Relax your way to trim and ra­di­ant!

First For Women - - Nutrition -

While small amounts of stress ac­ti­vate au­tophagy (the body’s cel­lu­lar detox­i­fi­ca­tion process), men­tal stress and cor­ti­sol surges ac­tu­ally im­pair de­tox. That’s why nat­u­ral-health ex­pert Naomi Whit­tel ad­vises pam­per­ing your­self to ease men­tal stress. Here, her feel-great strate­gies.

Perk up with “pow­er­phe­nol” tea. Cer­tain foods—in­clud­ing green tea, berries, cin­na­mon, cit­rus fruit, choco­late and wine— con­tain pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dants called polyphe­nols that dial up au­tophagy to re­pair cel­lu­lar dam­age. While you can en­joy the anti-ag­ing perks of these “pow­er­phe­nols” by eat­ing these foods (try the treats at left), Whit­tel also max­i­mizes her daily in­take by sip­ping tea that com­bines a few of na­ture’s top polyphe­nol sources, along with a dose of fat to help the body ab­sorb the an­tiox­i­dants ef­fi­ciently. To make: Bring 11⁄2 cups of water to a boil.

Pour the water into a mug and add 1 Re­serveage Nu­tri­tion Au­tophaTèa tea bag (avail­able at Ama­zon.com). Steep for 3 min­utes. Stir in 1 Tbs. of co­conut oil. “From my very first cup, I was hooked,” shares Whit­tel, who sug­gests drink­ing up to four cups each day.

Brush your skin. “Dry-brush­ing stim­u­lates cir­cu­la­tion, which en­cour­ages waste to leave the body faster,” says Whit­tel, who uses her dry brush each morn­ing. To try it at home:

Use a long-han­dled brush with firm bris­tles to make short, firm strokes on your legs, belly and arms, al­ways brush­ing to­ward your heart. For best re­sults, Whit­tel rec­om­mends brush­ing for about 10 min­utes per day. And for even more anti-ag­ing ben­e­fits, mas­sage a DIY cof­fee scrub onto just­brushed skin in the shower once a week. The mix Whit­tel likes: 1 cup of cof­fee grounds, 3 Tbs. of sea salt and 6 Tbs. of co­conut oil. Left­over scrub keeps in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to two weeks.

Un­wind with heat. Re­searchers re­port that rais­ing core body tem­per­a­ture trig­gers heat stress, an­other pow­er­ful au­tophagy ac­ti­va­tor, while also di­al­ing back the emo­tional stress that can slow cel­lu­lar de­tox. Us­ing a steam room or sauna or tak­ing a hot yoga class is an easy way to get the ben­e­fits, but you can also get the perks from a warm bath. Stud­ies at Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity in the United King­dom show that tak­ing a very hot bath for 20 min­utes at least four times a week can help purge tox­ins, di­min­ish wrin­kles and rev me­tab­o­lism. For a big­ger boost, Whit­tel sug­gests adding 10 drops of berg­amot essen­tial oil to the bath­wa­ter—the oil is proven to ac­ti­vate au­tophagy and ease stress.

Drift off to “pink” noise. “Deep sleep is when your cells re­pair dam­age, elim­i­nate tox­ins and re­new them­selves,” says Whit­tel—and re­search shows that get­ting more deep sleep slashes lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol by 45 per­cent. De­spite the im­por­tance of deep sleep, most women over the age of 40 spend only 5 to 10 per­cent of the night in the cru­cial sleep state. For­tu­nately, sci­en­tists at North­west­ern Univer­sity in Chicago re­port that in­creas­ing time spent in the deep-sleep stage can be as easy as lis­ten­ing to pink noise at bed­time. “You’ve prob­a­bly heard of white noise, which sounds like static,” ex­plains Whit­tel. “Pink noise sounds more like rain fall­ing.” To get the ben­e­fits, try the free Sim­plyNoise app on Ap­ple and An­droid phones. It of­fers a va­ri­ety of sooth­ing sound op­tions (in­clud­ing white and pink noise) to help you get your best sleep.

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