Eating detox superfoods is a key to slowing down and even reversing the aging process. The superfoods that are often included in detox diets are foods that contain vital nutrients usually in abundance. These foods provide the body with enough proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients that prove helpful in strengthening the cells in the body. Eating these healthy foods also slows down the deterioration of the cells in the body. This helps to keep your body from aging as rapidly as it might without them.
Although there is no scientific definition of a superfood, foods that are nutritiously dense are often termed superfoods. Eating these foods keeps the body healthy. The researchers say that if you want to reverse or slow down the aging process, you’ll have to develop good eating habits. They have also listed some foods as superfoods and said that eating these foods may either slow down or reverse the aging process. It’s hardly surprising that these foods are also detox foods:
1. Green Foods
One of the most important kinds of foods that have proven effects in slowing and reversing the aging process are green foods. When we talk of green foods, we are referring to leafy vegetables and cereal grasses. The green cereal grasses include barley and wheat grass that have great nutritional effects. Green leafy vegetables are rich in phytonutrients.
Some leafy vegetables are also rich in vitamins. For example, spinach is rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene which have proven to be effective in slowing the aging process. They also help protect you from the UV rays of the sun. These veggies keep your skin soft and fresh.
Most of these veggies can be eaten in a variety of ways.You can eat them as salads, drink their juice, and they can be cooked or made into soups. The veggies like cucumber really a fruit) can be used as a face mask. This helps the skin to produce natural oil and keep it soft.
Broccoli, spinach, kale, and mustard greens are also known for keeping the skin hydrated and preventing it from becoming dull and dry. The vegetables are also renowned for their antioxidant properties. Dr Hymas famously said that drinking juice of leafy green vegetables is like drinking multivitamins filled with antioxidants.
The green leafy cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts also help the body to detoxify through the chemicals in them. This detoxification helps to decrease the chance of cancer.
Almost all the vegetables are categorized as superfoods because they are rich in minerals, vitamins, and other useful ingredients. Regular eating of any of these may reverse the effects of aging on your skin.
One thing to remember is that unless you buy organic the vegetables have been sprayed with various toxic chemicals and may not contain as many nutrients if they are grown conventionally. Growing your own if possible is the best option.
Related reading: 5 Tasty Ways to Get Green Foods Into Your Diet
2. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are also among the foods that are rich with various nutrients. They contain nutrients such as folate, potassium, iron and magnesium that are essential for the body. They are higher in fiber content than any other food and we all know that enough fiber is important for a healthy bowel and the gut microbiome. This is the new name for the variety of organisms that reside in the gut and play an important role in keeping us healthy.
Related reading: The Return Of Fiber Trend Is Good For Bowel Cleansing
Eating beans or lentils regularly may help to decrease the risk of often fatal diseases like cancer. They play a vital role in maintaining blood pressure at a healthy level. Many people eat beans to increase the iron level in the body. They are a good source of iron for vegetarians.
The copper in beans and lentils is needed for the manufacture of some of the body’s enzymes as well as the function of the body’s antioxidant enzyme system. Antioxidants help to delay the aging process. Copper activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase that’s required for the maturation of collagen which you probably know is important for good looking skin and for healthy joints.
Overweight is one of the greatest reasons of aging. Regular intake of beans and lentils helps to control weight because they make you feel full for longer.
Blueberries are also very important in the prevention of age related health risks. The research has proven that eating blueberries has a lot of positive effects on cognitive ability of human beings. They not only protect our memory from decline but also boosts our memory. They also save the brain from oxidative damage and slow down the aging process.
Blueberries often remain at the top of the list of superfoods because these are a rich source of vitamins, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals. One very interesting thing is that these nutrients are also found in other berries too but blueberries contain more anthocyanins which are effective in the prevention of cellular damage and therefore aging.
The regular intake of phytochemicals provide the body with flavonoids which are effective against various cardiovascular problems.
Another very good thing about blueberries is that they are low in calories but are rich with nutrients. This means that eating blueberries in considerable quantity should not cause weight gain. Eating a cup of blueberries will provide only 84 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates.
The aging process is directly related to the DNA in human beings. The oxidative processes taking place in the body also damage the DNA. The antioxidative properties of blueberries reduce this DNA damage and help to slow down aging. The research has proved that drinking
one liter of blueberry and apple juice can reduce the DNA damage by 20%.
Oxidative damage also negatively affects blood cholesterol which may be heart related problems although recent research shows that people with normal cholesterol levels still have heart attacks.
The protection of blood cholesterol also proves effective against high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the greatest reasons of aging. The research shows that eating blueberries can lower the blood pressure about 4-6%. It may not seem a lot but may make all the difference.
And of course blueberries make great detox smoothies and smoothie bowls.
4. Citrus Fruits
Another superfood that is effective in reversing the aging process are citrus fruits. Almost, all of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes, and grapefruits are easily available and affordable. These fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Oranges do however lose Vitamin C if they are stored for a long time. Many people eat oranges them to help prevent colds and flu.
