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body | mind

Body | Mind

Coffee can help women jump-start their day—as well as their mood. Recent studies show that women who regularly drink caffeinated coffee have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than women who don't imbibe their morning cup of joe. Other foods and drinks that contain lower levels of caffeine, like decaf coffee, chocolate and tea didn't provide the same benefit. Health experts warn against too much caffeine as it can cause anxiety and insomnia and reverse the mood-boosting benefits. As with most health advice, moderation is key.

— Overlake Hospital Medical Center

Take care of your "organs of elimination." Your skin is one of your organs that helps remove toxins from your body, along with your lungs, bowels/colon, liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. Your skin improves when you take care of your lungs by not smoking. Other organs to take care of are your liver by limiting alcohol and your colon with a high-fiber diet.

Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, which includes good fats and limited sugar. Chronic inflammation can cause a number of skin conditions. Avoid inflammatory foods such as saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and refined sugar.

Eat foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from damaging skin cells, and the antioxidants selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C have been shown to decrease the effect of sun damage and prevent further skin damage. For selenium, eat Brazil nuts, whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic and eggs. For vitamin E, look to wheat germ, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables. For vitamin C, try kiwi, broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.

–Overlake Hospital Medical Center

body | mind photoCALORIE COUNT
Winter weather provides a great outlet for staying active and burning calories. Rather than hide from the cold and snow, embrace it and make it part of your weekend workout. According to, an hour of ice-skating burns an average of 380 calories, depending on the skater's weight. Similarly, one hour of cross-country skiing will burn 400 to 650 calories, and it doubles when going uphill. Moderately paced downhill skiing burns roughly 400 calories per hour and snowshoeing eats up 500 to 650 calories in one hour. Get out, and get moving!

—Athletic Director Sally Reed

Eating in season guarantees the freshest produce and the best-tasting fruits and veggies. When you don't eat in season, the fact is simple: the produce is not as fresh. Typically, it's shipped across longer distances, meaning food is picked before it's ripe. With this technique comes a loss of key vitamins and, of course, taste. This time of year, opt for pears, rhubarb, winter squash, onions and carrots to take full advantage of Washington's bounty.

–—Executive Chef Paul Marks

body | mind photoWEIGHTLESS, PAINLESS
It's the month of new resolutions and fitness promises. For those working out for the first time in a long time, swimming and aerobic swim classes are a great option, especially for those with sore joints and other physical limitations. Water provides a cushion and offers a low-impact workout. While submerged to your neck, your body bears just 10 percent of its weight and employs all the major muscle groups, meaning you can burn calories and tone up with less pain. To ease your body back into fitness, come swim a lap.

—Aquatics Director, Melissa Stepp

Overlake Hospital Medical Center

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