What Is Clean Eating?

You know that your health is your greatest wealth, right? Clean eating is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family healthy–but what the heck is it and how can I fit that into an already busy day? I have found a great resource to help you plan clean meals at Menu Planning Central. I only have a few affiliate connections, because I am SO fussy about what I recommend to you. It has to be good! A free week of menu plans will give you a head start. Check it out!   

Clean eating started gaining popularity back in the mid-1990’s. People were starting to pay attention to how foods were processed and grown. Health food stores were becoming more mainstream. Today, clean eating or eating clean is a way of life for many people of all walks of life.

Clean eating means everything from eating more fruits and vegetables to eliminating all processed foods. Basically, it means to eat whole foods. So instead of eating a banana nut muffin, eat a banana and nuts instead. It means using foods that have only all natural ingredients–if you can’t pronounce it, it probably isn’t a whole food!

One way to replace those processed foods is to make homemade versions. Everything from energy bars to salad dressings can be created with whole natural ingredients at home. Clean eating recipes can be found for just about everything, from five-ingredient ice cream to homemade baby food and pickled veggies.

Whole natural foods provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for the body to function at its best. Nutrients are the foundation for the structure and function of our body’s cells. The health and the way these cells function is determined directly by what you eat.

Eating clean gives you clearer skin, more energy, shinier hair and better sleep and moods as well as less aches and pains and clearer thinking.

Here are the basics of clean eating:

  • Nothing white. No sugar, no white flour (bread, pasta, etc), and no white rice. The only white allowed is white vegetables. Read labels and ingredient lists.
  • No alcohol. Moderated opinion
  • Only healthy sources of fats. Fats olive oil, coconut oil and nut oils are perfect. Fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fat are good sources.
  • Lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats.

Clean eating isn’t a fad diet. It’s a common-sense approach to eating for a healthy lifestyle. It’s something everyone can do by choosing a variety of whole, unrefined foods in as close to their natural state as possible.

Benefits of Clean Eating

Now that you know what clean eating is, you might be wondering what the benefits of eating clean are. Well, there are many. Let’s take a look.

  • You’ll feel better. It’s simple, really. Whole vegetables, fruits and lean proteins balance your energy levels, which leaves you feeling great all day. When you eat clean, you are able to absorb nutrients better and your energy levels skyrocket.
  • Healthy foods promote cell growth, which in turn makes your skin, hair and nails stronger, shinier and healthier.
  • You’ll maintain a healthy weight. Eating clean is the best way to sustain a healthy weight. You lose weight by eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains.
  • You will build up your immune system. For a strong immune system, you need nutritious foods. Eating clean provides them. Building your immune system through clean eating allows the body to fight of illnesses more naturally and recover more quickly.
  • Your thinking becomes clearer. Processed and junk food can cloud your mind and can make you feel sluggish. On the other hand, eating clean, whole foods high in healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids keeps your brain functioning at peak ability. Your brain needs a balance of nutrients like proteins and healthy fats to function properly. Foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, beets, bell peppers and eggplants are rich in high level antioxidants. Prunes, raisins, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and cherries protect the brain cells. Salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and nuts boost Vitamin E levels.
  • Boost energy levels. Clean foods boost energy with foods that slowly release natural sugar. Foods that create a gentle and steady release of sugar include fruit combined with oatmeal or yogurt, cheese and natural crackers, apple slices and peanut butter or cottage cheese with veggies.
  • You’ll experience better sleep. The vitamins and minerals found in natural foods allow your body to regulate hormonal functions during the day, allowing you to sleep deeper at night. Clean eating foods calm your nervous system and trigger sleep hormones that help you rest better at night.