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Quick Quiz - Are you Eating Right
From "Woman's Health Today - 1999" pages 182-183

What follows is a rundown of the subtle signals your body may send when your eating habits could use some tweaking. Begin by marking each statement "yes" or "no." Then for each yes response, refer to the next selection to find out whqat your symptom means and what nutritional changes may correct it. Note: Some of these syptoms can indicate a more serious chealth problem. So if they don't go away after you change your eating habit, see your doctor.

_____ 1. Your skin is a wasteland - dry, itchy, scaly.
_____ 2. Your hair has lost its shine.
_____ 3. You're constipated more often than not.
_____ 4. You have gas more frenquently than you used to.
_____ 5. Your joints creak.
_____ 6. Your gums hurts like crazy.
_____ 7. Your bones creak.
_____ 8. You've forgotten why you started reading this article.

What Your Yes Means

1. Skin that is borderline reptilian not just in winter but year-round may signal a vitamin A deficiency.

What you can do: Everytime you go to the supermarket, make sure your basket contains at least two orange-yellow and two dark green fruits or vegetables. Spinich, broccoli, apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, and sweet potatos all have enough vitamin A to keep you from looking like a lizard and scratching like a dog.

2. In extreme cases, your hair can lose its luster because of a significan protein or iron deficiency, especially if you're a vegetarian or you've gone on a fad diet.

What you can do: Avoid fad diets like the plague. Invariably, any pounds that disappear will find their way back. Instead, eat nutritious low-fat foods and exercise reguarly. If you're a vegetarian, be sure to eat a good mix of vegetables, grains, and beans so that you take in the balanced protein thqat you'd normally get from meats.

3. Constipation is a sign that you need more fiber in your diet.

What you can do: Aim for the Daily Value of fiber, which is 25 grams. a bowl of bran flakes at breakfast supplies about 5 grams. Mix in handful of raisins for another 4 grams. Munch on a couple of apples or a handful of carrot sticks every afternoon, and you'll be well on your way to hitting the 25 gram mark. AQs you increase your fiber intake, make sure that you increase your fluid intake as well, Water and other liquids help fiber do its job.

4. Eating too much fiber or switching to a high-fiber diet too quickly. causes problems of its own. In particular, your body will produce a lot of, exhaust than it would by processing more digestable foods.

What you can do: Increase your fiber intake gradually. If you've been eating only 10 grams per day, don't suddenly increase to 25 grams per day. Add 5 grams to start, then another 5 grams after a week or so. If your gas problems comes from eating an adundance of beans and other legumes, buy yourself a bottle of Beano. This product, which is sold in grocery stores and drugstores, helps break down sugars that causes gas.

5. You may have lack of fish in your diet. Fish such as salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, which keep joinys moving smoothly while increasing blood flow and reducing joint inflammation and pain.

What you can do: Twice a week, replace the beef or poultry in your dinner entree with a thick salmon or tuna steak.

6. If canker sores are a constant presence, your mouth may be screaming for more acidophilus. This beneficial bacterium can help balance the natural flora that otherwise run amok in your mouth, causing sores and other gum problems, according to Robert Wildman, Ph.D., professor of human nutrition at the University of Delaware in Newmark.

What you can do: Eat a cup of yogurt every day as a snack. Look for yogurt that contains live active cultures. The lable will say so.

7. Your bones may be prone to breaking because you aren't consuming enough calcium and vitamin D, your body's chief bone-builders.

What you can do: Drink a tall glass of calcium-fortied orange juice at breakfast. Add a slice of low-fat cheese to your sandwich at lunch. And drink a glass of fat-free or 1 % milk before you go to bed.

8. You may not be getting enough B vitamins. Folate and vitamins B6 and B12 help the brain operate at peak levels while controlling homocysteine, an amino acid that can hamper blood flow to the brain.

What you can do: Think beans of all kinds. They're the best cources of folate and vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 is found in abudance in most meats and seafood.