Best Foods for your Body


Skin: Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, which helps balance the pH of your skin’s surface, making it just acidic enough to fend off harmful bacteria. Plus National Cancer Institute researchers found that people with the highest intakes of carotenoids—pigments that occur naturally in carrots—were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes

Hair:  Low iron levels can lead to baldness, according to a Cleveland Clinic review. Researchers looked at 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss, and concluded that treating iron deficiency may help regrow hair. Feed your mane iron-packed foods such as lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains.

Eyes: The National Institute of Health found that people who consume the most lutein—a carotenoid found in plant foods—are 43 percent less likely to develop macular degeneration. Lutein helps filter blue light, preventing it from damaging retinal tissues. Eat two servings of greens each day. Consider one serving to be ½ cup of cooked spinach, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.

Heart: Cornell University researchers found that eating one Red Delicious apple a day can block LDL oxidation, resulting in an 8 percent drop in levels. Bonus: Apples (and their skins) contain soluble fiber, the kind that scrubs artery walls clean. Cut one up and mix it into your oatmeal, another top source.

Muscles: To maximize muscle growth, you need the right raw materials. Beef is the perfect muscle food because it’s packed with protein, zinc, and creatine. Down a hefty portion of each with this taco-salad recipe from Men’s Health cover model Gregg Avedon:

Brown ½ pound of extra-lean ground beef over medium heat. As it cooks, sprinkle it with black pepper, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and a couple dashes of Tabasco. Place the cooked beef, one diced tomato, and 2 tablespoons of low-fat cheese over a bed of lettuce, and top with salsa.

Bones: Bones are a lot like reclusive coworkers; until one snaps, you aren’t likely to give them much thought. Drink two 8-ounce glasses of vitamin D-fortified low-fat milk every day. This provides your body with 600 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 5 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D, the perfect combination of nutrients to build break-resistant bones. Plus, in a 20-year study, U.K. researchers determined that men who drink more than 6 ounces of milk a day have half the risk of stroke of men who drink less.

Belly: By snacking on the right foods—those that are low in sugar but rich in protein—you’ll keep your metabolic furnace stoked, and be less likely to binge between meals. Have one slice of hard or semihard cheese—for instance, Cheddar, Swiss, or provolone—two or three times a day. Cheese has 7 grams of protein per slice and contains no sugar. That means it doesn’t raise blood-sugar levels, so your body stays in fat-burning mode. Want an alternative? Opt for a cup of low-fat plain yogurt or a stick of beef jerky.

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