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Perhaps we have had a stressful period in our lives and we decided to take up smoking to tackle the anxiety. However, after just a few years, smokers realize the full scale of the detrimental effect cigarettes is leaving on their health. Shortness of breath, a foul smell coming from your mouth, and yellow teeth are just some of the downsides to smoking. Deciding to quit seems like a reasonable decision but this is easier said than done. You will need all the willpower and help you can muster in order to quit smoking for good. Like every other struggle in life, it is best if you did everything one step at a time.

Answering the “why”

In order to stop smoking, you need to be motivated and this is achieved solely through education. Learning and knowing what all the downsides to smoking are will help you stay on target. There isn’t an organ inside your body that is not affected by smoking, starting from the lungs. Furthermore, when you stop smoking, wondrous changes will start occurring. Within mere 12 hours, carbon monoxide will be out of your bloodstream and after a full week, your taste and smell buds will be back to normal. After one year elapses, your lungs will restore the full functionality again and you can even take up sports at a professional level (if you wish to, of course).

Coping with withdrawal symptoms

Once you have lit up that last cigarette, your body will crave for more. The ensuing battle of your mind versus your body can be described through withdrawal symptoms that you have to be ready for. Expect the worst of the symptoms to occur the very first week you quit. These include but are not limited to: getting easily irritated, bouts of depression, fluctuating appetite, constipation, insomnia, etc. For all of these symptoms, you have to discover countermeasures, like going for a long walk to combat depression. Also, try to stay away from alcoholic beverages and overeating, as combined, they pose the threat to break your willpower.

Finding a temporary sub

At first, the addiction to nicotine is purely mental but over time, things get physical. Even if you develop a strong determination to quit, your body might disagree and you can end up in pain. That is why you can fool your habit by vaping. Instead of nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances found in cigarettes, e-cigarettes involve only the use of vape. This is nothing more than aromatized steam that you blow off, pun definitely intended. You get to choose different e liquid and mods to pair up the starter kit that will help you ease the transition from cigar smoke to vapor.

Defusing the trigger

We are all triggered by different things and the same goes for relapsing. There are certain sights and activities that our brain associates with smokes and sends a strong signal to light up. You have to identify these triggers and try to avoid them at less during the first couple of weeks after you quit smoking. For most people, drinking a cup of coffee and lighting up a cigarette goes hand in hand. We are not suggesting you ditch coffee altogether but merely prepare yourself that the next cup will be odorless. Also, don’t be tempted to light up after a big meal, while on the phone or just because you are bored. Stress is a huge trigger for smoking so don’t calm your nerves down with a cigar but seek for an alternative.

You’re not alone

We wanted to list “friends who smoke” as yet another trigger but your clique can actually be a great source of support. People closest to you will understand your struggle and help you get through the rough patch. Your friends and fault who do not smoke have probably long been waiting for you to quit. The same goes for your smoker friends as trust as when we say that most of them are planning on quitting themselves in the near future. If you are finding it super hard not to reach for a pack of cigarettes, ask your friends to hide them from you and not let you smoke under any circumstances.

Quitting for good

Statistics show that at least 2 out of 5 smokers who quit relapse at some point in time. In order not to become part of these figures, your plans to give up smoking need to be long-term ones. It is perfectly OK to relapse a few times after you have tried to quit for the very first time but once a certain period passes, actively resist the craving. Constantly remind yourself of the benefits of leading a smoke-free life.

If you adhere to the 6 steps listed here, you are bound to quit smoking and quirt it for good! Just bear in mind that the smoke-fiend will always be lurking so be prepared to resist the temptation to light up “just one more” cigarette.

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It’s not often that I come across vegan recipes that can double as detox recipes but I was in luck last weekend. In the Saturday magazine that comes with a British newspaper the food section carried some recipes from a new cookbook called Green: Veggie & Vegan Meals

All the recipes are meat free and many are dairy-free but Elly Pear, the creator of the recipes and author of the book, says she has created them with the whole spectrum of diets in mind.  Plant based diets are in the news these days more and more because of the enormous health benefits they bring.

I was disappointed to see that the dessert they included contained “golden” sugar which, although is not refined, is no better really than white sugar. I don’t suppose she had a detox diet in mind!

Egg-free Frittata

A couple of the recipes did catch my eye though and one is quite unusual because she calls it a frittata but it does not contain eggs. It’s made with gram flour (garbanzo/besan/chickpea flour) which makes it protein rich for vegans and makes an ideal detox recipe.

The liver uses some amino acids for detox and garbanzo beans contain almost all the essential amino acids, except for methionine. Vegans can be low in this amino acid which is needed for liver function and liver detox but eating some spinach with the dish would help to supply it. Other vegan foods rich in methionine are brazil nuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and oats.

I have made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it even healthier as I have a habit of doing. I have suggested Himalayan salt instead of flaked sea salt in the original recipe because regular sea salt unfortunately contains plastic fibers these days.

No one knows what these fibers will do to you yet but researchers have discovered that they can pass from the gut into the bloodstream and potentially into your organs.

In a rat study microplastics were shown to accumulate in the liver, kidneys and intestines, and increased the level of a molecule that may be toxic to the brain.

Although we still get plastic fibers in other foods and even breath them in I think it’s better to avoid regular sea salt. The alternative is to use salt from ancient sea beds such as Himalayan salt (pink salt) or Real Salt.

Organic vegetables are better for detoxing if you can get them. And make sure that the turmeric you buy has been tested for lead and other heavy metals. Some brands were found to contain lead a few years ago.

Detox Recipes

Here’s the first detox recipe which makes about 8 slices.

