By Nick Cannon

The latest episode gets to the heart of my recovery. I'm so grateful to have people like Teddy, my boxing trainer, in my life to help keep me as balanced and as healthy as possible. Watch Episode 4 now and tell me what you think of the NCredible Health Hustle.

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It seems that there are more and more people getting into the organic food trend. So many magazines and websites are constantly telling you to choose fresh, organic foods for the greatest amount of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joes are known for their fresh, organic produce.

The term "organic" sometimes carries the meaning of "pricey" and this is why many people tend to skimp out on the organic food stores. So what's the deal? Do you need to buy only organic foods?

What Is Organic?
The term organic, by definition, is pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals. Take away the scientific talk and it basically means the food is grown and raised naturally.

A lot of the times people only associate fruits and vegetables as organic but animal products can also be organic. When it comes to crops, such as fruits and vegetables, they get the organic label if no chemicals such as pesticides, sewage, radiation or genetic engineering are used in the process of growth. For products such as eggs, meat and milk, they are termed organic if the animals are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones.

What Is Inorganic?
If you are someone who buys inorganic foods, you may be wondering that means. Well, inorganic means, by definition, not having the structure or organization characteristic of living bodies. Basically it means that the foods do not come from natural growth. These foods are produced using artificial or synthetic substances. Crops that are classified as inorganic are grown using synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or other chemicals. When it comes to animal products that are inorganic, the animals are injected with all kinds of growth hormones and antibiotics. These growth hormones are given so that the animals grow way beyond their normal size to get more meat. The pesticides on your produce and the antibiotics in your meat all get ingested by you.

Why Is Organic More Expensive?
This seems to be the deal breaker when it comes to buying organic versus inorganic. Many people shy away from organic because of the higher price tag. So why is it more expensive? Organic foods have to be grown in a special setting. Their farm must be free of all chemicals and pesticides. To become certified organic, they must remain this way for at least three years. This requires organic farms to sacrifice a lot before they can actually grow their crops. Organic products also cost more because of the work that goes into producing them. The labor is much more intense than for inorganic products. Rather than throwing a bunch of chemicals on fruits and vegetables, organic farms must actually crop their vegetables.

Why You Should Buy Organic
There are numerous reasons as to why you should buy organic. From your health, to supporting your local farms, to saving the planet, here are the top reasons why you should begin buying organic:

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Cancer Prevention. Buying organic foods can be a preventative measure in getting this awful disease. Way back when people harvested their own crops and killed their own free range animals, the risk of cancer was much lower than it is today. Back then, there weren't any chemicals or growth hormones and antibiotics infecting our foods, and they are causing many types of cancers. Choose organic foods to make sure you are not contaminating your body with these cancer-causing chemicals.

Protect Water. Believe it or not, the harvesting of contaminated inorganic crops leads to pollution of water. The chemicals seep into the ground and over time reach the water supply.

Support Local Farms. Many of the local farmers markets consist only of fresh, organic foods. If you have ever been to a local farmers market, you may notice a big difference between the produce there and the produce in your local supermarket. These farmers markets also make sure that their produce is constantly being refreshed. They are always bringing in new, fresh foods to give you the best quality. Some of these markets end up going out of business because people do not support them.

Manage Your Weight By Eating Less. Buy an inorganic bell pepper from your local supermarket and then buy an organic bell pepper from an organic grocery store and compare the size. It is likely that the inorganic pepper is two times larger. This is a direct example of the use of growth hormones. Although fruits and vegetables are not high in calories, you will still be eating way more than you should. Inorganic meat is also a very dangerous pick for your waistline. Try the same experiment as the bell pepper but this time with a chicken. People nowadays tend to overeat and it isn't completely their fault. With the all of the meat and dairy products and fruits and vegetables larger, many people are obviously going to eat more.

Protect The Animals. Although organic products still require killing of the animals, it is not anywhere near as harsh as the inorganic process. Inorganic animals are treated horribly. They are crammed in small cages with other animals for their entire lives. Some of the animals don't ever see sunlight. Organic animals are free range meaning that they live a normal life. They are not caged and live on a farm like they normally would. Though becoming vegetarian or vegan is best to fight against animal cruelty, choosing organic animal products will definitely make a difference.

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For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force -- and darling -- in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. And yet, perhaps even more impressive than his extensive list of race victories and course records is the fact that he achieves these astonishing accomplishments of endurance on an entirely plant-based diet.

In his memoir Eat And Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, which goes on sale June 5, Jurek opens up about his life and career -- as an elite ultrarunner and a vegan -- and inspires athletes at every level.

By Scott Jurek

One of the biggest questions I get as a runner is "what can I do to be a more efficient runner?" Whether you are getting ready for your annual Memorial Day Fun Run or make a living running Ultramarathons, what you put in your body is the most important aspect to your training regimen.

Here are 5 Diet Tips To Optimize Your Running.

1. Lentils and beans. Packed with protein and carbs, they
are a staple in almost every culture around the globe. Try making a Lentil-Mushroom Burger. An alternative is a dense Pea Protein Powder.

