROM when its at rest (top position). Catching with your elbows pointing straight out and landing the bar across your upper chest and delts. If your grip is suffering then spend some extra time on your off days working on grip exercises. Check this video out! Start with these and use some chalk until your form and wrist/arm ROM is on point. By then you shouldn't even need straps to do them. Win-Win situation. Bring The Celly Leave the phone in your car. In today's day you probably send well over a thousand texts a month...if not more. You don't need to have that thing right on your side the whole time. Facebook, twitter, emails etc. all get sent to our phones which means your probably checking some kind of notification every few minutes. This is time away from your lifts. Whatever it is can wait. If it's an emergency then let those people know where you are. What happened to just calling the main building the person was in. That's what intercoms are for right? Now, if you’re doing everything I say then you’re probably lifting at a small local studio therefore they can call you there almost directly. :) Don’t worry, I am guilty of this too! I hate it when I catch myself wasting time looking at an email or post. It's all about productivity. Go after it! By William Richards via Muscle & Strength

    Healthy Fats: The 7 Best Foods to Eat

    To combat body fat and live a longer, healthier life, you have to eat fat—the right kind that is. It’s actually quite simple, and new research out of Harvard is piling on the reasons why you should reacquaint yourself with fatty foods: Replacing five percent of your caloric intake from so-called bad fats (like trans and saturated fat found in red meat and lard) with unsaturated fat from plant-based foods (like olive oil) can reduce your risk of death by 27 percent. Twenty-seven percent! How to Replace Bad Fat With Good Fat The health benefits of certain types of fats were largely dependent upon what people were replacing them with, the researchers say. People who replaced bad saturated fats with good unsaturated fats—especially polyunsaturated fats—had a significantly lower risk of death overall, as well as a lower risk of death from CVD, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory disease, compared with those who maintained high intakes of saturated fats. Interestingly, kicking out both good and bad fats didn't have as great of an effect. The researchers found when people replaced saturated fats with carbs (instead of good fats), they had only a slightly lower mortality risk. What’s more, replacing total fat with carbs altogether actually caused slightly higher instances of death. It’s likely because carbs in the American diet tend to be primarily refined starch and sugar, which have a similar influence on mortality risk as saturated fats. "Our study shows the importance of eliminating trans fat and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats, including both omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In practice, this can be achieved by replacing animal fats like red meat with a variety of liquid vegetable oils," senior study author Frank Hu said in a press release. Check out the best sources of plant-based, and some incredibly healthy animal-based, fats. EGGS Not only are eggs considered the "perfect protein" (6g per egg) for containing all essential amino acids, they’re packed with vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 to boot. The yolk contains heart-healthy fat, including omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, choline, and selenium. There’s only 1.6 grams of saturated fat per large egg. And that’s not all. Research suggests consuming conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in egg yolks, and hitting the gym for at least 4.5 hours per week significantly reduces body fat–not weight. More research discovered CLA has a direct impact on the reduction of some forms of colon cancer, too. FRUIT AND VEGETABLE OILS Coconut oil is enjoying a recent resurgence; the fatty acid MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even fat-burning properties. Research has found people lose more weight, especially belly fat, when they consume coconut oil. Algae (monounsaturated fat), olive (monounsaturated fat), peanut (monounsaturated fat), walnut (omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic) all have their unique health benefits and work best in different scenarios. NUTS AND NUT BUTTERS Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are chock-full of monounsaturated fats, which can keep your cholesterol in check by lowering bad LDL cholesterol and raising good HDL levels. A 2013 study of nearly 190,000 people published in the New England Journal of Medicine found those who ate a one-ounce serving of nuts daily decreased their risk of dying from any cause, including cancer and heart disease, by 20 percent. “These people also tend to be leaner, which is a curious finding, considering a serving of nuts is 160 to 200 calories,” says study researcher Charles S. Fuchs, M.D. Fuchs suggests that nuts’ positive effect on energy balance, metabolism, and satiety likely explain how the high-fat snack can actually keep your weight in check. Rotate what you snack on: pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts all have their own nutrient profile. Add nut butters to your diet too. Used as a dip, spread, or smoothie add-in, you can boost your protein and healthy fat intake with almond butter in so many dishes. OLIVES Olive oil usually gets the health halo, but the fruit itself has tons of antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease and healthy monounsaturated fat which can increase good cholesterol. The oleic acid olives contain can reduce blood pressure, too. AVOCADO The CDC suggests people who eat, on average, half a medium avocado daily arehealthier than those who skip the fruit, more closely adhere to dietary guidelines, consume 48 percent more vitamin K, 36 percent more fiber, 23 percent more vitamin E, 16 percent more potassium and 13 percent more magnesium, have higher intakes of healthy (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats, have higher good HDL cholesterol, weigh about 7.4 pounds less and have lower BMIs, and have 50 percent lower odds of developing metabolic syndrome. Need we go on? Make some avocado toast already. FATTY FISH Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. These fish have an impressive combination of protein, healthy fats, vitamin D, and marine oils, which are essential for a healthy nervous system. You can bulk up and boost your total-body health by eating more fatty fish. SEEDS Flaxseeds and chia seeds are an amazing plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both are are brimming with fiber, perfect for maintaining digestive health and lowering cholesterol. Toss either, or both, in your oats and smoothies for some sustained energy. By Brittany Smith via MSN Lifestyle

    4 Things Your Hair Can Say About Your Health

    Most of us view our hair as separate from the rest of our body, but like our nails, hair is an extension (pun intended) of our body that can give us clues as to our overall health. Herein, four hair signs that something may be amiss. If you once had thick, lustrous hair that turned fine and limp, first look to see what you’ve been doing to your hair lately. Have you been swimming a lot in chlorinated water? Did you dye your hair recently? These things, among others, can cause your hair to lose its luster. But limp, dry hair may also be a sign of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, causing your metabolism to slow down. Other signs of Young beautiful woman with depression isolated on whitehypothyroidism can be sudden weight gain, unexplained fatigue, and being cold all the time. If you suspect hypothyroidism to be the culprit, talk to your doctor about testing your thyroid levels. If you do have an underactive thyroid, you can often take medication to supplement your hormone levels. A lot of people have dandruff that is easily treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo, but if your dandruff is starting to turn into thick scaly patches, it could be a sign that you have psoriasis, an autoimmune disease in which the skin goes into overdrive, speeding up the process of skin cell turnover. If you have another autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease, it ups the chance that you’ll get psoriasis, so be especially wary if you have another autoimmune condition. The average person loses about 100 hairs a day (by the looks of my hairbrush at the end of a day, I’d say my average is closer to two or three hundred). This hair loss is normal and doesn’t make your hair feel any thinner. But if your hair starts to feel markedly thinner or your hair starts to come out in clumps, it may a sign that something is up (or in this case, out). Sometimes hair loss can be attributed to a recent stressor, such as a divorce or job loss. In other cases, hair loss can also be another sign of hypothyroidism or a sign of a hormonal imbalance relating to PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. Still, there are also a few medications, including some birth control pills and antidepressants, which can cause hair loss as a side effect.Woman with hair loss problem Yes, hair loss can be related to several things, so in this case, it’s best to talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. Also, if you suspect your meds to be the culprit, talk to your doc about an alternative before stopping your medication altogether. Finally, another sign of a more serious problem could be dry, brittle hair that breaks easily. Your hair is made up a protein called keratin, and if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, it could weaken your hair. This could also be another telltale sign of a thyroid issue, so be sure to check with your doc if this is the case. By Chanie Kirschner via Mother Nature Network