Vegan Frittata

Ingredients

For the batter

  • 250g gram (chickpea, garbanzo, besan) flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp gluten free, aluminium free baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (lead free)
  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the filling

  • 275g organic carrots, grated
  • 4 spring onions, 
thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp nigella seeds
  • Coconut or avocado oil, for frying

To serve

  • Good quality hummus, salsa, vegan pesto, or kimchi
  • Nigella seeds, toasted pine nuts
  • Sliced avocado, organic cherry tomato halves
  • Fresh dill, coriander, or basil leaves
  • Sweet paprika or pul biber (mild Turkish chilli flakes)

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas mark 6
  2. Add all the batter ingredients to a food processor or blender with 500 ml filtered water and process until nice and smooth.
  3. Add the carrot, spring onions and nigella seeds to the batter and stir to mix well.
  4. Add a generous amount of avocado or coconut oil to a non-toxic non-stick, ovenproof 25 cm frying pan and heat over a medium-high heat and pour in the batter.
  5. Quickly spread it evenly over the base of the pan. As soon as the mixture starts to set around the outside edge drag the set mixture into the middle using a rubber spatula and allow the unset batter to flood into the gap. Continue working around the frittata in this way, letting the loose batter flow to the outer edge; tipping the pan will help with this.
  6. When the frittata becomes set at the outer edge and mixture stops moving freely put the pan into the hot oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the frittata feels firm to the touch and is set.
  7. Leave to cool in the pan before sliding out on to a board. Serve either at room temperature or cold. Top with good quality hummus, salsa, dairy free pesto or kimchi, some seeds or pine nuts, sliced avocado or organic cherry tomatoes, a good handful of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of either paprika or pul biber.
Eggplant, Tomato & Garbanzo Traybake   (Aubergine, Tomato & Chickpea) 

This is a spicy dish which can be made in advance and frozen. It’s quick and easy to make too.

Harissa is a fiery and garlicky North African spice. Rose Harissa is made from chilli peppers and a mix of over 40 herbs and spices with the  addition of rose petals which give it a sweetness and softens the chilli kick. You can of course leave it out  if you don’t like or don’t tolerate spicy food or use a less hot sauce.  If you can’t find rose harissa then ordinary harissa is fine.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 2cm cubes
  • Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp rose harissa (look for the Belazu brand), diluted with 1 tbsp water
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can (BPA free) garbanzos (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon, 
finely grated
  • 3 tbsp tahini, thinned with warm filtered water to make a dressing the consistency of single cream
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • Gluten free flatbreads  to serve

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/400F/gas mark 7.
  2. Heat the chosen oil in a large roasting tray or ovenproof dish for 5-10 minutes. Carefully add the eggplant cubes to the hot oil and season well with salt and pepper. Add the diluted rose harissa and mix everything together well.Put the dish or tray back into the hot oven and cook for 15 minutes then stir to make sure all sides of the aubergine cubes are roasting..
  3. After cooking for another 15 minutes  add the cherry tomatoes. Return the tray to the hot oven for 20 minutes, then add the drained garbanzos and stir well. Return the tray to the oven and roast for a final 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven, stir in the grated lemon zest and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  5. Drizzle with a generous amount of the tahini dressing and scatter over the mint leaves. Serve immediately or leave to cool before freezing.

You can keep any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a covered dish at 200C/180fan/400F/Gas mark 6 until heated through.

Vegan recipes can be just as tasty as those that include meat and dairy! Try them and let me know how you like them.

Eggplant, tomato & garbanzo image by Seelensturm

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If you aren’t into coffee, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the taste, the number the acid does on your stomach, or a strong case of the jitters, plenty of people are looking for a way to kick-start their get-up-and-go without turning to a cup of joe.

Luckily, you have more options than just schlepping through the day, eyes half shut. There are some great natural ways to boost your energy that don’t rely on coffee to get the job done.

Natural Energy Boosters Ashwagandha

One of the most popular herbs in Ayurvedic healing, Ashwagandha brings a slew of benefits to the table. Both traditional use and modern anecdotal stories cite its ability to improve concentration and brain function while helping you keep de-stressed. For men, it’s touted as a testosterone booster that can help you get stronger and more virile.

It can also have a moderating effect on blood sugar to keep you from getting on that up and down roller coaster of highs and lows after meals and snacks. Widely available in both raw forms and in drink powders and capsules, it is a fast, easy way to get your energy levels up and keep them there.

Vitamin B12

B12 is so effective at reducing fatigue that prescription amounts are available from doctors for some conditions as a quick pick-me-up injection. If needles aren’t your thing, that’s fine. Over-the-counter supplements are available at health stores and in the vitamin section of most grocery stores.

Often available as part of a broader B-supplement or separately in a variety of forms including sublingual tablets, these oral supplements are powerful, easy to use, and can help your body feel ready to seize the day.

Green Tea

Tea enjoys a much higher respect level as a morning beverage outside the U.S. It has many benefits for detoxing, features less caffeine than an equivalent sized cup of coffee, is packed with healthy antioxidants to help detox your body, and contains theanine, which helps keep those caffeine jitters at ba

If you aren’t into hot beverages, pour it over ice, mix it with some favorite fruits, or add cucumbers to help your body hydrate. If all else fails, your local health food store should have supplements containing green tea, often with other peppy ingredients, such as the Ashwagandha mentioned above.

Kratom

Kratom is made from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, a relative of the coffee plant that grows throughout Southeast Asia. Traditionally used by indigenous peoples for pain relief, the lowering of stress, and increased awareness and focus, it’s been in the news lately as a potential aid to those trying to kick an opioid addiction.

