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WomansDay.comJuly 14, 2010
Foods That Look Like Body Parts They're Good For Learn how you can stay healthy by noshing on 10 anatomically shaped eatsBy Amanda Greene Posted July 14, 2010 from
Every child has heard the healthy-eating mantra "You are what you eat." But there may be a closer resemblance between good-for-you grub and your body than you thought. We found 10 foods that mirror the body parts they provide nutrients for—for example, brain-boosting walnuts actually look like a brain. Coincidence? Maybe. Though these healthy foods are beneficial to the whole body, the list below is a fun reminder of what to eat to target specific areas.
1. Carrot: Eye
Slice a carrot in half crosswise and it's easy to see that the veggie resembles an eye—look closely and you'll even notice a pattern of radiating lines that mimic the pupil and iris. And the old wives’ tale is true: Munching on carrots will actually promote healthy eyes. "Carrots are filled with vitamins and antioxidants, like beta-carotene, that decrease the chance of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older people," says Sasson Moulavi, MD, medical director of Smart for Life Weight Management Centers in Boca Raton, Florida. Photos by iStockphoto
2. Walnut: Brain
The folds and wrinkles of a walnut bring to mind another human organ: the brain. The shape of the nut even approximates the body part, looking like it has left and right hemispheres. And it's no surprise walnuts are nicknamed "brain food"—according to Lisa Avellino, dietitian for Focus28 Diet, "they have a very high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which help support brain function." Photos by iStockphoto
3. Celery: Bone
Long, lean stalks of celery look just like bones—and they're good for them, too. "Celery is a great source of silicon, which is part of the molecular structure that gives bones their strength," says Dr. Moulavi. Another funny bone coincidence: "Bones are 23 percent sodium, and so is celery," reports Avellino. Photos by iStockphoto
4. Avocados: Uterus
The lightbulb shape of an avocado looks like a uterus, and it supports reproductive health as well. "Avocados are a good source of folic acid," says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietician and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness. "Folate has been found to reduce the risk for cervical dysplasia, which is a precancerous condition." Photos by iStockphoto and Shutterstock
5. Clams: Testicles
Studies have offered evidence that clams, which bear a resemblance to testicles, are actually good for the male sex organs. "Research from the Netherlands has suggested that supplementing your diet with folic acid and zinc—both of which clams are high in––can have a significant effect on improving semen quality in men," says Dr. Moulavi. Photos by Shutterstock and 3D Clinic
6. Grapefruit: Breast
The similarity between round citrus fruits––like lemons and grapefruit––and breasts may be more than coincidental. "Grapefruit contains substances called limonoids, which have been shown to inhibit the development of cancer in lab animals and in human breast cells," says Dr. Moulavi. Photos by iStockphoto and
7. Tomato: Heart
Slice open a tomato and you'll notice the red veggie has multiple chambers that resemble the structure of a heart. "Studies have found that because of the lycopene in tomatoes, there is a reduced risk for heart disease in men and women who eat them," says Somer. And, she adds, if you mix them with a little fat, like olive oil or avocado, it will boost your body's lycopene absorption nearly tenfold. Photos by iStockphoto and 3D Clinic
8. Red Wine: Blood
Red wine, which is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, including powerful resveratrol, looks like blood. "When you drink it, you're really loading up on the healthy stuff that protects against destructive things in the blood, like LDL cholesterol, which can cause heart disease," says Somer. "There's also a blood-thinning compound in red wine, so it reduces blood clots, which are associated with stroke and heart disease." Photos by iStockphoto
9. Ginger: Stomach
Anyone who's ever reached for a glass of ginger ale when they’ve had a stomachache knows about the antinausea effects of ginger. So it's fitting that the herb somewhat resembles the digestive organ. According to Dr. Moulavi, "gingerol, which is the ingredient responsible for ginger's pungent scent and taste, is listed in the USDA database of phytochemicals as having the ability to prevent nausea and vomiting." Photos by iStockphoto
10. Sweet Potatoes: Pancreas
The oblong sweet potato bears a strong resemblance to the pancreas, and also promotes healthy function in the organ. "Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which is a potent antioxidant that protects all tissues of the body, including the pancreas, from damage associated with cancer or aging," says Somer.
By Lisa Avellino, Fitness & Nutrition Expert-- Published: May 20, 2010
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Tip 1-take the plunge!
Poolside fat burner: approximately 400-800 calories burned!
At chest level about 80 to 90% of the body is supported due to buoyancy, therefore the joints and bones are well protected. You will shape and tone up faster, as water provides more resistance.
