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Saturday, September 23, 2023

By Elizabeth Lawson

By Elizabeth LawsonSpecial to CSMS Magazine Fiber is one of the most important ingredients of a healthy diet, and one of the best ways to get it is by eating more fruit. Of the hundreds of plant foods that provide fiber, the luscious apricots is but one tasty example. Like most fruits, its fiber content is intensified when dried. (Of the 20-35 grams of fiber we need daily, three fresh apricots provides almost two grams, while three and one half ounces of dried apricots provides nearly eight grams.) Fiber is essential for digestive tract health, and same forms even help to lower LDL-cholesterol levels.                                                  GardeningWhile many people appreciate the spiritual benefits of gardening, they may not realize that is good for the body as it is for the soul. Carrying garden tools and supplies helps build muscle. Squatting strengthens lower legs and hips, while digging strengthens arms and upper body. Your skin soaks in sunshine to help produce vitamin D, and you steadily burn calories. The bottom line? Gardening, like all exercise, may help reduce heart disease risk and high blood pressure. And for people with diabetes, it can help control both blood glucose levels and weight.                                                    H2O plus “ Be sure to eat enough water.” You probably haven’t heard that very often, but it’s good advice. Water is a life source essential to all body functions, and much of the two quarts we need daily actually comes from the food we eat. That’s why watermelon, which is 92% water, is an excellent choice. But that doesn’t wash away its other nutritional phases, such as a good source of vitamins A B6 and C as well as less than one gram of fat and zero cholesterol per cup serving. Other foods that can help you stay well hydrated and healthy? Green beans, cauliflower, celery, cucumber lettuce, zucchini, onion and pumpkin—they’re all more than 90% water, too!                                                   SwimmingSwimming has been called the perfect exercise. It uses most of the major muscles, so it’s great for body toning, especially since the resistance of water is more than that of air. Plus, swimming is low-impact and can be adapted to all fitness levels. Speed up for an effective aerobic workout. Stroke more slowly, and you can swim longer for maximum fat burning. Doctors even recommend swimming for certain health problems or injuries. So take the plunge!Note: Elizabeth Lawson is a nutritionist who lives in Seattle Washington. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.Also see Discover the importance of Naturopathyand Learning about what’s good or bad for your skin

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