Available in powdered and capsule form, a morning cup of Kratom tea may be just the thing to get your gears turning.

CBD

Cannabidiol is one of over 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant, but not one of the ones that will get you high. Long-tainted by its close relation to its more psychoactive sister THC, it has only in recent years been recognized at the federal level as a separate and legal derivative of the industrial hemp plant.

You’ve seen CBD everywhere, from specialty shops to corner stores, and probably heard miraculous tales of its many uses. For many people, they turn out to be not that far-fetched. CBD makes a great addition to your detox. It can help improve focus, relieve stress, and is already a popular additive in trendy coffee houses across the country.

Eat A Healthy Snack or Meal

Did you think all the tips for natural energy boosters would be about magic potions and miracle pills? If your batteries are fading, recharge them with a quick protein snack. Nuts, a boiled egg, or some quinoa can give you the protein your body is looking for.

Meanwhile, some healthy carbs like a small number of oats, bananas, apples, or citrus fruits can give your muscles the sugar they need to function without the over-processed junk that tends to stick around on hips and thighs.

Exercise

No groaning! Get up and move your body. As we sit at our desks, pounding a keyboard for eight hours, our alertness takes a hit. Instead of coffee, take a movement break every hour. Depending on your mobility and threshold for stares from your coworkers, a couple of squats, a plank, or a little jogging in place can do wonders. Failing that, walking in pace and stretching your major muscle groups can get the job done.

There are plenty of ways to find the pep in your step without turning to the office rotgut. Use these natural energy boosters to get you back in the game!

About the Author:

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry, collaborating with industry insiders and designers, getting insight on the latest trends.

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As the number of Americans aged over 65 is expected to reach 83.7 million by 2050, seniors are redefining what it means to be an
older person today. More seniors than ever before are looking forward to making the most of their older years and enjoy a happy and healthy retirement.

Today’s seniors are healthier and living longer, with many focused on healthy eating and detoxing to help reset the body to ensure it remains healthy and strong. Assisted living facilities have recognized that a healthy lifestyle has become a priority for modern seniors and have become key to enabling seniors to achieve their goals.

WHAT IS DETOXING?

Detoxing helps your body reset itself so it can remain healthy and strong. When you consume a lot of potentially toxic food and drink, this
can weaken your immune system making it particularly beneficial for seniors.

Detoxing helps reduce excess weight, boosts energy, enhances the elasticity of your skin, builds a strong immune system while getting rid of excess waste from your body. One of the simplest ways to detox your body is with a juice cleanse.

BENEFITS OF A JUICING FOR SENIORS

Juice cleansing or juicing is a form of detoxing which clears out any harmful toxins from your body. It involves only consuming fruit and
vegetable juices for around 3 to 10 days.

All you have to do is squeeze the juices from the fruits and vegetables and separate them from the pulp. You then have a delicious drink packed with vitamins and minerals. These immune-boosting nutrients will help you to feel more energetic, while the healthy enzymes will help improve your gut health.

HEALTHY EATING HABITS

If you are eligible to move to residential care, then you can use the detox as a way to kick-start your commitment to a healthier lifestyle where you can enjoy healthy and varied meal choices. But while an assisted living facility will encourage and support you to have a
healthier diet, the actual experience of dining with other people will be a significant boost to your wellbeing.

Eating alone can feel lonely and isolating, especially for older people. Meanwhile, when seniors eat with other people, they tend to enjoy the experience of eating far more and make better food choices, including the amount they eat.

IMPORTANCE OF A WELL-BALANCED DIET

To complement a juicing detox, it’s important that you ensure that your general diet is healthy and balanced. A priority of most assisted
living facilities is to ensure their residents enjoy a diet full of nutrients that helps seniors maintain a healthy weight and stay energized.

Your assisted living facility can help ensure your diet contains plenty of clean foods such as plenty of water, to flush out toxins, organic foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Avoiding toxic foods in your diet such as sugary foods and drinks, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods will help to give you more energy and avoid a negative impact on your health.

When you focus on eliminating toxins from your body and your diet and replace them with healthier, clean options instead, seniors will soon
see a significant improvement to their overall health and happiness.

Image by RawPixel.com

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When you have a clear goal of refurbishing your body and detoxifying your organism by cutting off gluten, caffeine, carbs, sugar, and alcohol, the notion of exercising may bring even more productive results. Exercising actually acts as a natural detox process because it automatically flushes out the toxins out of your organism by sweating, therefore you will be able to shred more pounds and at the same time cleanse your entire organism. A combo of exercise and detoxification promotes better circulation and blood flow, improves digestive function, and makes you feel less sluggish and more energetic. Amongst numerous benefits of exercising during your detox, here are some pivotal ones.

1. Regulating digestion

As you have started your detox with the aim to promote your digestive system, not to feel blown and constipated all the time, doing some form of exercising will only help you achieve that even faster and more productively. The process is really simple, by moving more and by doing some form of effective workouts your body immediately regulates the digestion enabling food wastes to be washed away from the body. Running, jogging, aerobic exercises and other fast-moving activities will make regulate digestion track faster. And with a healthy digestion system, the body experiences less indigestion, constipation, and gas, resulting in better waste removal and positive detoxification.

2. Enhance flushing out toxins through strength training

If you are striving to detoxify your body by regulating your diet, eating quality foods and drinking plenty of water, then you are certainly on the right path. But, if you were to include more strenuous workouts during your detox process, you will get greater results. Strength training enhances sweating, and by sweating more you are increasing the body temperature, unclogging the pores and lightening the work of kidneys by letting extra acids and other toxins out through the skin. Any form of exercise with dumbbells is extremely useful for strength training and physical development. There are many only specialized fitness stores such as Cyberfit where you can find all the necessary equipment to make your strength training even more effective and fruitful.

