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HealthBuzz September 21: 7 Fall Family Activities, Jennifer Aniston’s Smartwater Commercial, and Banana Filled Recipes

Today marks the first day of fall! Before you clock out for the weekend take some time for a healthy dose of news. This week’s HealthBuzz consists of hot headlines from DIR and our partner sites, including Shape, IVillage, and Fitday, as well as some delicious banana recipes from Undressed Skeleton and Thinin10.

Don’t wait until the last day of the week to hear from us! Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to ‘Like Us’ on Facebook for the chance to win a year’s supply of guacamole from Wholly Guacamole!

Choose the Right Gym For You (So You’ll Actually Use the Membership)

With the fall and holiday season quickly approaching, gyms will be filling up with people wanting to maintain their health and figure for social gatherings and special events. Gyms can be uncomfortable and expensive and there is nothing like wasting money on a membership that you don’t use! Let us help you choose the right gym with this helpful guide.

Seven Fall Activities For the Whole Family

September 21 is the official day of fall! What better way to enjoy the weather then with your family? Stephanie Mansour from Step It Up With Steph shares seven fall activities for the whole family. There is even a healthy recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds! Fall has never been so healthy before.
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How to Cook with Bananas

Bananas have become a household staple in U.S. According to Dole’s website, the average American eats 28 pounds of bananas a year – thats about 112 bananas annually. What people don’t know is that a majority of the bananas in grocery stores are imported from tropical regions such as Latin America and South America. Because bananas make a nutritious and portable breakfast or snack, it’s no mystery why Americans consume as many bananas as they do, especially since they’re packed with vitamins, nutrients and tons of health benefits. 

Health Benefits: Bananas are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, A1, B6, and B12, as well as potassium, magnesium and fiber. Bananas are also filled with fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system. In addition, bananas help lower blood sugar and blood pressure. The potassium in bananas controls the amount of sodium in the body, allowing calcium to be retained and thus promoting healthy bones. Another benefit of potassium is the ease of muscle cramping. Bananas can also help protect the lining of the stomach and neutralize stomach acid, which helps those suffering from ulcers or intestinal disorders. Finally, bananas can reduce the risk of developing kidney cancer among females if consumed four to six times a week.  
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3 Must-Try Frozen Banana Ice Cream Flavors

If you haven’t jumped on the banana ice cream train yet, it’s time! After trying it for ourselves the first time this summer, we’ve been spinning our wheels to come up with new flavor ideas so we can keep enjoying this healthy, easy-to-make treat.

Banana ice cream is so simple to make. It’s essentially pre-peeled, sliced or loosely chopped frozen bananas whirled into a magical soft serve dessert in a blender or food processor. You can eat it as is and it’s quite delicious, if you enjoy the flavor of bananas. Or you can add in fun toppings like we did this time.
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5 Satisfying Summer Food Swaps to Maintain Your Bikini Figure

School bells are ringing, but summer isn’t over just yet. The weekend air will still fill up with the scent of barbeques and many tables will be set with traditional summer fare at least through the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Yes, bikini season is coming closer to an end but there’s no reason to let all that hard work go to waste as you dine in these last few weeks of summer.

If you haven’t already tackled our Summer Food Bucket List, considering taking advantage of a few healthy food swaps that will allow you to enjoy the best flavors of this season before they’re long gone! These great switch-ups will help you cut the calories, bulk up on nutrition, all while keeping great summertime food on the table.

Guacamole Give-in

Try swapping traditional guacamole and tortilla chips for edamame guacamole with lentil chips, a great idea we found at HuffPo. Instead of using avocado for a traditional guac, use edamame (soy) beans to give the added bonus of protein and still a great flavor. Lentil chips are much higher in fiber than a corn chip and will fill you up faster, so you’ll need less to be satisfied.
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Feed Your Hair With Real Food for Better Hair Days

Have you ever told someone that you don’t wash your hair every day? Their faces snarl, sometimes they even make a noise indicating their disgust. For someone like me with very, very coarse and curly hair, daily washing isn’t a necessity. If anything, it’s doing more damage than good considering how much shampoos can dry out your hair, strip shine, and wear down the general health of each strand.

Shampoo isn’t the only thing wrecking your hair, a greasy fast-food habit can be just as destructive. The health of each strand of hair shows more than just your showering regimen, it’s an indicator of your total wellness.

“The condition of your hair reflects your nutritional status as well as your overall health,” said Dr. Jessica Wu, Daily Glow‘s Skin + Beauty Expert, Los Angeles dermatologist, and author of Feed Your Face. “If you’re feeding your body plenty of protein and other essential nutrients, your hair is more likely to be strong, shiny, and easier to style. On the other hand, certain dietary deficiencies or imbalances can make hair weak, brittle, difficult to style, or even change color. If you’re not eating the right foods, your hair can get dull, dry, and thin.”

Yes, once again, what you’re eating shows up in more places than the mustard stain on your shirt or the bulge around your belly. Your hair is taking a beating every time you opt for fries over a salad or a Coke instead of a water. Your hair is a reflection of what you eat, making it even more important to be mindful at each meal.

Dr. Wu broke out some impressive science to explain why our hair needs specific amino acids to ensure more than an occasional good hair day.
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