EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL: DETOX, TONE and PUMP
Now that we know what nutrients can help us protect, plump and burn us beautiful, we can continue to enhance our aesthetics by incorporating foods aimed at detoxing, toning and supporting healthy vessels. Below, I list some of the key nutrients and foods key in our mission to cultivate natural beauty through health.
Why is detoxing or “gut purification” important? By incorporating detox foods we can purge the body of harmful substances which cause less than optimal function and appearance of the body. These foods can mean better absorption of nutrients, more energy, a sharper mind and of course more beautiful hair, skin and overall physique. For more on some benefits, see my previous post where I talk about benefits of such practices ¨Pre Hoilday Detox¨
To appropriately support our bodies attempt to eliminate what is harmful and function well, we need to optimize liver, kidneys and gut function. To do this, we must both clean and stimulate these organs. The foods listed below can help us do just this.
Chlorophyll: Assists in the digestion and the elimination of toxic metals, herbicides, chemicals, metals and pesticides. Chlorophyll, also, helps promote flow of cleansing bile and enzymes which aid in digestion and liver function.
Best Sources: Blue green algae, wheatgrass, spirulina, spinach, chard, and arugula.
Vitamin C: As you may have noticed in my past posts, this super vitamin is essential to many bodily functions. It´s role in detoxification stems from it´s ability to transform toxins into digestible materials which can then be easily eliminated out of the body. Vitamin C also aids digestion, stimulating digestive enzymatic processes, and promotes faster metabolism of nutrients.
Best Sources: Lemons and Grapefruits are best for detoxification. Drinking water with these fruits can help support the detox function.
Catechins: A plant antioxidant known to increase liver function and prevent fat accumulation in liver. A fatty liver is consistent with damage and disease, so it´s prevention is valuable in maintaining liver health.
Best Source: Yes Again…..Green Tea. Green Tea is also light diuretic and vasodilator, assuring higher rate of filtration of lymphatic and circulatory fluids.
Turmeric: This pungent Indian Spice has a protective function for the liver and the ability to regenerate damaged liver cells. Tumeric like, chlorophyll can boost bile production and positively affect gallbladder function.
Best Ways to incorporate Tumeric into your life: Check out this website here from MindBodyGreen.
Variety of Raw or Juiced vegetables. The combination of these vegetable stimulate various enzymatic processes and help cleanse and purge the body of toxins accumulated.
Some Must-Add Varieties: Almost all fruits and veggies add value to digestive health but some have a bit more weight.
- Avocados, Kale and Brussel sprouts: These contain a rich source of Glutathione, a compound with strong detoxifying power, which helps breakdown carcinogens and fight free radicals. These foods actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power
- Walnuts: Contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, also help detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia.
- Watercress: Has the ability to improve elimination of carcinogens in urine, increase antioxidant levels and reduce the cancer related DNA damage. Studies have shown watercress to be very helpful in smokers, helping excrete higher amounts of the dangerous carcinogens in the urine.
- Artichokes: Contain cynarine which Increase bile production and improve digestion.
- Cranberries: With natural antibacterial, antioxidant (hippuric acid), antiviral and probiotic benefits, the cranberry has potent power for restoring digestive and urinary health. Organic juices are usually the best source.
- Pears, Apples, Guava, Raisins : These fruits supply us with an important fiber known as Pectin. Pectin facilitates the elimination of harmful substances through the digestive tract. Pectin also promotes cellular turnover in the colon and helps prevent colon cancer.
Probiotics: By supplying bacteria to the intestines we can aid in optimal digestion and detoxification processes.
Best Source: Organic Kefir
Note: Remember the best detox foods are organic varieties. Organic food is grown with the careful exemption of harmful or unnecessary substances that may be linked to health hazards.
MUSCLE TONING NUTRIENTS
Tone muscles mean a faster metabolism, a better figure and less apparent cellulite. These nutrients will help your body get the fuel it needs to build long, lean and healthy muscle.
Omega 3 fatty acids: Once again this super nutrient commands recognition. Not only is it a super anti-ageing food, but, it supports muscle health and tone. Omega 3s increase blood flow to the muscles, keeping them well nourished while, at the same time, protecting them from breakdown. Omega 3s also, with their anti-inflammatory properties, cut down on muscular recovery time after strenuous physical activities.