3. Getting the heart pumping and speeding up the cleansing process

If you are on a detox process that requires you to completely kick out sugar and carbohydrates out off your diet, then you may want to delegate the exercising diligently. Even though you might feel dizzy and tired during the detox process, by exercising you will boost your heart’s job in a way that it will send oxygen and nutrition to all part of the body by pumping10 liters of blood every minute. As the cells are filled with this enriched blood our body will be able to eliminate toxins much more effectively. Almost any form of active workout is beneficial for detoxifying your organism, but the combination of conditional exercises will enhance quicker metabolism cleanse. Only make sure that you intake enough proteins, lean meats, and nutritious smoothies to recuperate your muscles.

4. Boosting motivation

The vigorous detox process may be hard to keep up, and very often people tend to give up due to lack of motivation. Exercising helps you stay on the right track, only because the results are ever so obvious. You will be able to maintain your clear detox plan when you notice how you have transformed your body by doing a lot of intense cardio workouts in combination with effective strength training. Not only will you shred pounds, tone up your muscles and reshape your core, but doing regular exercising will make you feel more inspired and make your detox regime run smoothly. Motivation makes you push even harder and provides you with a chance to get more success with the detoxification plan.

5. Improving the mood and raising self-esteem

While you are pushing yourself to complete your detoxification process, there will be a lot of emotions and feelings that will arise on the surface. A thorough organism detox is not something that can be taken for granted, it requires physical and mental strength as well. By accompanying exercising with detox, you will be able to repel the feeling of hunger, stress, and agitation. Exercising will uplift your spirit, help you decrease stress, depression, and improve mental clarity. What is more, doing regular exercise during your detox will help you go through mood swings, reduce cravings and make you feel more energetic and joyous.

Always work within your limits and listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body feels and in time will you have flabbergasting results with this magnificent blend.

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Mesonutrients and meso-dosing are the latest buzz words in nutritional circles and curious health enthusiasts are becoming more and more interested to learn about them. These terms are new to most people, and mesonutrients are touted as the latest health trend of 2019.

So what are mesonutrients and meso-dosing and how can you boost your health with them? How do you incorporate these nutrients into your diet? In this article, we’ll find out more about mesonutrients and hopefully address any questions you may have regarding this newest health trend.

What Are Mesonutrients?

You no doubt know that macronutrients refer to proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. They are responsible for fueling our body with energy. On the other hand, micronutrients refer to vitamins and minerals that help in the healthy development of our body. Both macronutrients and micronutrients are important in promoting overall health and wellness.

Aside from the macronutrients and micronutrients, there are other hidden nutrients from certain foods that can also provide nourishment for our body and these are the mesonutrients.

Derived from the term “meso”, which means middle, mesonutrients basically refer to those “in-between” nutrients that we tend to miss out on our everyday diet.  These active compounds are being hailed as the super powers hidden inside so called superfoods that help to provide our body with rich antioxidants leading to numerous health benefits.

Meso-dosing refers to the way of getting more of the active compounds in superfoods to maximise their health benefits. Health companies are now producing mesonutrients in powder and supplement form. For example, as well as drinking green tea for the antioxidant polyphenols in it, you could take a green tea extract.

Boosting Health With Mesonutrients

Mesonutrients are present in foods like blackberries, tomatoes, turmeric, green tea and other superfoods. According to research, mesonutrients may help to lower the risk of certain cancers, improve brain functioning, reduce inflammation, enhance energy, and could possibly help with weight loss.

Although mesonutrients are not entirely new, recent studies show that we may be able to reap more health boosting benefits from these superfoods if we include them in our diet and consume them in higher doses.

Antioxidants are important to have in our diets to quench free radicals. Our body is constantly creating these unstable molecules through breathing, digesting food, detoxification and exercising. Antioxidants produced in the body from vitamins and minerals we get from food can keep these under control.

External toxins like air pollutants, cigarette smoke, UV rays from the sun, toxins in food like pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins and contaminants create a massive amount of free radicals that can easily overwhelm our body’s capacity to deal with them.  Free radicals, if left unchecked, damage cells eventually leading to a range of diseases and aging. That’s where these other antioxidants like the mesonutrients come in.

Foods Rich in Mesonutrients

You can incorporate mesonutrients into your diet by simply eating certain superfoods. Below are some of the mesonutrients that are present in certain foods.

Anthocyanins 

Anthocyanins are mesonutrients that are naturally found in purple and red foods. These mesonutrients act as antioxidants that have powerful anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits. There is a lot of interest in them for their brain and heart protecting properties. There are also studies that show anthocyanins may promote weight loss and prevent the development of breast cancer cells.

So, if you want to benefit from these, simply make sure you include grapes, acai berries, kidney beans, pomegranates, cranberries, cherries and lesser known bilberries and chokeberries in your diet.

Meso-doses used in clinical trials ranged from 80 mg – 450 mg of anthocyanidins a day. 250g blueberries would give you about 250g so it’s not difficult to obtain from your diet.

Curcumin

Curcumin is the mesonutrient found in turmeric, which is one of the most popular superfoods in the world. Turmeric is used to improve  a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

But the health benefits of turmeric actually came from the active ingredient, curcumin, which is also known to be a prebiotic. However, the concentration of curcumin in raw turmeric is low and it’s difficult for our gastrointestinal tract to absorb curcumin on its own. The best way to incorporate curcumin into your diet is to consume it in the form of supplements.

