Most people are incredibly busy and don’t think about the health benefits (or consequences) of the food they eat. Eating healthy isn’t a priority or part of their daily routine.
People then turn to fad dieting in order to quickly remedy a health or weight-based situation, which causes stress, which in turn causes weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle.
Clean eating isn’t a fad diet – It’s the real deal
Clean eating is a simple, common-sense approach to a healthy lifestyle. Clean eating is the ultimate “un-fad” diet.
Eating healthy is something everyone should be concerned with because it doesn’t come naturally anymore. The standard American diet is high fat, high sugar, and high sodium foods mostly pre-packaged, processed, and of the fast-food variety.
A healthy diet consists of a wide variety of whole, unrefined foods that are in their natural (or closest to natural) form. A healthy diet does not include sugary drinks or beverages such as soda and does not include trans fats. A healthy diet is high in healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and plenty of H20.
Clean eating is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle that provides the body with healthy, natural, nutrient-dense foods. There are some incredible benefits associated with healthy eating.
The Benefits of Clean Eating
Putting it quite simply, eating healthy foods will make you feel better. Whole vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins will balance your energy levels and leave you feeling great throughout the day. You will think more clearly, have better muscle tone, absorb nutrients more efficiently, and energy levels will soar. Healthy foods also promote cell growth and because of this your skin, hair, and nails will be happier.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Eating healthy is the best way to maintain a healthy weight. Ideal weights are achieved, not by rigorous hours at the gym, but through a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains. You can lose as much as 20 lbs after several weeks of following a healthy diet. Exercise is more productive once you reach a healthy weight through a clean-eating lifestyle.
Build A Better Immune System
Nutritious foods help prevent disease by building a stronger immune system and gut. Building up your immune system through healthy foods allows it to fight off illness naturally and recover quickly. The digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria. These bacteria are there to keep the intestines healthy and also aid in breaking down food. These bacteria (probiotics) are believed to keep the immune system healthy by regulating immune system response. You can ensure that your body and immune system run at optimal levels by eating plenty of colorful servings of fruits and veggies, fermented foods, and yogurt as well as 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Processed, packaged, and junk food clouds the mind and causes the body to feel sluggish. Eating healthy, whole foods high in healthy fats (Omega 3 fatty acids) will keep the brain functioning at top capacity. The brain needs the proper balance of nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, and some sugars, to function properly. Foods such as dark-skinned vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, beets, eggplant, bell pepper) have high levels of antioxidants and fruits such as prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and cherries appear to protect brain cells. Cold water fish such as salmon and tuna contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and nuts boast high levels of Vitamin E, another antioxidant that is great for your brain.
Boost Energy levels
People tend to turn to sugar or caffeine for a instant energy. This pseudo energy rush is actually a quick spike in blood sugar, followed by an intense insulin response, which then causes a crash. After the crash, you will likely feel worse than when you started. The more processed a food, the less nutrients it will have. Without nutrients, your body is unable to feel energized throughout the day. To boost energy levels naturally and effectively, eat foods that allow a slow and steady release of sugar. Do this by combining protein and fiber such as oatmeal and fruit, yogurt and fruit, cheese and crackers, apple slices and peanut butter, cottage cheese with veggies, or hummus and veggies.
Vitamins and Minerals found in whole foods will allow your body to regulate hormonal function throughout the day and promote deeper sleep at night. Eating healthy foods will also calm your nervous system and trigger a sleep-inducing hormonal response which helps you rest better at night. There is a well-known connection between the rise in sleep deprivation and soaring obesity rates. Getting between 7-9 hours of sleep gives your body time to establish muscle memory from a workout or project, build and repair muscle, sharpens your focus, reduces reaction time, and greatly increases energy levels upon waking. In other words, eat cleaner, sleep better, be healthier.
Ready to feel the benefits that a clean eating lifestyle can provide but not sure where to begin? Try incorporating foods from the Essential Shopping List for Clean Eating and follow the Beginners Guide To The Perfect Day of Healthy Habits to get started.
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