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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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!