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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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