Piperine, an active compound in black pepper, is known to improve the bioavailability of curcumin in the body and many supplement manufacturers are add piperine to curcumin supplements.

Another way to improve the absorption of curcumin is to use turmeric root (fresh or dried as a powder) because natural oils found in turmeric root and turmeric powder can enhance the bioavailability of curcumin seven to eight fold. According to Dr Greger  curcumin can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream when eaten with fat, through the lymphatic system.

Epigallocatechin Gallate 

Epigallocatechin Gallate, also known as EGCG, is found in green tea and also in white tea in lesser amounts. This antioxidant mesonutrient has been found to prevent cell damage so has cancer-fighting benefits. It could potentially prevent cancer cells from further developing and impede the formation of blood vessels in tumors.

It has also been touted as an anti-aging ingredient and has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity which may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.  Some studies have shown that EGCG has anti-infective properties as well as antiviral activities.

One of the best ways to include EGCG in your diet is through matcha tea which is particularly high in catechins, the antioxidant found in green tea. You can make it into a latte or drink it as a smoothie.

For meso-dosing, intakes of 270 mg – 600 mg a day have been shown to have health boosting benefits. Much higher higher amounts have been associated with reversible liver damage in rare cases. Joshua Lambert, an assistant research professor in the Department of Chemical Biology at Rutgers University states:

To date, there have been nine anecdotal case reports of liver toxicity in humans associated with consumption of high doses [700–2,000 mg/day] of green tea from dietary supplements.

It’s hard to say how much ECGC is in tea because the chemical composition of green tea varies widely due to plant variety, growing environment, season, age of leaves and manufacturing conditions. There is concern over taking high doses of green tea extract supplements for weight loss.

Researchers say the liver toxicity could be due to contaminants in the tea. A few years ago Consumer Labs found that a number of popular brands of green tea contained lead but they said that the lead stayed in the leaves and did not get into brewed tea.

Having said that most studies have found  that green tea drinkers are in better health than those who do not drink tea at all. They drink a lot of the stuff in China and Japan so it can’t be bad. It’s a case of every good thing in moderation. More is not always better. We have to be careful to have a balance.

Lycopene 

Lycopene is a mesonutrient that you’ll find in red-colored foods, such as tomatoes. Although all mesonutrients are known for being high in antioxidants, lycopene is said to have the highest amount of antioxidants, powerful enough to neutralize the harmful free radicals in the body.

It’s high antioxidant properties means it’s also good for your skin. Some studies indicate that it can help to reduce skin reactions if you get too much sun.There is also evidence that it can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Aside from tomatoes, you can also find it in watermelon, pink grapefruit, papaya,  canned and fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and cooked sweet red peppers. By simply eating lots of these foods, you’ll be able to help protect your body against environmental damage.

Intakes of 8mg -21 mg are said to be the most beneficial and there is approximately 3 mg in 100g of tomatoes.

Resveratrol 

Resveratrol is derived from dark-colored berries and some plants. It’s been shown to have lots of health benefits such as the potential to support cardiovascular health and provide anti-aging benefits.

It may affect enzymes known as sirtuins, which are involved in the aging process. You can find out more about sirtuins in my article about The Sirt Diet. Some of the most common sources of resveratrol are red wine, red grape juice, cranberries, blueberries, cocoa, dark chocolate, pistachios, and mulberries.

There are is no officially recommended dosage for resveratrol, but supplements of this polyphenol are usually taken in doses of 50-250 mg per capsule and up to 250 – 500 mg per day. You should probably not take resveratrol supplements if you are taking anti-coagulant medication (blood thinner).

Safranal 

Derived from saffron, grown in Middle East and parts of Europe and said to be the most expensive spice in the world. American saffron or Mexican saffron is derived from safflower and is not the same as true saffron which comes from the stigmas of Crocus sativus.

Saffron from dried flowers from safflower give the characteristic yellow color to foods, but not the distinctive pungent flavor of true saffron. The best quality saffron is reputed to be cultivated in Iran, Kashmir and Spain.

Safranal is a type of mesonutrient that is thought to promote mental health. It is thought that it help to balance neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin although there is no conclusive research on it.  One study though concluded that it was as good a the antidepressant drug Prozac for treating mild to moderate depression.

Saffron has been used traditional medicine for centuries to prevent hair loss, boost digestive health, and alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It may also help to suppress appetite and boost libido.

30 mg of saffron per day has been shown to be enough to get its health benefits although up to 1.5 grams a day can be taken in supplement form. One of the best ways to incorporate this mesonutrient into your diet is to use it in rice or vegetable dishes or drink saffron tea. The pungent flavor can be disguised by adding other spices like ginger and cinnamon and sweetened with a little raw honey or a natural sweetener like monk fruit or a good quality stevia. No sugar please!

Conclusion

There are definitely lots of benefits that you can get by adding mesonutrients into your daily diet. But this does not mean that macronutrients and micronutrients are no longer important. You still need your proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which you may not be able to obtain just by eating the foods listed above. Therefore, the key to good health is to balance your macros, micros, and mesonutrients.

If you want to eat more of the superfoods mentioned above in order to benefit from its mesonutrients, make sure you make it a part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. Above all it’s probably best to consult a well informed nutritionist or Naturopath before taking any form of supplements.

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13.8% of Aussies are daily smokers, each smoking half a pack of cigarettes every day, according to news sources. Although the number of smokers has dropped over the past 20 years, smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths and respiratory conditions like bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer.

