If you ever wanted to lose weight, feel good about yourself, and have thought about giving clean eating a go, but don’t quite understand the benefits, this article is for you.
So, maybe you have been trying clean eating for some time. But for some bizarre reason, the benefits keep eluding you, and you’ve been putting your goals on hold.
Clean eating is part of a healthy lifestyle and setting goals is important in sticking to it. If you’re new to eating clean, or have started, but need the motivation to keep on working towards your goals, knowing these benefits may help.
1. Reduced Appetite
Clean eating is all about eating balanced portions of protein, healthy fats and carbs which will distribute energy all over the body. This happens after a few hours of eating. By avoiding the sugar and processed carbs, your appetite will become nearly non-existent.
There are a variety of foods and drinks that can help you reduce your appetite but what you need to focus on are the healthy foods such as:
- Almonds – They contain a high amount of antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin E, which after a handful or two will make you feel full and suppress your hunger.
- Black Coffee – Believe it or not, coffee is actually healthy for you. A certain amount of coffee can stop hunger and boost your metabolism. This is due to caffeine, and the high amounts of antioxidants it has. You can also add butter or coconut oil to your coffee (called bullet-proof coffee). Those healthy fats will help you to feel fuller longer.
- Ginger – Not a lot of people are aware, but ginger improves your digestive system while acting as a very mild stimulant, which gives more energy to the body while making you less hungry. You can find ginger in many foods such as soups and curries, or add it to your smoothies. (Don’t go overboard on the curries thou, make them healthy.)
- Avocados – High in healthy fats and a good source of fiber, avocados, when eaten in moderation, will help you feel less hungry. The special thing about avocados is that they tell your body that you full.
- Apples – High in fiber and pectin, apples of all varieties can help you feel full. As they require you to chew a lot, your body is signaled as no longer being hungry. Apples are also a great for your energy levels.
You won’t be getting caught doing this anymore!
2. Increase in Energy
Hippocrates was definitely onto something when he stated, “Let food be thy medicine.” When you follow a clean-eating diet, you are putting healthier foods into your body, resulting in better output. Food is the fuel of your body. If you put the wrong fuel (refined, simple sugars, for example) into your tank, then you are not going to get very far. Clean food translates into energy. When you get the appropriate vitamins and minerals in your diet, it allows all your body’s systems to work better, making you feel more energetic. In addition, when you cut the sugar and simple, unrefined carbohydrates out of your diet, your blood sugar stays more stable, so that your energy also follows suit.
- By eating a clean diet, you will feel an increase in energy due to the variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you will be eating.
- Eating clean stabilizes your blood sugar levels, which makes you feel less fatigued.
Have you ever felt tired after eating a take-out? This is because it is mostly processed food and contains a huge amount of carbohydrates.
People who experience a lack of energy throughout their day have usually had a large breakfast that is full of carbohydrates. To get the energy boost you need first thing in the morning, and one that will last you all day, eat a breakfast that is balanced with protein, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs.
3. Lower Risk of Disease
The choice of foods you decide to eat can affect your health in both positive or negative ways. Have you considered what puts you at risk and what can prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes?
Here are three ways clean eating can benefit you when it comes to disease.
• Obesity – Being overweight has been linked to many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Eating foods that are high in carbs and sugar will increase your weight, causing your organs to work overtime and resulting in these types of diseases having a better chance of developing. Clean eating will help you lose that excess weight, and can level out your blood sugars.
• Lack of nutrients – Not getting proper nutrition can cause everything from acne to digestive problems to osteoporosis, and possibly even cancer. For example, to strengthen your bones, you need to get enough calcium and Vitamin D. Osteoporosis causes your bones to become weak and in worse cases brittle. With clean eating, you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that contain hundreds of nutrients that you won’t find in processed foods.
