As ‘clean eating’ rounds the health community, a once simple concept is now cloaked with controversies. Some who have become obsessed with clean eating restricted way too much food from their diet that which resulted in nutrient deficiencies and even mental distress.
What is clean eating?
The term ‘clean eating’ doesn’t have a clear-cut definition. But generally speaking, it means to consume food that is natural, free from additives, preservatives, refined, and processed ingredients.
It’s a rather long (maybe a bit complex too!) description but to put it simply, clean eating is eating simple and whole foods without any artificial ingredients. It is limiting the consumption of processed foods, trans and heavily saturated fats, and focus on adding more fruits, vegetables, and food rich in nutrients to your diet.
Benefits of Clean Eating
Everyone is fascinated with the concept of clean eating because of the numerous health benefits it offers. Here are the top health benefits of clean eating that you need to know about!
Inflammation is one of the common roots of pain and disease and fortunately, whole foods and herbs contain healing properties that minimize and manage inflammation. It also prevents diseases and helps you lose weight naturally.
Stronger immune system
When you eat processed food and sugar, your body spends energy warding off harmful substances you are intaking. This leaves little energy left to fight and protect you from illnesses. Clean eating will boost your immune system, fueling them to better fight against viruses and diseases. When you get sick, the body has enough resources that’ll help you recover quickly.
Malnourishment leads to our strength hitting a new level of low. When you are malnourishment, even getting through the day with simple and normal activities can be challenging. But with clean eating, it naturally balances your hormones, melting away excess fat and building more solid muscles.
Alleviate chronic symptoms
Food is one of the roots of some common illnesses but it can also be medicine, especially for inflammation, excessive weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and chronic pain. A positive change to our diet can be the silver lining to some of the illnesses we are facing.
Simple Ways to Eat Clean
When it comes to food and nutrition, the best approach is through the most practical and doable way for you. If you are trying to eat clean, it is always easier to start slow and small.
Here, we’ve listed simple and easy ways to eat clean!
More fruits and vegetables
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and other healthy substances. They are jampacked with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that protect our cells from damage. They are also linked to helping reduce risks of diseases like cancer and heart disease.
The best thing about vegetables and fruits is that a good number of them can be eaten raw. This means you are consuming these foods in their most natural state, complete with the nutrients and vitamins. When you choose organic produce, you are reducing pesticide exposure, making them more healthy for your body.
Here are some ways how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet:
- Include at least three different vegetables in your diet and make your plate and salads more colorful
- Add fruits to your salad. Apples, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, and tangerines are excellent add-ons to your meal
- Mix berries, bananas, and plums with oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt
Limit processed foods and refined carbs
The whole concept of clean eating revolves around choosing foods that are minimally processed and as natural as possible.
Extremely processed foods can contain added sugar, artificial colors, stabilizers, or preservatives. Since they are heavily processed, they have lost a good amount of their nutrients and have gained added sugar, sodium, and other ingredients meant to preserve them. They are often associated with increased risks of heart diseases and other illnesses so it is best to limit their consumption.
Another way to eat clean is to also reduce the consumption of refined carbs, which are processed food low in nutrients.
Studies claim that refined carbs are linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, fatty liver, and obesity.
Instead, try eating whole grains, which are healthier options. They offer more nutrients and fiber and helps reduce inflammation and boost better gut health. When grocery shopping, choose grains that are least processed, like sprouted grain bread and steel-cut oats. Limit eating ready-to-eat cereal, white bread, and other refined carbs.
Drink more water
Water is the most natural beverage you can drink. It doesn’t have any additives, artificial sweeteners, or other controversial substances. It keeps you hydrated, helps maintain an ideal weight, flushes out bacteria from the bladder, aids with digestion, normalizes blood pressure, and protects organs and tissues.
To add a bit of flavor, you can add sliced fruit or the juice of lemon or lime to the water. Aside from water, unsweetened coffee and tea are also excellent beverage choices.
Do note though that in some countries, there might be a need to drink bottled water, filter it, or boil it before drinking.
On the other hand, sugary drinks are linked to causing type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses.