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Food Facts

• Fiber in excess may reduce calcium absorption. If you take in more than about 25 grams of fiber a day, you may want to consider a calcium supplement. Calcium citrate is the best-absorbed type.

• Lemon, mango or lavender scents alter blood chemistry in ways that reduce stress levels in rats, according to new Japanese research. Suggestion: Use Lemon Pledge when you do housework, and you’ll lose the attitude.

• Cocoa is good for your heart. A high concentration of polyphenols in cocoa powder was shown to work as a natural anti-inflammatory. Dark chocolate is good for you.

• Bananas contain a significant dose of protease inhibitors, which eradicate the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. A banana on your morning cereal is good for a potassium blast and stomach protection.

• Apples and pears contain loads of quercetin, a flavonoid that appears to protect and strengthen the lungs, according to Dutch research. Australian researchers found a correlation between frequent pear and apple consumption and a lower risk of asthma. Maybe distance runners should carb up with these two lung-loving fruits.

—Becky Holman

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