Citrus fruits are a good source of potassium which is one of the most needed minerals in the body. Potassium is needed for effective muscle contraction and fluid regulation. It also regulates the quantity of salts in your body and helps the body to get rid of extra sodium and eliminate waste products.
Dr Spiegel states “This anti aging food also contains properties which have been shown to increase cell turnover so that older cells are encouraged to die off and be replaced by newer ones, a process that often slows with increased age”.
Citrus fruits contain soluble fiber which is helpful in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and can be effective in preventing high blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and are useful against heart disease.
Some people think that eating too many citrus fruits or drinking the juice may increase blood sugar. The research has proven that citrus fruits have a low glycemic index as well as a low glycemic load. The fiber in the fruits slows down the release of glucose into the blood and so should not increase blood sugar and according to a latest study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, drinking 100 per cent fruit juice does not raise blood sugar levels. However, if you are a diabetic if you drink fruit juice you should check your blood sugar levels to be sure as everyone responds differently.
Aging is mostly caused by dehydration. The skin dries and becomes dull. Eating citrus fruits saves your body from dehydration. The fruits contain more than 85% water which helps to control dehydration. They provide the body with necessary fluids and are good thirst quenchers.
The vitamins and antioxidants you get by eating these fruits and drinking their juices helps your skin stay supple and smooth. Some people even use the peels of the oranges for massaging the skin. Lemon is especially good for mixing with various other creams for massaging the skin to make it look fresh and smooth.
Orange and lemons are great detoxifiers. D-Limonene, which is found mainly in the peel, activates several of the Phase I and Phase II liver detox enzymes so it’s good to include some peel when you use them in detox juices or smoothies. Eliminating toxins helps to prevent them damaging your cells and tissues.
5. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has proven effects in slowing or even reversing the aging process. This is because chocolate is rich with organic compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Among these antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonols are the most important. They help reduce inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to UV light so keeping it’s youthful appearance.
A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has found that dark chocolate can reverse ageing. The epicatechin, a flavanol found in dark chocolate, reduced damaging oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of aging.
The flavonol in dark chocolate helps to stimulate the inner coating of the arteries and helps in improving the blood circulation. It produces Nitric Oxide that sends the signals to arteries to relax and the resistance in the flow of blood minimizes.
Dark chocolate is a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and many other nutrients. There is also surprisingly a considerable amount of fiber in chocolate. There is both saturated and unsaturated fats in chocolates also which is needed for good fresh looking skin.
The higher the percentage of raw cocoa, the greater the antioxidant activity so look for the darkest chocolate possible. Chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa with minimum added sugar, or better still no added refined sugar is best.
Last but not least, another commonly used superfood that is very effective against the aging process is the egg. You may not have thought of eggs as a superfood before but Dr. Carrie Ruxton who led a report compiling information about eggs, published in the journal “Nutrition and Food Science” states “The health benefits of eggs would appear to be so great that it’s perhaps no exaggeration to call them a superfood — they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available.”
Still concerned about eggs raising your cholesterol? Dr Ruxton adds “This review has identified that eggs are an inexpensive, low energy, nutrient-dense food that can significantly contribute to diet quality, particularly intakes of selenium and vitamin D. For most people, egg consumption will have little or no influence on cholesterol levels or CHD risk”.
Eggs have been called the perfect food as they contain all essential amino acids, a balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats and an impressive array of essential nutrients. The biological value of a food, a measure of protein quality, is often evaluated by comparing it to eggs.
Eggs are a great source of choline, a kind of vitamin B which is anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory effect of choline protects your brain by detoxifying lipid hydroperoxides. Lipid oxidation is a major player in the aging process and a variety of diseases associated with increased oxidative stress, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The pigments that make eggs yellow, lutein and zeaxanthin, are the same pigments that protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun and can help prevent macular degeneration.
Eggs are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, B5, B12, and folate. There is also good amount of other vitamins in eggs too. Eating one egg daily provides only 77 calories with 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of healthy fats.
You may not have thought of eggs a a detox food either but they contain the amino acids that the liver uses for detoxification. The most important amino acids for Phase 2 detoxification are cysteine and methionine. These two amino acids, the main dietary sources of sulfur are found eggs. Some detox diets exclude all animal products which includes eggs and some people are intolerant to eggs so they are often excluded for that reason but if you can tolerate them then they can be included in a detox diet.
Overhauling your diet is the key when it comes to turning back the clock. Cosmetic doctor Anthony Youn is a firm believer that you are what you eat. He says “Eating the right foods can affect the look and health of your skin not just on your face but all over your body. Your diet can play a vital part in helping you look younger for longer. The wrong foods can contribute to water retention, swelling, redness, acne and wrinkles. However a skin-friendly diet can boost elasticity and make you look 10 years younger.
So there you have it. How many of these detox superfoods do you include in your diet already?