Flexibility and balance improves, as there are a wider range of motions, which can be performed in water. It is not healthy to run in higher temperatures; so why not warm up by walking the perimeter of the pool, then jogging it. In the shallow end, do 60 seconds each of walking lunges, squats, and leg lifts to the front side and back, holding on to the edge. If you use an aqua free weight or flow tie it increase the feeling of resistance & will add the perfect intensity to your workout. Finish working the lower body with flutter kicks holding the edge or using a kickboard. Then submerge to the neck and do chest presses, reverse flies, bicep curls, and arm circles to work the upper body.
Wouldn't it be just swell if our weight-control goals always coincided with our real-life schedules, so that just as bathing suit season rolled around, we'd be the perfect size? Unfortunately, it hardly ever works out that way!
Try as we might to get in shape before having to reveal our bodies to the world (or at least our neighbors at the local pool party), it seems there are always a few more pounds to lose, jiggly thighs to tighten, and arms to tone -- not to mention a psyche in need of some serious bolstering to get us through swimsuit shopping.
If this sounds familiar, don't despair. Experts like fitness image consultanat Lisa Avellino say that with a little creative energy you can turn planning a day at the beach into a day at the beach! The goal, they say, is to accentuate your positives, beginning with selecting the right swimwear for your body type.
"You have to play up the feature you admire most about yourself -- likewise, if you're not comfortable with a certain area, don't bring attention to it," says Lisa Avellino, a fitness image consultant, celebrity personal trainer, and owner of the women-only Susan Marlowe Fitness Centers in Westchester, N.Y.
Selecting a Swimsuit
If, for example, you carry weight in your lower half -- if you're "pear" shaped -- look for a suit that is a solid color from the waist down, with a print, a bold color block, or a ruffle on the top, to draw the eye upward.
Another key element is proportion, Avellino says. By balancing the top half of your body with the bottom half, you can give your figure a more proportioned look.
"If you are top-heavy find a bathing suit that draws attention to the hip area. If your body type is straight (lacking a defined waistline), find a suit that has a pattern at the bust and hip area with a solid at the middle -- again drawing the eye to the areas you feel confident about," Avellino tells WebMD. One of this season's favorite beach silhouettes is the V-neck halter suit, a style that fashion experts say can bring out the best in almost any figure type.
"A plunging V neck, even one a little lower than you think is appropriate, really draws attention upward to your face, to your bosom and to your neckline -- and that's what people see first and the most," says Dannielle Romano, editor-at-large for, the ultimate online tip sheet on style. "Almost anyone can pull off the look."
What can also help: Getting a suit with great support. Today, that's easier than you might think. Romano says.
"There is amazing technology in swimsuit construction right now," she says. "You can get a suit that pulls you in, in all the right places, for a very reasonable price. You just have to take the time to look and try on until you find the one that's right for your body."
Check out the suit's bra insert and go for the best support you can find. The better the support in this area, the better your midriff, waist, and hips will also look, says intimate apparel design expert Colette Wong.
"If the upper half of your body is well supported, then your whole shape looks better. Your whole appearance is lifted when the bust is lifted properly," says Wong, assistant chairwoman of the fashion design-apparel department at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
Also important, she says, is locking in on the right size. While this may sound simple enough, Wong says that wearing clothing that doesn't fit properly is one of the biggest fashion faux pas women make.
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CATHERINE SAINT LOUISPublished: November 17, 2005NYT_INLINE_IMAGE_POSITION1 WHEN Jacqueline Thousand saw the photographs that her trainer had taken, something clicked. "I saw this little old lady slouched over, looking 70," she said. "I'm 55, a very young 55." But Dr. Thousand, a professor of education at California State University, San Marcos, said: "I had molded myself through the way I stand and move into a person who slouches."Skip to next paragraph Robert Presutti for The New York TimesCORE STRENGTH Lisa Avellino, left, teaches exercises to clients who are seeking to improve their posture. The New Wearing of the Green (November 17, 2005) Forum: Fitness and Nutrition
Dr. Thousand, a runner, had gone to Function First, a private fitness studio in San Diego, not to straighten her spine but to rehabilitate a torn ligament in her left knee. Anthony B. Carey, the gym's founder, helped her see how her bum knee and her bad posture were connected. He first took the pictures, he said, to give her "a snapshot of how her whole body works." He pointed out how her pelvis hung forward and her hip joints rotated inward. Then he prescribed corrective exercises.Every two weeks or so she went back for an evaluation and new drills to do at home. After three months she could run five miles, her regular distance, without pain, but that was not the only improvement. She now stands at 5-foot-3, an inch taller than at previous physical exams. "I stand differently, and I run differently," she said. Mention posture, and people conjure antiquated images of stiff-backed children walking with books balanced on their heads. But today there is a new focus on standing tall that is less a matter of etiquette than a strategy for keeping aging bodies supple and pain free. Mr. Carey is one of a new breed of fitness professionals who consider posture a crucial part of fitness. "Too many people are working on their mirror muscles, what they see in the mirror," instead of paying attention