2. Grains. While some give grains a bad rap, whole grains have been consumed for thousands of years and were used as a calorie source that traveled well for nomadic tribes and warriors going into battle. Quinoa was a staple of the Incas and is technically a seed, not a grain, and has all essential amino acids. Brown rice is another option.

3. Tempeh. This super dense veggie protein has one gram of fat to three grams of protein. It's my go-to when I feel I need a protein punch.

4. Kale/Lacinato. Kale is touted as one of the best vegetables, and we all have been told to get more greens in our diet. Steam, sauté or chop it raw into salads. You can even throw it into your smoothie.

5. Flax oil blend/Udo's Oil. Essential fatty acids are critical for all functions in the body and most of us don't get enough nor know how to get them in our diet. I used to grind flax seeds and hemp seeds and always guessed if I was getting enough. Now using an Omega 3-6-9 oil blend like Udo's Oil 3-6-9 has taken the guesswork out of my diet. I add it to my smoothies, cereal and salads.

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Eating all of the right foods is all well and good for your start on weight loss, but what you put on top could make or break that scale. You can count calories until the day you die and while you may be successful for a short while, if you are sprinkling that salt shaker or pouring on the salad dressing, you could be doing a great deal of damage.

It's understandable that some people use these condiments and spices to make their food much more flavorful, but there's a fine line between what you should and shouldn't be using. What you garnish your food with is almost just as important as the food itself.

Condiments/Spices To Avoid

Spices can be seriously damage not only your waistline but also your general health. What people put on their food tends to take the back seat when it comes to dieting but it really should be right up front. If you are looking to get the absolute best results from your diet, avoid these common condiments and spices.

Salt. This is almost a no-brainer. Everybody knows that salt is bad for us yet the salt shaker is still on their kitchen table every single day. So what's the deal? Before we get to why it's not so good for the body, let's talk about why it is good. The human body needs sodium, or salt, to live. It's a very important mineral but it is only needed in small amounts. Most human beings get a substantial amount of sodium in their diet.

Consuming too much of that salty goodness can take a toll on your weight as well as your health. Salt doesn't actually make you fat. What it does is it makes you retain water, which makes you heavier. It will also make you appear to be heavier by making you bloated. If you have ever eaten a really salty meal and then tried a bathing suit on a couple hours later, you may have noticed your face looks puffy and so does your stomach. You can thank the high sodium content of your food for this.

The best way to avoid an over intake of salt is to throw out that salt shaker. Aside from cutting back on fast foods, chips and canned soups ... putting down the salt shaker is the first step.

Barbeque Sauce and Ketchup. The biggest misconception people have about these two condiments is that they are healthy. This is such a false statement. While they are not the worst foods for you to eat, they provide almost no nutritional value. Both ketchup and barbeque sauce are used on many healthy foods to give them flavor. Little did you know that these two sauces are full of sodium and sugar. Sodium and sugar are two things that can take a toll on your weight loss. They can also be detrimental to your health. If you are going to use these condiments, it is best to use the sugar free organic kind.

Syrup. Like salt, this may seem like a no-brainer but many people use syrup way more than they should. Pancakes are not the healthiest thing you should be eating but there are a ton of recipes for diet or health pancakes: Berry pancakes, protein pancakes, fiber pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, nut pancakes, whole wheat pancakes and the list goes on. If you are someone who loves pancakes, I'm sure you have given at least one of the healthy recipes a try.

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But before your reach for that Aunt Jemima bottle, think again. While the pancake may be loaded with whole grains, fiber, and protein ... you are topping it with pure, sticky, artificial sugar. Top your healthy pancakes with fresh fruit or even drizzling a little bit of honey on top to make for a healthier choice.

Condiments/Spices To Use

Not all condiments or spices are bad to use. There are actually some that you should be incorporating in to your diet to get even better results. To find out what spices and condiments you should be using, read along.

Cinnamon. Looking to give your metabolism a boost? Begin by eating cinnamon. This spice is known for its comforting properties. Many people associate cinnamon with apple pie and lattes but this spice can be used in many different dishes to really jump start your weight loss. Aside from its metabolism boosting properties, it’s also been shown to reduce inflammation such as arthritis. Other benefits of cinnamon include reducing blood sugar and your LDL cholesterol levels (your bad cholesterol.) Instead of putting a spoonful of sugar in your coffee, sprinkle some cinnamon instead.

Black Pepper. Unlike its partner, salt, black pepper has been shown to provide many benefits. It will boost your metabolism, help burn fat and aids in digestion.

Ginger. This spice provides its best benefits when used fresh. You can buy ginger in the produce section of your grocery store. The greatest benefit for weight loss that ginger can have is that it helps to suppress appetite. Unlike some of the diet pills out there, ginger is a natural appetite suppressant and only does so at a mild rate. Other benefits of ginger include aiding in digestion, removing toxins, and raising the temperature of the body which will help boost your metabolism. Ginger is great in many Asian dishes as well as in tea.