Cigarette smoking exposes you to toxic substances like tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other harmful chemicals that affect various parts of the body. Fortunately, you can regain your health and increase your life expectancy by kicking the habit and embracing steps like lung detoxification so you can live a healthier life.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Water is a natural cleansing agent, but too often, people overlook the power of eliminating nicotine from the body by just drinking water. Drinking at least two liters keeps the body hydrated, improves respiration of the lungs, and boosts kidney activity.

Consider squeezing some lemon juice into a glass of water to speed up the elimination of toxins because bitter fruits trigger the production of bile, which helps remove unwanted substances in the body.

Related reading: Detox Water Recipes For Everyday Drinking

These objectives are easy to achieve if you sip small amounts of water throughout the day, which in turn results in better health, increased life expectancy, and significant money savings as you monitor your smoking cessation progress.

Eat Foods Rich In Antioxidants

Smokers often suffer from inflammation of the airways, which leaves them with trouble breathing, and the chest can feel heavy and congested. Incorporating foods high in antioxidants into your diet is highly recommended to improve lung capacity and reduce inflammation.

Foods like spinach, green tea, fish, beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, and easily help detoxify your lungs, relieving you from pain and breathing complications.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Although working out boosts deep breathing, it is wise to also set aside at least 10 minutes for breathing practice. There is no better way to massage the respiratory system than breathing deeply through the nose. Practice deep rhythmic breathing and exhale through the mouth to eliminate carbon dioxide.

Additionally, deep breaths encourage oxygenation to various detoxification organs, allowing the removal of harmful chemicals from the body. Breathing well is beneficial, and enhances the strength of different respiratory muscles.

Smoking cessation is the only way to reduce the risk of respiratory conditions and improve overall health. However, toxins released when smoking cigarettes enter the lungs, and it may take years to get rid of toxins such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and other substances.

Lifestyle changes like eating anti-inflammatory foods, drinking water, exercising, and deep breathing have proven effective when it comes to the removal of toxins in the lungs.

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Nowadays, we are more exposed to toxic chemicals which we consume through food or air. These chemicals can potentially harm your body and mind and can contribute to various illnesses. To maintain a healthy body, one needs to design a detoxification plan that will help to cleanse their body and mind.

The detoxification process will consist of certain things that a person needs to follow and the things they need to eliminate for proper detoxification. There are several different approaches to detox. Most of the time the detoxification process is linked with the liver, but you will also need to detoxify other organs as well as your mind. The women’s halfway house is also a great way of detoxifying yourself.

Make a Routine

We all have a very hectic schedule, and we wake up with a lot of deadlines. To maintain a healthy life and balance it with your work life, one needs to make a routine. By making a routine, you will be able to follow different ways of detoxifying your mind and body. Make a routine which you will follow every day for detoxification.

Go to the Gym

If you want to detox your body, then you need to hit the gym and do some regular exercise. With the help of exercise, one will be able to enhance their health and boost the detox plan. If you can perform physical activity, then it will improve your digestive function and will increase the metabolic rate as well. You will be able to create elimination channels and detoxify your body through sweat, circulation, and breath.

Meditate and Practice Mindfulness

The technique of mindfulness can help in improving physical health in various ways. Mindfulness will help a person to relieve stress, maintain blood pressure, treat the heart disease, reduce any chronic pain, reduce gastrointestinal difficulties, and improve the sleep pattern. Meditation is essential for the detoxification of your mind and body. You can also perform meditation for reducing cloudy thinking or fatigue. One can also minimize stress inflammation if they can follow mindfulness meditation.

Stop Drinking Alcohol

If you are a heavy drinker, then it is going to affect your health in several ways. If you want to detox your body, then you need to stop having alcohol. It will help to improve your sleep pattern, memory, energy, and focus. After you quit having alcohol, your chances of suffering from liver problems, heart problems or cancer will also get reduced. However, if you are drinking for a long time, then it is going to affect your mental and physical health adversely.

Never Smoke

If one can avoid smoking, then their chances of facing a heart attack will start to get reduced. A person who is smoking regularly will be more susceptible to coronary heart diseases. For detoxifying your body, you must break this cycle of smoking addiction and reduce the chances of abnormal blood pressure, stroke, or blood clots. Because of smoking, your body is going to get deteriorated every single day. Quitting of bad habits is very important when you want to detoxify yourself.

Make A Healthy Diet

By following a healthy diet, you will be able to fight against several diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, skeletal condition, and cancer. Having good food will help you to lead a healthy lifestyle, and you will be able to perform optimally. In the process of detoxifying yourself, make sure you include a lot of fruits and green veggies. Along with the healthy diet, make sure you are drinking clean water for keeping your system hydrated. It will help in optimal detoxification of your body.

Relax and Hit a Spa

Spend some quality time in the spa for de-stressing yourself. A proper spa will help in relieving pain, ache, improve your circulation and blood flow. If you can relax for a certain amount of time or take a spa treatment, then it will increase your happiness and will help with anti-aging. If you are someone who is facing sleeping problems, then a relaxing spa is what you need. During spa, proper techniques are applied to help the body and its muscle to loosen itself.

Get Appropriate Sleep

Sleeping is the time when your body rejuvenates itself. You will need to have a healthy sleeping pattern of 8 hours. Have a sound sleep as it will increase your energy and you will be more efficient. It will improve your memory and will make you smarter.

A healthy sleeping pattern enhances mood and reduces stress. Good sleep is also a great way of detoxifying your body and mind.

Make sure you are following all the eight things that are mentioned above to detoxify your body and mind.

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When you join a fitness program and start a strict diet, it goes without saying that you should definitely stick with it. However, the opposite is normally what usually happens. After the first few days or week, we all tend to lose the motivation to continue working on our fitness goals.

