The primary goal of clean eating is to get you to ditch the processed food that you have been used to eating and eating wholesome food in the most natural form.
Not only does clean eating allow you to lose weight but it also helps your overall health.
Clean eating doesn’t guarantee you a life free of disease, but it reduces the chances of disease and allows you to live a longer healthier life.
Here is a list of healthy practices you can begin today to make the transition to a healthy lifestyle smoother.
1. Eat Vegetables
A lot of people in the world aren’t eating their fair share of vegetables and relying on processed food to keep their hunger intact.
Eating more vegetables can reduce your risk of diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
By eating vegetables, you will be releasing fiber into your body which is packed full of good bacteria that fights off bad pathogens and infections.
Tip: Buy organic vegetables as they will reduce the number of pesticides you’re consuming
Below is a list eight popular vegetables you absolutely must stock your fridge with today.
Carrots are a great source of fiber and nutrients. Due to the number of antioxidants they have, carrots are known to reduce the risk of different types of cancer.
Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. You can use them in coleslaws, sales, healthy muffins, use them as a snack with dip or put them in different stews.
Make sure that you don’t eat too many as carrots contain Vitamin A, which if a lot is consumed can be toxic to your digestive system.
Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is quite popular due to the number of nutrients it contains such as Vitamin A, K, C, B6, magnesium, calcium and so much more.
By eating kale, you are lowering the risk of high cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease over time.
You can eat kale in a salad, soup, with pasta or just snack. You can’t go wrong with kale; it will help you to lose weight.
Spinach is leafy green which comes with a range of health benefits, and it contains lutein which helps protect our eyes.
Spinach contains, MGDG and SQDG, which reduces the risk of cancer and even suppresses tumors from getting larger.
You can enjoy spinach in green smoothies, salads, fried or a favorite of most is in an Indian curry called the Dahl.
• Sweet Potatoes
These sweet vegetables that are grown worldwide come in different variety of sizes and have a lot of minerals, fiber, and nutrients.
Sweet potatoes help align your gut, provide vitamin A to improve your immune system, and it has been known to improve your cognitive development.
You can eat them as normal potatoes such as chips, mash, bakes, and other foods. Adding a little olive oil can help bring out Vitamin A.
• Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in red, yellow and orange which contain a high amount of Vitamin C and helps with repairing the body.
If you have a pollen allergy, you may react bell peppers as they contain the same allergens.
You can stuff bell peppers with quinoa, add them to chili or enjoy raw in a wrap for that extra crunch.
Watercress contains plenty of antioxidants which helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.
It’s a good source of vitamin C which reduces the chance of your body becoming infected with pathogens.
You can eat watercress in an omelet, wrap, salad, chicken stir-fry or simply on its own. It has a peppery hot taste to it, as perfect as an addition to soups.
This is technically a fruit, but many categorize as a vegetable. The tomato has many oxidants and contains potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C.
Tomatoes’ are linked to reducing heart disease, cancer as well as protect you against sunburn.
They are harvested early which dulls the taste but will be ripe when the reach shop, you can enjoy tomatoes’ with almost any meal you can think of and is the main ingredient in most dishes.
Often added to a variety of stir-fries, everything about these green vegetables can be eaten. They contain mostly vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, protein and fiber.
Eating celery has been linked to lowering cholesterol levels, lowering high blood pressure and lowers toxins due to its high amount of antioxidants.
If you enjoy green smoothies, add a little celery to the mix, fry some up with your favorite stir-fry or enjoy on its own.
There are plenty more vegetables to cover that provide a wide range of health benefits, do your research and go organic as possible.
2. Eat Fruits
People are always searching for real whole foods that are free from pesticides; fruit needs to be on top of your list.
Fruits contain plenty of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. They help reduce cholesterol levels, and the fiber inside of fruits helps you lose weight.
You’ll find that berries are considered healthier than most fruits due to them having higher amounts of oxidants and fiber. Below we’ll go over a few fruits that you can eat today to help you achieve your clean eating goals.
People think that the avocado is a vegetable when in fact it’s a fruit and comes with plenty of healthy fats and contains a large number of nutrients.
If you are struggling to get enough potassium in your diet, avocados contain enough to get your daily dose.
Knowledge: Did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
They have a fatty texture which can be used with other ingredients quite well. Try sliced avocados on toast with a touch of lemon juice.
Pineapples can provide a large number of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and magnesium.
By being full of antioxidants, they are linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancers, but the special thing about pineapples is that the effects last longer.
Pineapple assists your body in recovery after exercise and is also delicious to eat in many different ways.
This fruit is favored by many as it is refreshing. It is also high in vitamins A and C. It contains papain which is used to tenderize meat.
Papaya contains carotenoids which are used to reduce inflammation which can stop diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
You can eat papaya on its own or with other fruits. It goes well nicely in fruit salads.
Mango is high in vitamin C and antioxidants but is also low in calories which, is great for us that are looking to lose weight.
Due to all the vitamin C, it contains, your skin is less likely to sag, become wrinkled and your hair will begin to shine.
You can enjoy mango on its own or with other foods but eat in moderation as it doesn’t contain plenty of sugar.
If you like a lot of fruit that has plenty of flavor and health benefits, the kiwi may be your answer. It contains many nutrients such as vitamin C, K, and E.
Kiwis are known to boost the immune system as well as reduce the health issues such as diabetes and lower the risk of heart disease.
