Happy news: Getting out and about for a stroll in this beautiful weather can whittle your middle. The trick that speeds results? Enjoying a walk before breakfast instead of after. Investigators reporting in the British Journal of Nutrition found that this simple timing shift supercharges your body’s ability to burn belly fat. That’s because when you exercise before a meal on an empty stomach, your body burns off stored fats for fuel (which powers off pounds) instead of tapping into energy stored in muscle cells. Bye-bye, belly fat!
Courtesy of Ann Louise Gittleman
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Treating yourself to a handful of chocolate-covered almonds smooths skin and fades fine lines with every bite. Both almonds and dark chocolate are rich in magnesium, a water-bearing mineral that plays a key role in keeping skin plump and hydrated. And research shows that the mineral is also necessary for the creation of enzymes that heal wrinkle-causing free-radical damage. To get the benefits, aim for 400 mg. of magnesium daily. Not a fan of almonds and chocolate? Sunflower seeds are another magnesium-rich pick.
Adding pineapple to grilled kebabs or a summer salad is a delicious way to ease arthritis pain. The tropical fruit brims with bromelain, an enzyme that curbs the inflammation that triggers pain and joint damage. In fact, research in Clinical Rheumatology found bromelain was nearly twice as effective at reducing pain as over-the-counter painkillers (and without the side effects). To ease minor aches, enjoy 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple daily for two weeks. To combat more severe pain, consider taking a 500-mg. bromelain supplement daily.
The sweet chew that OPTIMIZES IMMUNITY
Planning a late-summer trip? Taking elderberry extract daily starting 10 days before you leave (and for five days after you return) helps you enjoy your trip without worrying about colds and viruses making the rounds. Australian scientists found that folks who did this when traveling had 22% fewer respiratory infection symptoms and recovered two days faster than those who didn’t take elderberry. Credit goes to anthocyanins, which blunt the ability of viruses to invade cells. Try: New Nordic Elderberry Gummies (NewNordicUSA.com)
A slow thyroid is a common cause of weight gain, but up to 60% of women with the condition are unaware they have it. Even if you suspect a problem, it can be hard to convince your doctor. To measure your thyroid function at home, take your underarm temperature first thing in the morning with a non-digital thermometer, keeping it in place for 10 minutes. Repeat for four consecutive days to get an average temperature. If it’s under 97.8 degrees F and you have constipation, talk to your doctor – or find one who will listen!