Eat your way to living beauty with these six sensational superfoods. Many of the veggies and fruits you already have in your fridge provide a whole foods pharmacy of phytochemicals, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. They also help prepare your body for daily cleansing and help flush out of toxins by supporting your liver — the grand central station which controls hormonal balance.
Here are some of our favorites when it comes to eating your way to natural beauty.
Superfoods #1. The Crucifers
The crucifers mostly include green leaf vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and broccoli sprouts.
Crucifers of all types contain vital phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which aid the liver in neutralizing chemicals and drugs. For extra sulforaphane, try a few servings of broccoli sprouts on your salads. They are available in most supermarkets and add a zesty, peppery kick to those fresh green leaves.
Consuming at least two daily crucifers also helps prevent those telltale under-eye circles and vertical lines between your brows — all red flags of a tired and toxic liver.
Superfoods #2. Green Leafy Vegetables And Herbs
These superfoods include parsley, arugula, kale, watercress, chard, cilantro, beet greens, collards, escarole, dandelion greens, and mustard greens.
The bitter taste of greens like arugula, chard, kale, and escarole stimulate digestive secretions, promoting advanced breakdown of foods and better digestion. In Asian medicine, bitter-tasting foods are considered to be especially healthy for the liver due to their rich sulfur and fat soluble vitamin content.
Chlorophyll-rich greens like kale and parsley are rich in magnesium, which bears the same relationship to the chlorophyll molecule as iron does to to hemoglobin. As a powerful alkalizer and blood purifier, chlorophyll helps add a natural rosy glow to your complexion, without the need of harmful cosmetics.
Cilantro is a savory herb known in alternative medicine circles for its heavy-metal chelating properties. Use cilantro instead of basil for homemade pesto. Blend about two cups of cilantro, two cloves of garlic, half teaspoon of seaweed gomasio, quarter cup of toasted walnuts, and quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse the cilantro in a food processor until well chopped, then add the garlic, seaweed gomasio, and walnuts. Mix in the olive oil last to make a thick and yummy paste. A couple of teaspoons per day are great on crucifers and leafy greens.
Superfoods #3. Citrus
Oranges, lemons, and limes are full of vitamin C, perhaps the most liver-loving vitamin of them all. Vitamin C stimulates the production of glutathione — the liver’s premier antioxidant — which is crucial for a successful progression through the two-phase detox process. It also stimulates fresh collagen production for tight and youthful skin.
One orange or the juice of half a lemon or lime a day can meet your daily citrus needs.
Superfoods #4. Sulfur-Rich Foods
Sulfur naturally exists in all body tissue and is necessary for proper connective tissue function. Additionally, it helps skin remain tight and appear more youthful even as you age. Garlic (at least one clove, minced), onions (half cup cooked), two eggs, and daikon radish (quarter cup sliced, raw or cooked are excellent ways of getting your daily fix of sulfur.
The daikon radish is really special. It aids in the digestion and metabolism of fats. That’s why in Asian cuisine, you’re always served a bit of daikon radish. With its crisp texture and somewhat pungent taste, it acts as a diuretic and decongestant.
Eggs are rich in the beautifying sulfur-bearing amino acids. Your liver needs these aminos (also found in whey) to successfully complete phase two of its detox process. And eggs offer the lecithin your liver needs to thin out bile and keep cholesterol in balance. Eat about two egg yolks a day (no jokes, just the yolks) because the yolks are so high in lutein and zeaxanthin — two key carotenoids found in the eye to keep them clear and bright. They’re terrific for preventing cataracts and Alzheimer’s.
Superfoods #5. Liver Healers
The liver is a multi-purpose regulator. It stores vitamins for later use, manufactures cholesterol, produces bile to break food down, and helps remove toxins. Daily serving of the following help promote healthy liver function: artichoke (one small artichoke or four cooked artichoke hearts), asparagus (half cup cooked), beets (half cup cooked or one cup raw), celery (two medium stalks), and dandelion root tea (one to two cups).
Artichokes, especially the hearts, contain powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids that protect the liver’s cells and tissues. They’re essential in fortifying cell membranes to renew and regenerate the integrity of your skin. Artichokes are also good for the secretion of bile, which helps the body better digest and assimilate fats. The artichoke is a close relative of milk thistle — queen of the liver protectors — which offers major defense against free radicals and is especially good for people with compromised immunity or alcohol-related liver problems.
Superfoods #6. GI Movers
Buildup in your intestines can wreak havoc on your entire body as toxins slowly begin to be absorbed. Daily servings of the following can inhibit this: chia seeds (one to two tablespoons), milled or ground flaxseeds (two to three tablespoons), carrot (one small raw), apple (one small raw with skin), pear (one small raw with skin), and berries (one cup).
Flaxseeds are a two-for-one fiber source because they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as lignans, estrogen-modulating substances that have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Because of their effect on estrogen, flaxseeds are especially helpful for women suffering from PMS, perimenopause, and menopausal challenges.s This help fortify the skin’s integrity and strengthen bones.
Fiber-high berries (especially blueberries) have another perk: They’re the premier memory food because they help the neurons in your brain communicate with each other more effectively. So, bring on the blues for a beautiful memory.
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Buy Organic When You Can
Many crops are sprayed with harmful pesticides. The Clean 15 offers a guide to produce that have low pesticide residue; for all others, try to buy organic as often as you can. Eating these superfoods on a daily basis will help bring out a natural glow, richer hair, and healthier nails. Plus, you’ll look as good on the outside as you feel on the inside!