Best sources: Cold water fatty fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts or algae. Supplements are also an option. For more on best Omega 3 benefits check out my post here on ¨10 AntiAging Things you can do everyday.”
B Vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin), each essential for protein metabolism, energy production and nerve health. All of these processes are vital for muscle function and preservation.
Best Sources: Whole grains, eggs, lean meats, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Fellow vegetarians beware!! If you are not eating eggs, you might need to take a vitamin B12 supplement as its only found in animal products! Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health and muscle contraction!
High Protein Foods: Our body needs protein sources to create muscle.
Best Sources: Egg whites, whey protein, white fish, chicken breasts, lean beef, tofu, or beans and lentils. Nutritionists recommend 2 servings of high-quality, lean protein a day, (each serving about a cup), to maintain muscular tone and health.
Low or Non Fat Dairy: These dairy choices provide a type of protein called casein which because digested slower, supplies the body with energy and nutrition over a long time. Also the calcium content in dairy has great benefits to muscle. Calcium is essential for muscle contraction and growth. Also, helps prevent muscle cramping during workouts. This said, lean dairy is great muscle-building food pre and post-workout for those who want to maintain long lean physiques!
Best Sources: Try organic low-fat cottage cheese and non-lactose fat-free milk. For those who don’t consume dairy, the fortified dairy-free products, can also be a great source of calcium and lean protein.
Note: Of course, to build and maintain muscle, there are other choices your nutritionist may recommend. The above choices, are just some nutrients I have found most consistent and helpful in my own journey to keep fit and tone!
VASCULAR FITNESS FOODS
Studies have consistently proven that what we eat can help improve our circulatory health. By normalizing intravenous pressure and reinforcing the vascular structure, the right nutrients can make vessels more resistant to the induced stress and damage. The aesthetic result is a decreased tendency to form unsightly varicose and spider veins. The following nutrients will provide you with the support your veins need to assure best circulatory health and flawless legs. For more on maintaining healthy leg circulation and preventing vascular lesions check out my previous post on here. For some insight on how to treat varicose and spider veins, check out another post I wrote on the subject here.
Polyphenols: A group of flavonoids, known for their ability to protect the vascular system by preventing oxidative stress. They do this by preventing the aggregation (clumping and sticking) of low-density lipoproteins (LDL aka bad cholesterol). They also act to improve overall circulation by stimulating the vessels to vasodilate.
Best Sources: Pomegranates and Rosemary.
Quercetin-3-rutinoside or Rutin: An essential flavonoid with ability to improve venous circulation by decreasing capillary permeability and strengthening the walls of veins. Rutin is flavonoid, or plant pigment with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vaso-protective properties. Rutin works together with Vitamin C to strengthens the walls of you veins, leaving them healthier, more tone and with the ability to withstand higher pressures and stress.
Best Sources: Buckwheat, berries, citrus fruits, and green tea.
Betacyanin: A plant pigment and potent antioxidant. Betacyanin is especially helpful in protecting the vessels walls from being damaged by oxidative stress. In addition to reducing LDL cholesterol, it reduces levels of homocystein in the blood. Homocystein is an amino acid known to be quite harmful to blood vessel walls. For this reason keeping homocystein levels low with betacyanin sources, is considered protective for the vessels.
Best Source: Beets
Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins: These plant sourced pigments help support the structural integrity of the vessels and improve overall venous circulation. These are especially valued because of their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities. Additionally, they assist in healthy behavior of platelets, and repairing damaged vessels.
Best Source: Berries
Bromelain and Other Fibrinolytic Compounds:These increase the fibrinolytic activity and therefore prevent fibrin deposits within the vessel walls. Fibrin deposits cause vessels to harden, increasing intravascular pressure and damage.
Best Sources: Cayenne pepper, Ginger and Pineapple.
Asparagine: An amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic, helping remove fluid and preventing edema. Since edema can cause increased pressure on the venous circulation, preventing it means less stress on your valves and vessel walls. Less stress means less damage on the veins and decreased incidence of spider and varicose veins.
Best Source: Asparagus
So now that you have all the knowledge you need to Eat Yourself Beautiful, I encourage you not to wait! Make all your meals about nurturing your body to function optimally and reflect the ravishing nutrition you so carefully chose for it!
Cheers to delicious food and getting a bit closer to what nature intended us to portray…. our most raw form of beauty!