The Stunning Health Benefits of Clean Eating

Guest Post by Rebecca Salvas at balancedtrainingsite.wordpress.com

Back in August of 2013, I started eating clean. Since my exercise journey had started by that point, I was looking for other ways I could improve myself and become healthier in every way.

I have always had somewhat of a balanced diet, but I was still eating a fair amount of unhealthy foods, and I wasn’t being consistent. My goal was to get the necessary nutrients my body needed through whole foods. Ultimately, this would improve my immune system, skin clarity, mood, and overall health.

Eating clean is not as difficult as some may think. All that’s required is some effort. You need to plan ahead and prep your own foods. Prepackaged foods are rarely clean, and if you live on-the-go like me, it’s important to have foods prepped so they can be grab-n-go foods.

I also have a “working lunch” which means my foods need to be easy and quick. Here, I’ll share information and tips on clean eating, and some of my favourite go-to clean foods for snacks and meals.

Clean Eating PandaVita

What Exactly Is Clean Eating?

Clean eating consists of eating only whole natural foods that are unprocessed. Organic foods are a plus too. The foods consumed include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and grass-fed meats. Each meal or snack contains complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

When you eat clean, you provide your body with the necessary nutrients, like vitamin C, calcium, potassium, at the fullest form. You are also avoiding ingredients, included in processed foods, that are very harmful to the body.

Some harmful ingredients include food colouring, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup. There are many other harmful ingredients to avoid, which are in processed foods, but these are the most common.

Next time you’re doing your food shopping and you buy a prepackaged snack, take a look at the nutritional label. Once you start to read the ingredients, you’ll notice most of the ingredients cannot be pronounced. This shows that they are chemically altered or processed.

Below is the nutritional table for PandaVita's organic baobab powder. It contains 100% organic baobab powder and nothing else. It isn't processed and has no added sugars, chemicals or any of the bad stuff.

In this nutritional table, you can clearly see that baobab powder only contains essential vitamins and minerals. See all the amazing health benefits of baobab powder. Or if you don't know what baobab powder is, find out here.

Organic Baobab Powder nutritional info Pandavita

It’s also important to note that the order the ingredients are listed on a nutritional label tells you how much of a certain ingredient was used. Consumers put the ingredients they used the most of first, and the least listed last.

You’ll notice on processed prepackaged foods, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are very common and are often some of the first ingredients listed.

Benefits of Clean Eating

The most obvious and well-known benefit of clean eating is weight loss. This is probably one of the main reasons why so many people start eating clean food. Although the weight loss benefits of clean eating are amazing, the health benefits go far beyond just weight loss.

Related: Exercise vs. Diet: Which is More Important for Weight Loss?

Clean eating also improves how your body functions. By providing your body with whole natural foods, it can digest food more easily and your body functions better. You stop feeling sluggish and start feeling more energised.

This also improves your mood. Unfortunately, few people see the link between consuming processed fried foods and their mood (depression, anger, irritation etc.). The foods we eat are a huge contributor to our moods.

A deficiency in certain nutrients, particularly Omegas 3 and 6 and probiotics, can influence how we feel, think, and interpret our surroundings and interactions. In addition, including more fibre in your diet can improve your digestive system.

Your skin clarity improves too. This benefit of clean eating does take some time (I noticed a difference after about 2-3 months) but is worth it. I suffer from severe cystic acne mostly along my jawline, and clean eating has helped.

Since I avoid processed and fried foods most of the time (I do indulge occasionally), I have noticed that my skin clears up much faster than before, and the texture has improved as well.

Giving up dairy is something I have done recently in addition to my clean eating. Eliminating dairy alone has reduced the size of my breakouts tremendously. Again, seeing results does take time, though. I started seeing results in my second month. Be patient with your body.

Now I’ll share some tips on how to make clean eating a little easier and I’ll also share some clean snack foods.

Here are easy tips to clean eating:

  • Eat organic foods
  • Choose fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks
  • Choose whole grains (quinoa, brown rice) instead of white or wheat bread
  • Replace fatty meats (pork loin, ground beef) with lean meats (chicken, fish, grass-fed 90% beef) or choose a vegan diet
  • Replace soda with water, unsweetened tea, fruit infused water or chilled water with added baobab powder

In addition to chicken, grass fed beef, and fish, here are some of my favourite foods that I eat while clean eating:

Clean Eating Snacks PandaVita

References

Article: “The Clean Eating Diet”

Author: Unknown

Date: Unknown

Website: HealthyWomen.org

Link: http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/clean-eating-diet

 

Article: “The Six Rules for Eating Clean”

Author: Jessica Levine

Date: April/May2015

Website: AARP.org

Link: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2015/clean-eating-rules.html

About Rebecca

Rebecca Salvas

"My fitness journey began back in 2013. I have always had a passion for fitness, nutrition, and overall health, but my crazy life of going to school, work and dance classes seemed to take up all my time.
In college, I ran a lot but was somewhat afraid of lifting too many weights. I didn’t want to become “bulky”. I decided to start with low weight and start little by little, but it wasn’t before long that I was hooked.
I went nuts…I loved weights now! I was constantly finding new routines and exercises to try, and even started weighted cardio (my favourite). My stress level decreased and I felt like I had a lot more energy.Fitness became my outlet. It always made me feel better. I worked out when I was happy, mad, upset, nervous, bored, you name it. It wasn’t before long, though, that I started getting burnt out. I had to slow down, and it felt like I was slacking off. I needed to find the balance of working out, eating the right amount of nutrients, and getting the right amount of rest my body needed.
Fitness became my outlet. It always made me feel better. I worked out when I was happy, mad, upset, nervous, bored, you name it. It wasn’t before long, though, that I started getting burnt out. I had to slow down, and it felt like I was slacking off. I needed to find the balance of working out, eating the right amount of nutrients, and getting the right amount of rest my body needed.
All this didn’t come without other challenges, though. The hardest to deal with are people’s judgements and criticism. A lot of people thought that I was sick, doing too much, or not being knowledgeable enough.These criticisms came from people who were looking for any excuse as to why I was succeeding and becoming happier with myself. I tried not to pay too much attention to these people and focused on the ones that have supported me through it all
These criticisms came from people who were looking for any excuse as to why I was succeeding and becoming happier with myself. I tried not to pay too much attention to these people and focused on the ones that have supported me through it all
It took some time, but I found that balance. Ever since I found the balance my life is so much better.
I’m enjoying things more, enjoying the rest days, and enjoying foods guilt-free. My goal now is to share my experience, and to help others find their balance to living a happy, healthy life that we all deserve."



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