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6 Secrets to a High-Energy Summer

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Have you rid your body of all those leftover winter toxins so you can discover how to get more energy and feel your all-time best? Now's the time to try a natural energy booster, be it a food, a drink, a supplement, or a simple healthy habit to give your day more oomph.

Energize the easy, natural way with these proven fatigue fighters that'll have you feeling more refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for summer than you've ever been.

How to Get More Energy Naturally

Eat edamame. You'll find these mild-tasting baby soybeans in the frozen foods section of most grocery stores--and nibbling as little as one cup daily could lead to a noticeable uptick in your energy level, stamina and vitality within 72 hours, Australian researchers say. The reason: Edamame is packed with branched-chain amino acids--nutrients that switch on detoxification enzymes in the liver, helping you flush out up to 50 percent more fatigue-triggering toxins and cellular wastes. Hint: Try substituting shelled, cooked edamame for the chickpeas in your favorite hummus recipe--or toss them with a little olive oil, salt and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a savory snack.

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Try a supplement.Taking 100 mg to 200 mg of R-lipoic acid daily chases away brain fog, poor focus, and other toxin-triggered symptoms for up to 82 percent of people studied, report researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Turns out R-lipoic acid (a natural, sulfur-rich compound) increases mitochondrial energy production inside brain cells, plus it's a key building block of glutathione?a powerful antioxidant that quickly neutralizes brain-aging free radicals. Brand recommendation: Source Naturals' R-Lipoic Acid ($15 for 60 tablets, vitacost.com).

Enjoy a citrus-kissed sip. Summer is just around the corner, yet two in three of us are still struggling to lose stubborn winter pounds. To guarantee easy slimming (up to one pound weekly, without dieting!), drink two 12-oz. glasses of water daily between meals--and add the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon or lime to each glass. "The combination of water and natural fruit acids promotes peristalsis?intestinal muscle contractions that encourage elimination of metabolism-slowing toxins in the digestive tract," explains Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author of The New Fat Flush Plan. "And d-limonene, a compound in citrus zest, speeds your liver's breakdown of fat-trapping toxins by 30 percent."

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Cure headaches with a pine soak. One of the most common symptoms of toxin build-up in the bloodstream is frequent, draggy headaches (since these troublemakers irritate pain nerves, plus they cause inflammation in the walls of brain blood vessels). But according to European researchers, enjoying three steamy, pine-scented baths weekly can reduce toxin levels in your bloodstream by as much as 25 percent--enough to cut your risk of headache flares in half. Hot water opens pores, allowing toxins to escape, and pine oil helps draw out wastes through the epidermal layer of the skin, says Josh Axe, DNM, co-author of Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine. To do: Mix 10 drops of pine essential oil into a dollop of shampoo, then disperse into the tub before climbing in.

End pain with time in the sun. Toxin buildup over the winter triggers chronic, low-grade inflammation--and stiff, sore muscles and joints--for two in three of us. But now that the nicer weather is here, you can rev your detox--and reduce your body aches in as little as one week--by spending at least 20 minutes outdoors daily without sunscreen. According to Cornell University researchers, UV light exposure increases your production of serotonin and melatonin?hormones that don?t just improve moods and help you sleep, they also increase your liver?s breakdown and release of trapped cellular inflammation.

Banish bloat with massage. One of the secrets to a rapid, effective detox is to target the fluids (and dissolved toxins) that have leaked into your extremities, encouraging them to move back into your bloodstream so they can be shuttled to your kidneys for disposal. And according to University of Miami researchers, daily at-home massages do this so effectively, they can smooth out puffy, bloated skin--plus increase your energy, brain power and moods--in as little as 48 hours. Spend 10 minutes daily relaxing in a comfortable chair or bed while you firmly massage your scalp, hands and feet using slow, circular motions (those circular motions are key, since they maximize the movement of underlying tissues--and trapped fluids--during the massage).

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