• High Cholesterol – LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) is said to be the main cause of heart disease. Eating foods that have a high amount of saturated fat will cause your cholesterol to rise to unhealthy levels. By having a balanced meal of protein, good fats, and healthy carbs you are less likely to be at risk.
4. Less Constipation
When you eat more whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and get more fiber in your diet, regularity is a positive side effect. In addition, this puts you at decreased risk of various cancers, especially colorectal. Fiber has been described as the brush that sweeps your intestines clean, by binding to harmful toxins and carrying them out of your body.
5. Mental Health
There isn’t a specific diet that can assist your mental health, but it is well known that eating healthy foods is reflected in your mental health. When your body gets what it needs, everything works better, including your mind and emotions. Eating fatty fish for their omega 3 oils, such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines, has an incredible impact on the brain, especially when it comes to mild memory loss and depression.
6. Improvement in Sleep
If you’re tossing and turning and can’t get to sleep, it could be due to eating junk food. Instead of eating sweet treats and pizza, try eating a handful of nuts. Nuts contain tryptophan, which will help you relax and fall asleep.
It is recommended that you consume around 280 mg of tryptophan per day. If you have ever noticed feeling a little drowsy after your Thanksgiving meal, it is because turkey contains tryptophan.
Other foods such as fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs contain higher amounts of tryptophan, and are a better way of eating clean, especially as a nighttime snack, rather than sitting down for a turkey dinner.
No, clean eating won’t regress you back to your babyhood, but it will help you sleep like a baby!
7. Healthy Skin
It is a known fact that the skin of smokers ages more quickly than that of non-smokers. It simply demonstrates that what you put into your body, is also reflected on the outside.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is the first line of defense from organisms in the environment. When you consume refined sugars, such as those found in soda or white bread, your skin responds negatively. Acne and wrinkles are linked to excess dietary sugars. The addition of Omega 3’s to your diet, by eating cold-water fish such as salmon, or consumed in flax seed oil, can also be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of eczema.
In addition, when you eat clean foods such as whole vegetables and fruits, you are getting antioxidants that help fight free radicals that attack your body’s cells, including those of your skin.
There really isn’t enough proof in the world to associate any type of diet with healthy skin. But cutting out processed foods is a good start, and adding the following nutrients well help you maintain healthy skin.
- Vitamin A – This is found in most skin care products and is used to help treat acne.
- Zinc – Stops bacteria from allowing acne to form all over your skin.
- Omega-3 – Usually found in fatty fish, omega-3 will reduce inflammation, and will soften your skin.
- Antioxidants – Protection from the sun is crucial, and antioxidants can be found in vitamin C and Vitamin E.
8. Fewer Sugar Cravings
Clean eating helps end your cravings for sugar, as you’re eating less processed foods which contain a lot of carbohydrates. You know it, the more sugary foods you eat, the more you want. By eating clean foods, your cravings will become less and less.
No, no, no! You don’t want that sugary thing!
If you have candida, which is a form of yeast infection that lives off sugar, clean eating will help clear it up. No need for medication, just lay off the sugar, and you’re off to a healthy start.
9. Lower Food Bills
Many people are worried that clean eating will result in higher food bills. However, when you consider that you will be buying less pre-packaged, processed foods and replacing them with whole foods and ingredients to make meals from scratch, your food bills should actually be less. And since your cravings will lessen, you won’t eat as much. In addition, if you have a bad habit of going through the fast food drive-thru after a long day at work, eliminating this will also be another way to save money.
Most diets, like the popular Ketogenic diet, are only supposed to be used for short periods, and should only be used for around to 90 days. Clean eating is more of a lifestyle and is sustainable and makes you feel amazing.
You will be eating a variety of foods that are rich in flavor and will provide you all the nutrients you need to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. You will enjoy it as it is not as restrictive as other diets and you are not depriving yourself of anything other than processed foods.
No diet can guarantee that you will live a happy longer life, but the benefits above show us that, with clean eating, the odds are stacked in our favor.