Cayenne Pepper. This mouth-burning spice has been shown to produce incredible results when it comes to weight loss and fat burning. Spicy foods have always gotten a good rep when it comes to aiding in weight loss. Cayenne also has a thermogenic property which increases the body temperature and leads to an increase in daily calorie burn. If you aren't in to this spicy spice, the benefits can be seen by also taking the capsule form.

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Dual Fit

By Nick Cannon

Thanks again to everyone who has continued to support and encourage me as I push forward with my NCredible Health Hustle. This episode is particularly special because it features the people that matter the most to me: My family in North Carolina, my beautiful wife Mariah and Dem Babies Roc and Roe. Check out the video, and let me know what you think!

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With summer practically here, many people are going to get the Vitamin D that they have been lacking in for the past couple months with the cooler seasons. Vitamin D is such an important vitamin and it plays many roles in the human body. Did you ever notice that you have much more energy and feel much livelier in the summer months and a little bit more tired and down in the winter months? Well, this has a lot to do with your intake of Vitamin D, which, among other sources, comes from sunlight.

What Is Vitamin D And Why Do I Need It?

This vitamin is a fat soluble vitamin along with Vitamins A, E and K. These fat soluble vitamins are the vitamins that are stored in the body. As the name implies, these four vitamins are soluble in fats. Fat soluble vitamins don't really leave the body, instead they are stored. Although vitamins are good for you and are necessary for life, too many is a bad thing, especially of the fat soluble vitamins. Ingesting too many can cause hypervitaminosis (too much of a vitamin), which can lead to toxicity.

Vitamin D is needed for many basic life functions such as bone growth, bone remodeling, cell growth, and reducing inflammation. Here are some of the most important things that Vitamin D does for us:

Helps our bodies absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are very important for the bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a very big role in muscle contraction, especially of the heart. Other functions of calcium include: transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, milk production in mothers, contractions of the uterus for childbirth, and regulates many hormones. Phosphorus works along with calcium to help maintain bone and teeth formation. Some functions of phosphorus include: proper digestion, transmission of nerve impulses, aids in kidney excretion, increases energy levels, and forms some proteins. So you see that without calcium and phosphorus, your body would be missing out on many important functions. And without Vitamin D, your body wouldn't be able to absorb calcium and phosphorus.

Plays an important role in immune system function. Vitamin D interacts with many parts of your immune system. It has been shown to provide sort of like a shield to protect against bacteria and other foreign substances. T cells are the cells in the immune system that destroy any bad cells that your body may have and Vitamin D plays a big part in activating these T cells.

May help maintain your weight. There have been numerous studies linked to Vitamin D and maintaining a healthy weight. People who don't consume an adequate amount of Vitamin D tend to have higher blood pressure, higher body fat percentage, and a higher amount of belly fat.

Supports brain function. This is especially important for the older adults. It can help prevent or delay any signs or symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Can help prevent certain cancers. There is always a debate over the things you can do to prevent cancer but consuming an adequate amount of vitamin D has been known to work. Vitamin D regulates the abnormal cells that begin to multiply in the beginning stages of cancer which can slow down or eliminate the entire process. The most common types of cancers prevented by Vitamin D are colon and rectal cancers.

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These are just some of the biggest roles that Vitamin D plays in the human body. Some other important things Vitamin D does is regulates blood pressure, improves skin by reducing wrinkles, improves cardiovascular function, reduces respiratory infections, relieves body aches and reduces stress.

The Best Sources Of Vitamin D

Now that you know all of the great things about this vitamin, it's time to get some in to your body. Here's how:

Sunlight. Vitamin D has a nickname, "the sunshine vitamin." The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D. This is the reason why you are happier and more energetic in the summer months than you are in the winter months. In the summer, there aren't as many Vitamin D deficiency cases and for good reason. People are always out in the sun during the summer months. During the winter months, people don't get out in the sun as much. Take advantage of the nice, sunny weather this summer.

Cod liver oil. This is thebest animal source of Vitamin D. Only one teaspoon of the stuff can give you enough Vitamin D for the day.

Other fatty fish. Aside from cod, many other fatty fish are good sources of Vitamin D. This include salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel.

Eggs. Eggs are great for a lot of reasons and their Vitamin D property is one of them. If you are someone who just eats the whites, you may want to add in those yolks. The egg whites are great for a low-cal, high-protein choice but the egg yolk is where the majority of the nutrients are, especially Vitamin D.

Milk. Milk is an excellent choice for consuming an adequate amount of Vitamin D. Be sure to choose the low-fat kind.

There are many sources of this vitamin. These are just a few that most popular because of the amount they provide.

It's really important that you are getting the right amount of Vitamin D in your body. If you are unsure about whether you're on track, ask your doctor to mail you your test results the next time you get blood work. Your Vitamin D intake will be on that list and will give you a good idea of where you're at.

If you aren't at an optimal level, don't panic. Just begin to consume more of the foods listed above -- and maybe take a vacation to the Caribbean. If your Vitamin D levels are very low or if you don't get enough sun or eat the right foods, try a Vitamin D supplement. Of course it's always better to get your vitamins from fresh, whole foods but if a supplement is what is going to get you that Vitamin D, by all means, take it.

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Dual Fit