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Healthy Sources of Disease Fighting Lycopene

Lookin’ for lycopene? Do you even know what it is? If not, lycopene is what gives certain fruits and vegetables their vibrant red color. However, it does more than make your food look pretty. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant in your body, which means it protects your cells against damage from free radicals.

What all this means in everyday language is that lycopene has been connected with the reduced risk for certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease, and may even help stave off age-related macular degeneration.

While more research definitely needs to be done on the health benefits of lycopene, in the meantime you can’t go wrong with the food sources that provide the highest doses:
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Eat Right With Red Foods in a Healthy One Pot Meal

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian, and the founder/president of Zied Health Communications, LLC in New York City. She’s the author of the award-winning Nutrition At Your Fingertips (Alpha, 2009), a regular contributor to MSNBC.com and Galtime.com, and an Advisory Board member for Parents magazine and parents.com. For more information, or to sign up for The ZIED GUIDE free weekly e-newsletter, visit elisazied.com.

This recipe, from Feed Your Family Right! (Wiley, 2007), packs in lots of delicious RED foods—tomatoes (rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium and a good source of lycopene when cooked), red bell peppers (loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, and also a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and other nutrients), and jalapeno peppers (rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A and fiber). It also combines protein (from sirloin) with complex carbohydrates and fiber (from beans) to fill you up and provide long-lasting energy.
An added bonus? It’s a hearty and delicious meal the whole family will enjoy!


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Top 5 Cancer Fighting Foods

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma. I have had several areas removed from my body and I’ve been rewarded with clean borders and no need for chemotherapy. I am vigilant in my use of sunscreen as well as going for my periodic skin care check ups, but I also try to eat a healthy diet.

Recently, I spotted this list of five cancer fighting foods on the Today Show. I eat most of them, but not all. It’s recommended that we eat about 1/2 cup of each every day. How many of them do you eat?
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Power Food Pairings Increase Nutritional Value

Women’s Health has released a list of 9 Power Food Pairings – combinations of food items that give you more nutritional value when eaten together. Even better, they seem like pretty easy combinations to work into your diet. Check out Women’s Health for the full list and read my favorites below.

That time of the month may have you reaching for less nutritious foods, but research shows less pre-menstrual irritability in women who ingest the most calcium and vitamin D. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, and broccoli provides easily-absorbed calcium. I tend to crave a little fat, so a broccoli and cheese omelet sounds ideal to me.
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7 Foods That Fire Up Your Passion

John McGran, chief editor at Diet-to-Go, has been covering the fields of diet, fitness and health since 2000. He writes from the perspective of a dieter rather than a dietitian.

I’d much rather eat my way to health and happiness than pop a pill and attain the same results. So when it comes to dieting, I choose to eat my way slim rather than seek out a magic bullet for weight loss.

The same principle applies to perking up passion. Sure, there are plenty of ads for potions or pills that claim to magically transform you into a Casanova. But I’ve discovered that a fine meal with the proper ingredients can spark love and romance without the chemicals!


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