A cheat day becomes cheat days and before you know it, you’ve gone over the dark side and has lost all the progress that you’ve made. At first, you lost a few pounds but the resulting days where you lose control gains you more than those that you’ve lost which makes everything counter intuitive.

This cycle is familiar to the majority of the population. It can be frustrating not to see results right away but you just need to be patient. Here are some tips that you need to follow so you can finally reach your fitness goals.

1. Start Slowly

Deciding to get back into shape can be a life-changing moment for you. Do not make the rookie mistake of overloading your body by going on hard routines and almost diabolical diets. Doing this will only make your life more miserable without actually giving your proper results. Start slow and start with the basics, especially if this would be the first time for you to actually work out. When you push yourself too hard immediately, you will have a harder time maintaining your routine. Don’t rush anything.

2. Think Positive and Be Patient

When you work out, you need to be patient. If you lose your cool, you lose. Your body needs some time to adjust and thus will not be able to show your immediate results. Aside from that, our bodies all work differently. Others who are fortunate to have fast metabolism will be able to see progress much faster than others. However, you might have a metabolism that is not as fast as you would want it to be. This means that your body will not tone down as quickly as others. Often, this discourages people but don’t let it stop you. Just be patient and you will soon see the results of your hard work.

Related reading: Five Effective Diets to Try in 2019

3. Find A Group To Workout With

Working out with a group is much better than doing it alone. When you are in a bit of an unmotivated mood, the members of your group will pull you out of it and force you to work. Feeling lazy is normal and that’s why you need other friends to help you. Also, when doing the harder routine, you would need a spotter. A group also encourages and challenges you into pushing yourself through the limit.

4. Don’t Go On Diet Fads

If you are going on a diet, make sure that it is recommended by dietitians and is actually safe for you. There are a lot of diet fads that would bring much more harm to your body than good. Aside from that, your body would not be able to handle some of the more popular diets. If you follow these diet fads, some of which are not designed for you body, you are exposing yourself to numerous dietary problems and could lead to major diseases. As long as you eat properly, you do not have anything to worry about.

Related reading: Is The Gluten Free Diet Just An Unhealthy Fad?

Loading up on High-fibre vegetables, for example, should be something that is on your priority. There is a trend of quitting eating a certain type of food cold turkey. For example, many stop eating dairy foods immediately which could be a bit problematic for your body as it still needs a regular amount of nutrients. Your metabolism may also not be able to adjust as quickly.

5. Health Is A Lifestyle And Not A Chore

Being and maintaining your physical health should not make your life miserable nor should it control all your life decisions. Instead of making everything like a chore, find workouts and dietary regimens that you enjoy. This means that you will be able to keep being fit without being intolerable. It also means that working out becomes a choice.

Make it into a lifestyle. For example, instead of driving around for just a few blocks, ride a bicycle or walk instead. Take the stairs instead of riding the elevator, etc. You get the point.

Image by Bruce Mars

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I came across some fresh asparagus recipes in a free newspaper that I picked up at the airport on my way to Spain and thought how good some of them would be for including on a detox.

Asparagus is considered a detox food because it contains glutathione, made up of three amino acids—glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Glutathione plays an important part in phase 2 detoxification and is a potent antioxidant.
According to Dr Mark Hyman it’s the most important molecule to stay healthy and prevent disease. He states

Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system.

There has, however, always been a certain amount of controversy over whether glutathione can be absorbed from food intact so some say it’s useless to eat foods which contain it specifically to raise glutathione in the body.

However, I read a recent study where researchers found that it can cross the intestinal barrier although the study did involve supplements of glutathione.

One problem though is that glutathione is reduced when the food is cooked so it’s best to cook it for a short a time as possible.

Nutrients in Asparagus

Asparagus is a very healthy vegetable containing numerous vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It also contains magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, choline, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, and pro-vitamin A.

Many of these nutrients are needed for the optimal function of the detox system.

Besides glutathione asparagus also contains other antioxidants such as  rutin, quercetin and kaempferol.

Smell after eating asparagus

You may have been put off eating asparagus because of the way it can make your pee smell but it’s not harmful. It’s due to asparagusic acid an unique sulfur-containing compound that actually has beneficial antioxidant activity. Not everyone gets the smell or else they are unable to smell it.

There has been a lot of theories as to why this happens. The explanation is that in different people there are differences in digestion, differences in the absorption of asparagusic acid and in the way it’s metabolized.

Asparagine a non-essential amino acid (not the same as asparagusic acid) in asparagus is thought to have a diuretic effect.

Fiber in asparagus

The fiber in asparagus is inulin, a soluble fiber which feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Inulin aids in the improved absorption of nutrients.

It helps to detox the colon by lubricating the digestive system preventing constipation and cleansing toxins, waste, and cholesterol particles.

Here are some Fresh Asparagus Recipes that are an ideal detox food but tasty to have at any other time too. I have tweaked the recipes slightly to make them even healthier.

Fresh Asparagus Recipes

Griddled Asparagus with Feta and Beet Dressing

This recipe includes feta which is, or should be, made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Although dairy is usually excluded on a detox diet sheep’s and goat’s milk is often allowed as these animals are not intensively reared like cows and not fed antibiotics or pumped full of growth promoters.  If you can find organic feta so much the better.

Greek yogurt is included on a detox diet too as it is a fermented product and contains live bacteria which can be good for the gut.

Related reading: Yogurt: A Powerful Ally For Your Detox Diets

Ingredients

Serves 4

125g cooked beet
2 tbsp organic Greek yogurt
2 tbsp organic crème fraîche (optional)
1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 bunches good quality asparagus, trimmed
2 tbsp avocado oil
Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper
100g organic feta cheese, crumbled (should be made from sheep’s milk)
Handful of mint leaves, chopped

Directions

Set a griddle pan over a medium-high heat, and leave for five minutes.

