Clean eating has been trendy in the health community for the past few years, although there's no correct definition of what "Clean Eating" is. It’s more of a dietary approach than a specific diet consisting of whole foods nutrition and avoiding convenience food and other processed foods. It's all about clean nutrition, eating more of the healthiest options in each food group, and eating less unhealthy choices.
Selecting ethical and sustainable foods is also a part of clean eating. It will nourish your body with plentiful vitamins, high-quality proteins, and healthy fats, which improve brain and heart health. Like varying levels of vegetarianism, such as Lacto-vegetarianism and Veganism, a person who eats clean may have different ideas on what to eat. Clean eating is linked to many health benefits, from improved mental health to high energy.
This clean eating lifestyle can be easy and enjoyable if you follow a few general rules. We hope the following will give you an insight into general truths and myths about clean eating.
4 Truths About Clean Eating
1. Clean Eating Gives you More Energy
A healthy diet that properly nourishes you helps you feel productive and energetic. All the nutrients like vitamins and iron help your cell make fuel to function correctly. A clean diet also helps you regulate your blood sugar levels, which increase when you eat processed food. It is an essential source of minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, plant proteins, and antioxidants. Clean eating has stood out as one that promotes a healthy lifestyle as it advocates the consumption of natural and whole foods.
2. Improves Heart Health
Clean eating supports your long-term health. For example, a healthy diet lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. A clean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables that reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases and protect against stroke and high blood pressure. Also, fats present in specific nuts and avocados lower cholesterol levels, which helps in reducing cardiovascular disorders.
On the other hand, an unhealthy diet consists of saturated fat, which increases your blood cholesterol, threatens your heart health. A clean diet is rich in fiber and antioxidants that help grow beneficial gut bacteria, improving your gut health. Hence, including foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics is essential to maintain the balance of good bacteria. You can also rely on vegan probiotic supplements to achieve the same. In addition, a clean diet is one of the most recommended diets for all recovering patients. It causes less strain and aids optimal recovery.
3. Betters Mental Health
A healthy diet comes with many benefits. It not only benefits you physically, but it also supports your mental health. Some acids like amino acids and minerals like magnesium present in your diet help your body and mind stay calm. The deficiency of specific fatty acids and vitamins can cause moodiness and depression. Remember, there is a strong relationship between food and mood. Keep your blood sugar or glucose level stable and live a long and happy life. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, you can try out natural stress aid capsules or oral sprays that may help calm some nerves and relax your muscles.
4. Boosts your Immune System
A clean diet helps boost your immune system. It contains several minerals and antioxidants which can help you build your immunity. It also helps in reducing chronic inflammation, which prevents many common diseases. Natural food has healing properties that help in minimizing and managing inflammation. Every time you consume processed or sugar-containing food, the immune system has to spend more energy protecting you. While eating nutrient-enriched food, your entire body will look and feel good.
3 Myths About Clean Eating
1. Clean Eating is All You Need to Be Healthy
Fact: It's not like if you are eating clean; you can leave out other essential lifestyle changes to lead a healthy life.
There is no doubt that eating clean is the way to go for a healthy body and mind. But is it the only thing you need to do? Well, the answer is NO. While clean eating can help your body get the required nourishment, for overall well-being, you need to complement it with certain day-to-day routines like getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and drinking a minimum of two liters of water every day. Furthermore, making some small lifestyle changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift, using your free time to talk to people rather than watching TV or spending it on your mobiles, and taking a 10-minute break from work after every 60 minutes.
Emotional, physical, and social well-being play a pivotal part in living a healthy and happy life. Don't sacrifice one to prioritize the other. A healthy diet is vital for attaining a fulfilling life, but so is changing your lifestyle habits.
2. Non-meat and Vegan = Clean Eating
Fact: Even though you consume non-meat and vegan food items, it’s not necessarily unprocessed.
People on a clean diet may think that any food labeled vegan or non-meat is healthy and in its purest, natural state, but that’s not always the case. So make it a habit to check for the ingredients. Sometimes they may have some additives and highly processed components that might not help you achieve your daily nutrition needs.
Although non-meat and vegan are healthy food choices, some vegetarian and vegan choices are highly processed and do not equate to clean eating. Some additives are harmful and can result in many health problems. For example, Trans Fats are added to food to extend its shelf life. These fats can increase your cholesterol levels, leading to many heart problems. Eat food with fewer fats and oils. Also, limit your intake of sugar. Remember that sugar should represent less than 10% of your total energy intake.
3. We Don’t Require Nutrition Supplements if We Practice Clean Eating
Fact: Clean eating doesn’t cater to all your nutrient needs, but you can augment them through health supplements.
As clean eating doesn’t have a standard definition, it’s more of a “to each their own” kind of approach. So in some instances, while you might be eating clean, you are actually missing out on some essential nutrients. This diet strategy strictly revolves around restrictive eating patterns and omission of foods seen as impure, fattening, and unhealthy such as food containing gluten, sugar, or dairy products. So taking nutrition supplements are your safest bet to ensure you don’t develop any vitamin and minerals deficiencies while you continue to enjoy your clean meals.
For example, people who follow veganism do not consume meat, animal, or dairy products. While this may be considered clean eating, many essential vitamins and minerals might be missing from their diet. So to cater to the deficiency, many people have vegan supplements. Vegan holistic health supplements offer various nutrients like vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, etc., which is usually insufficient in a vegan diet.
The foundation of clean eating lies in choosing whole-foods nutrition and food in their less processed states. Include all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and high-quality plant and animal proteins. Take a proportionate and nutritious diet. When choosing food with additives or packaged food, food with no added sugar and shorter ingredient lists are preferred. Remember, food does not fall into black and white categories.
The main reason behind clean eating is the health benefits of consuming nutrient-rich food that has not been overly processed. We all need a balance of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fibers, and minerals in our diet to maintain a healthy body. Please avoid foods like processed food containing salt, fat, and sugar. Food with added sugar can wreak havoc with your health. For additional nutrients, you can always include health supplements in your diet. These supplements provide you with nutrients not present in your daily diet.