Detoxification is a process where your body removes waste materials. Most detoxification happens in your liver, where certain enzymes convert toxins to be excreted in urine, sweat and other bodily fluids. While juice cleanses can be detoxifying in the beginning, this is mainly due to the fact that you’re no longer eating processed food and you’ve given up caffeine and alcohol for the duration of the cleanse.
To see how well the principles embodied in the Healthy Eating Pyramid stacked up against the government’s advice, Harvard School of Public Health researchers created an Alternate Healthy Eating Index with a scoring system similar to the USDA’s index. They then compared the two indexes, using information about daily diets collected from more than 100,000 female nurses and male health professionals taking part in two long-term studies.
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
Try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare food differently. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, light cream cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes. Just remember to not increase your portion size. For more ideas on how to cut back on calories, see Eat More Weigh Less.
When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions. Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs.
Kale: Some of the hottest nutrients present in kale include the glucosinolates and methyl cysteine sulfoxides (11). These super-nutrients help to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that play an important role in neutralizing carcinogenic substances. One such glucosinolate, sulfuraphane, is formed when kale is either chopped or chewed. Sulfuraphane has been shown to alter the genetic expression of the liver allowing to more effectively use its detoxification enzymes (12).
Between work and the gym, I’ve been getting home pretty late these days. Even though I love to cook, it’s usually just about the last thing I want to do when I finally walk through the door. I’ve been making a lot of healthy sheet pan dinners, and I really love how easy they are. Most of these healthy dinner recipes take only a few minutes of prep and then the oven does the work. And since everything for these easy recipes cooks together on one pan, cleanup is a breeze! Line your pan with foil or parchment for even easier cleanup.