Make the dressing: put the beetroot, Greek yoghurt, crème fraîche and garlic in a deep jug and pulse to a smooth sauce with a stick blender. Season to taste.

Tip the asparagus into a mixing bowl and drizzle over the avocado oil with a little seasoning. Spread out on the griddle pan and cook for five minutes, turning regularly until lightly browned but not charred and just tender. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan.

Place the asparagus on a serving platter and drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle over the feta and the mint and serve immediately.

Minted Pesto, Asparagus and Potato Salad

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the salad

250g organic cherry tomatoes, halved (or ready to eat sun-dried tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 bundles good quality asparagus
2 tbsp approx Avocado oil
500g new potatoes
Himalayan Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto

Small handful fresh mint leaves
1 handful rocket leaves
30g walnuts
½ clove garlic
50ml extra virgin olive oil, or enough to loosen the pesto
30g Parmesan or vegan cheese, grated (optional)
Organic lemon juice, to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 320F/160C. Halve the fresh cherry tomatoes, if using, and place on a baking tray. Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar, and bake for an hour. Remove from the oven.

Turn the oven up to 200°C/400F. Trim the ends of the asparagus and place on a roasting tray, drizzle with some oil, season and roast in the oven for 6 – 8 minutes.

Meanwhile scrub or scrape the new potatoes, halve them and boil gently until cooked through, drain and set aside.

For the pesto, place the mint in a blender along with the rocket, walnuts and garlic, and drizzle in the oil while blitzing until you have a loose consistency. Add the grated Parmesan or vegan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Place the potatoes and asparagus on a serving plate. pour over the pesto and scatter the roasted cherry tomato or chopped sun-dried tomatoes over them.

Asparagus with Lemon and Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

Serves 2

500g good quality asparagus
4 tbsp tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp clear honey
Juice of 1 organic lemon
Himalayan Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

Blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes in a large pan of salted water. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water.

To make the dressing put the tahini, crushed garlic, olive oil and honey in a small bowl and mix well. Gradually whisk in the lemon juice until thickened. Thin the dressing if necessary by adding 1 tbsp filtered water and mixing well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip the sesame seeds into a dry frying pan and toast until just starting to brown. Keep moving the seeds around the pan to stop them from burning. Once toasted, set aside to cool.

Place the asparagus on a small serving dish and drizzle over the tahini dressing then sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Quinoa ‘tabbouleh’ with Asparagus and Kale

Quinoa is a useful gluten free, pseudo-grain to use when you are detoxing. It is high in protein and helps to keep you feeling full. Kale is of course a cruciferous veg and is another good detox food.

Related reading: Quinoa : Another Detox Diet Superfood

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the tabbouleh:

200g quinoa
350ml hot vegetable stock
2 bunches good quality asparagus, trimmed and sliced into bite size pieces
200g organic kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
Handful of radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
Seeds from 1 medium pomegranate (or a 200g pack pomegranate seeds)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 organic lemon
1 tbsp raw honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard (no added sugar)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional):

2 x 250g packs halloumi, cut into 1cm thick slices
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Put the quinoa with the hot stock into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to
a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes until the grains are tender and the
stock absorbed.

To make the dressing put the lemon juice, honey, garlic and mustard in a small bowl and whisk.
Slowly pour in the olive oil whisking until thick and creamy. Season with salt and freshly ground
black pepper to taste.

Place asparagus into a pan of lightly salted boiling water and and simmer for 2 inutes. It should
be just tender. Remove and drain well then tip onto a plate and allow to cool.

Add the kale to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes then drain and plunge into ice cold
filtered water to cool quickly. Drain well and spin dry in a salad spinner or place on a clean
drying cloth.

Add the kale to the bowl of dressing, along with the spring onions, parsley, radishes and blanched
asparagus. Toss together lightly to mix.

Once the quinoa is cooked, fork through the grains to separate and tip into the salad, lightly
mixing through. Spoon onto a serving plate and scatter over the pomegranate seeds before serving.

Asparagus and pea risotto with lemon and crème fraîche

Ingredients

Serves 2

600 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
25g organic grass-fed butter
4 spring onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ green chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
150g arborio rice
½ glass white wine
Half a bundle good quality asparagus, trimmed and chopped
100g organic peas
3 tbsp organic crème fraîche or bio-yogurt
Juice and zest of 1 small organic lemon
Handful chives, chopped finely
2 tbsp grated Parmesan or vegan cheese (optional)

Directions

Place the stock in a pan on low heat. Melt the butter in a separate, large pan then add the spring onions, garlic and chilli. Sweat for five minutes until soft.

Add the rice and mix well so it absorbs all the flavours and is well coated in butter. Add the white wine and stir gently until absorbed. Add the asparagus and start adding more stock ladleful by ladleful at a time stirring constantly until each one has been absorbed.

After 15 minutes of continual stirring and adding the stock, taste and adjust the seasoning and add the peas.

Cook gently for a further five minutes then turn off the heat. Add the Parmesan or vegan cheese, if using, and crème fraîche or bio-yogurt, lemon zest and juice and let them melt in.

Dish up onto serving plates and garnish with some chopped chives.

I have posted some more recipes which are low carb and keto on my Shed and Shape blog. The keto diet is also a type of detox diet as toxins are released from fat stores as fat is burned for energy in place of glucose from carbohydrates.
Get them here >> Healthy Asparagus Recipes For Keto

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