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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 October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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