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7 Superfoods That Can Detoxify Your Body

7 Superfoods That Can Detoxify Your Body

January has long gone and let’s be honest–odds are, so has your New Year’s extreme detox diet plan. That’s the problem with the word ‘diet’, it has connotations of the temporary and the extreme. It’s a quick fix that really isn’t that useful.

The solution is a lifestyle adaption and the secret to success here is the simple addition of tasty superfoods to include in your regular recipes. These will give you an immediate boost, but you’ll also want to keep this healthy detox permanently.

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Try these 7 tasty superfoods and treat your body to some real, long-term health improvements that are backed up by solid science. (I’ve included links to the original scientific studies.)

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are known to be a good source of natural anti-oxidants to help your mop up the harmful free radicals associated with cancer. Also, consumption of this superfood is thought to be helpful in combating diabetes and general cardiovascular health by stabilizing blood sugars and providing valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

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Sunchokes

Also known as Jerusalum Artichokes, this root vegetable superfood is actually very unlike artichokes and actually much more similar to potato. It is an excellent source of fiber, because it contains high levels of the carbohydrate, Inulin, which aids the elimination of dangerous toxins. Importantly, high fiber diets are known to be protective of colon cancer which is one of the biggest killers in men in the developed world. Sunchokes naturally contain substances that have also been proven to promote growth of resident gut flora (a.k.a ‘friendly bacteria’).  The benefits of these flora is well documented, as this review in the prestigious Lancet Journal describes. Gut flora is important for the immune system, because it aids in the prevention of certain cancers and the build up of other malicious bacteria.

Broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are one of the ultimate detox and anti-cancer foods. They’re known to offer protection against more toxins and diseases than you could probably even name! Described as an ‘exceptionally rich source‘ of toxin-clearing and anti-cancer substances, this superfood really does need adding to your grocery list.

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Kale

This superfood has undergone a huge popularity surge recently, and for good reason. Not only a valuable source of vitamins and rich in calcium, kale also contains sulforaphane, which has repeatedly demonstrated potent anti-cancer properties. Kale also contains other substances, common in cruciferous vegetables, that have significant effects on DNA regulation mechanisms, helping maintain the body’s natural cancer-defense mechanisms. Also containing bile-acid sequestrants, Kale helps lower cholesterol and absorption of dietary fat–a mechanism that several medications take advantage of.

Sesame seeds

Eating this superfood (even just as part of sesame seed muffins!) significantly increases plasma levels of γ-tocopherol that are thought help prevent many diseases of aging, like cancer and heart disease. Sesame seeds are also contain high levels of anti-oxidants and omega 6, which is also great news for any health conscious individual.

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Blueberries

This is probably the most well-known superfood. For anti-oxidant and detoxifying properties, blueberries are one of the top ranked of all foods. As a high fiber snack packed with vitamins, it really can’t get much better–but it does, because these things taste so delicious that I’d actually eat them even if they were unhealthy. Whether you prefer them on their own, sprinkle them on your porridge, or make them into jam, just make sure you eat them!

Garlic

Garlic is another multipotent food that really does deserve the label of superfood. The medicinal properties of garlic are thought to have been known since 3000 B.C. It has potent anti-oxidant properties. In addition to promoting cardiovascular health, it has been shown to contain a great natural anti-microbial, known as allicin. It is one of the few substances known to be useful in getting rid of colds and flu. And great news for lazy cooks: it’s also available in capsule form–now you really have no excuse!

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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