to how their bodies move, said Mr. Carey, who is the author of "The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain."Trainers have realized that without correct posture their clients cannot receive the full benefit from exercise. "The fitness industry has evolved," said Paula Tett, the corporate education manager for the Sports Club/LA and a personal trainer for 11 years. "If I am working with someone's structure, I cannot ignore the position that it is in."At Sports Club/LA gyms specialized personal trainers teach members to stretch and strengthen specific muscles to realign their bodies. At Equinox all new members have an assessment of their posture; trainers look for things like hip tilt and how far the head is pitched forward. Gyms are also creating classes focused on posture. Equinox, for example, will introduce Posture Break classes in January.Sue O'Grady, who runs Fitness Quest Personal Training in Cambridge, Mass., says she has seen body alignment grow in importance not only in her own work but also as a topic at fitness industry conferences. "Everything," she said, "is coming around to emphasizing the importance of posture."This month the National Posture Institute, an organization that educates the public about proper alignment, began offering online training and certification (at for trainers interested in alignment. Hands-on educational workshops at fitness conventions are soon to follow. Ken Baldwin, the institute's founder and the coordinator of the program in personal training at Purdue University, said most trainer certification programs paid little or no attention to posture. Nor did standard texts and manuals on fitness training.Yet trainers and posture specialists have seen how exercising without being aligned (shoulders back, chest proud and abs tight) can lead to muscle and joint problems. "You think people who are fit and strong don't have to worry about posture," said Janice Novak, the author of "Posture, Get It Straight!" who also runs workshops for hospitals and corporations. But when people exercise without making sure their bodies are aligned, they risk strengthening muscles that maintain their bad form, in effect reinforcing the problem and raising their chance of getting muscle and joint pain. Many postural problems stem from the way people sit arched forward peering at computers for hours every day. This sedentary slouch weakens the so-called core muscles (those closest to the spine) so that they can no longer hold the body upright. That can lead to chronic pain, lower back problems and wear-and-tear joint injuries.There are many general exercises that trainers suggest to engage the core. One is the basic crunch, done lying face-up on the floor with knees bent. To make sure your core is activated, trainers suggest using your hands to press on your stomach as you raise your shoulders. Another is the back extension, an exercise done lying face-down with the arms at the sides. You raise the chest and arms off the floor to work the back and the upper buttocks. High heels also throw the body out of alignment, causing the wearer's weight to shift forward and, more often than not, her shoulders to become rounded. In January, Crunch will offer Stiletto Strength, a new class that will teach exercises to strengthen the core muscles as well as the calves and ankles so that women can wear high heels without succumbing to bad posture. (Mr. Carey suggested it might be better to scrap wearing high heels altogether, because "really, really tight calves can cause a disruption in your gait.") The popularity of yoga and Pilates have raised some people's awareness of posture, as have lesser-known disciplines like Feldenkrais, Rolfing and the Alexander Technique, which leave practitioners feeling aligned. Sometimes, trainers say, people come to them looking for help with their posture. "I have been surprised that it's not just my senior clients that are concerned about rounded shoulders," said Lisa Avellino, the owner of the Susan Marlowe Fitness Club For Women in Scarsdale, N.Y. "Women in the 30's and 40's are saying, 'Give me something to help my posture,' " either to improve their appearance or to prevent injury. But more often, trainers say, posture awareness is a tough sell. Lashaun Dale, the group fitness creative manager for Equinox, says she has had to sneak postural tips into the conditioning classes she teaches. She devised Equinox's new posture class as a way to teach universal principles of alignment, which people can apply to their favorite workout, whether it's Spinning or running on a treadmill. Ms. Dale intends to use props to make the posture lessons fun. Walking while holding a fake egg in a spoon, for example, helps a person keep her chest out and shoulders back as does lunging while attempting not to spill glasses of water.Posture awareness is especially critical when lifting weights. "If your body is out of line, you tend to become a stronger version of your crooked self," explained Dr. Paul D'Arezzo, a retired emergency medicine doctor and the author of "Posture Alignment: The Missing Link in Health and Fitness."That is why so many body builders, in the past, appeared to be hunch forward, said Bob Fields, a personal trainer in Carmel, Ind. "The old school body builder focused on pecs and abs and never did anything for their back," he said. Ideally, trainers say, posture training should not happen only at the gym. Since she started training with Ms. Avellino, Kristina Skrela, 24, has tried to keep her abs tight and her shoulders back while driving, which she does at least two hours a day for her job as a sales representative for a yearbook publishing company. "I am more conscious of my muscles and my posture," she said. "The more you do it, the more it becomes natural, instead of homework."Ms. Dale of Equinox said it took this kind of constant awareness to strengthen core muscles. "You can do all the abdominals you want," she said, "but if you're not using your core, and you're slumping in your chair and sticking out your abs the rest of the day, you're not going to achieve the strong core you want."
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