Benefits of Eating Clean
“Clean eating” has had a bad reputation in recent months. Here at the Creative Nature HQ we believe this is down to there being too much ambiguity around what “clean eating” means. Do you have to wash every bit of food you eat? What is classified as ‘clean’? Does it have to be a fruit or vegetable? If it comes in a wrapper is it deemed as ‘bad’? These are just some of the questions which flew around when we were brainstorming.
This led us to write this blog post to define what clean eating is and how sticking to just a few ‘clean eating habits’ can help our loyal followers and lovers of Creative have a healthier and happier 2019!
So firstly, don’t be fooled into think clean eating means you can only eat these ‘clean’ foods and nothing else! The best formula which we follow to ensure we get the benefits from ‘clean eating’ is the 80/20 rule. This means we follow the clean eating formula 80% of the time and having something we really want to enjoy and close our eyes and sigh after every bite 20% of the time.
Clean eating therefore means eating foods which are whole and unrefined/unprocessed. Examples include:
- Brown rice
- Brown pasta
- Dried fruits (in moderation)
So, let’s get down to the benefits that eating clean offers…
- Gut health
Because unprocessed foods haven’t been consumed on an eating clean day, your gut can process the foods more easily as they are often loaded with fibre!
These bugs located in your gut, such as bacteria, fungi and other microbes, together are known as the microbiome, and they serve numerous important functions. Firstly, they impact our immune systems, control inflammation, affect digestion, create neurotransmitters that influence mood and help make certain vitamins. Research has shown that a healthy microbiome is linked to protection from diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and many autoimmune conditions.
A healthy gut includes high fibre and protein rich foods, just follow the list above to succeed!
- Improved complexion
Milk and yoghurt have been claimed to cause skin breakouts due to the milk being taken when the cow is pregnant which can create a rise is hormone levels, which promotes breakouts on the skin. This may be one reason why dairy has been labelled as bad for our skin complexion.
It has been suggested to ‘eat the rainbow’ but if you are time short, or you just don’t like some fruit and vegetables, do not worry, just focus on eating whole foods which are red, yellow and green.
RED: Tomatoes are a great food to eat as they protect against sun damage and fight against free radicals due to their high lycopene content. Tomatoes are more beneficial when cooked as the antioxidant is released and should be consumed with green healthy fats, such as avocados for optimal absorption. In general, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it has!
GREEN & YELLOW: The same rule applies, the darker in colour they are the more nutritious they are!
- More Energy
It’s important not to neglect the carbohydrate and protein macronutrients when following your 80 rules. It has been claimed that by eating wholegrain rice which has gone through less processing than white rice your energy levels are higher as your blood sugar levels do not spike and decline as rapidly.
You will also feel better in yourself which will enable you to want to undertake more exercise which will leave you feeling full of more than usual energy and ready to take on another spin class, or whatever exercise it may be!
- Clearer Mind – Improved Cognitive Ability
Clean eating can improve brain function, prevent mood disorders and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease because the foods labelled ‘clean’ lower inflammation and increase brain nutrients as they are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fats and probiotics.
A 2010 study published in Psychopharmacology shows that a high dose of B-complex vitamins taken with vitamin C are critical for brain health and are directly tied to an improvement in mood. The study authors noted, “Vitamin C is the brain’s most prevalent antioxidant and is found at its greatest concentrations in neuron-rich areas.”
So, don’t abandon those veggies! Red pepper is loaded greatly with Vitamin C!
- Awareness of where your food comes from
Finally, whilst you are following an eating clean lifestyle of 80/20 you will automatically be more aware and interested in where your food has come from, trust us! You will be more aware of the portion sides of food groups. We have provided a table below to illustrate this. You will also have more knowledge of which foods your body responds well to and those which it doesn’t as much, this is because you are more aware and making note of all the foods you consumed throughout the day.
|Food Type||Portion Size (%)|