The majority of people have during breakfast by itself or with no fat Greek yogurt.
• Add Wholegrain
Whole grains are crucial when you are on a clean diet, but few people eat the required amount of servings per day.
Whole grains Contain Three Main Elements Bran, Germ, and Endosperm
Whole grains are full of soluble fiber which makes you feel less hungry as well as controlling your blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels.
Not all whole grains are the same, as some will have different nutrients to others. Below are a few whole grains that are unique in their way.
A texture that is quite similar to quinoa; this cereal grain is made from cracked wheat that’s parboiled.
It’s rich in fiber, helps you lose weight, improves blood sugar level and keeps your heart healthy.
You can eat bulgur in salads or soups and can be eaten in place of rice for most dishes.
If you’re looking for fuel for the body and food that is high in carbohydrates, rice is your answer.
Rice is high in iron and calcium and as it contains a low amount of fat is perfect if you need to lower your cholesterol levels.
Rice can be used in about any type of dish and is a favorite with curries.
Corn is made of primarily carbs and low traces of protein which doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Corn has many vitamins and minerals, and they differ if you have popcorn or sweet corn. Popcorn contains more minerals, and sweet corn contains more vitamins.
By eating corn, you’ll improve your eye health as well as reduce the risks of any digestive issues.
Oats are high in protein and fat, but also contain high amounts of carbohydrates and fiber.
The antioxidants that come with oats are quite powerful as they provide a range of health benefits such as reducing blood pressure.
If you have a family and young children, it’ll benefit them in the long run as it can prevent asthma.
3. Consume Less Meat
Cutting back on eating meat is not only healthier, but it’s also good for the earth. You don’t have to go full vegan to see the healthy benefits of eating less meat.
When you do eat less meat, you are lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and you will enjoy losing weight.
Side Note: Eating more veggies increases the number of vitamins and minerals.
Don’t worry about the lack of protein as by eating more plant-based food you are still getting your recommended allowance. When you do eat meat, try to stick to grass-fed meat as it will contain fewer chemicals and remove all processed meat such as sausages from your diet.
Set yourself a goal by not eating meat on a particular day of the week. Instead of eating bacon for breakfast, you can have a nice bowl of oats with strawberry.
Avoid cutting out meat as you will put your body in a state of shock. Instead, lower the amount of meat you eat day by supplementing it with plant-based food. Over time your body will become used to plant-based foods, and you will start to feel great.
4. Avoid Processed Food
Not all processed food is bad. Think about when you’re cutting up vegetables, mixing dressing in your salads that is processed food.
There are day to day items that you buy in store you think are not processed and need to be avoided altogether.
Here are a few ways you can avoid processed food:
• Read the Ingredients
Plenty of people will focus on things like calories and fat, but you need to focus on the ingredients, and if any item of food contains a wide variety of ingredients, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
• Visit the Local Baker
The next time you buy bread at your local store, have a look at the ingredients on whole-bread, and you will probably find that it contains more ingredients than you care to digest.
You are likely to have fewer ingredients in your bread when visiting the local baker. Always go whole-grain as much as possible with as little ingredients as possible.
• Avoid the Kid’s Menu
When you are out for a family meal, try and avoid the kid’s menu as it contains a lot of processed food like chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, and sausages. You can order just for yourself and then have your child eat from your plate.
• Visit the Local Market
Finding pesticide-free food at the local store can be a tough chore, and if not near impossible, the best thing you can do is to visit your local farmer market that is pesticide free seasonal vegetables and fruits.
• Spoil yourself or Try too
Everyone loves junk food, and you have permission to eat as much of it as you want as long as you cook it yourself. If you are going to cook everything that you want to eat, then you may avoid eating it altogether.
5. Consume Less Sugar
Eating a lot of sugar is linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and it will cause you to put on a lot of weight. Sugar is found in every type of food you can think of including fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few ways in which you can avoid consuming more sugar than you need to.
• Avoid Soda
A can of soda contains roughly around 12 teaspoons of sugar. You can substitute it with water, sparkling soda and unsweetened black coffee. Avoid soda can also help you lose weight.
• Avoid Heavy Sugar Desserts
It is nice to enjoy a treat after your meal or as a snack, but there are options for the chocolate bar or cupcake that can make your life healthier. Fresh fruit mixed with Greek yogurt or bakes pears and apples can be perfect for you.
• Avoid Sugar-rich Sauces
Everyone loves BBQ sauce or chili ketchup, but one serving contains around 4 grams of sugar. Using fresh herbs in your cooking can reduce sugar levels. Even mayonnaise is a good choice but don’t overeat.
• Eat foods that are full-fat
Foods that are low fat contain more sugar than full-fat foods. Read the labels of low fat, and you’ll notice that they contain more ingredients as well as hidden sugar like maltose.
6. Limit Sodium Intake
Using less sodium is best as it lowers the risk of high blood pressure and it will keep your kidneys intact. To help you reduce the intake of salt, here are a few tips.
• Use fresh meat as it already contains traces of sodium. By eating processed meat, you’re being exposed to more sodium.
• Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables as frozen or canned contains high traces of sodium. You can buy some frozen fruit but make sure to read the label that says it is fresh.
• Look at different brands of the same food and go with the ones that have a lower sodium content. Cottage cheese is a good example as it’s full of sodium.
• If you’re on a specific diet due to medical conditions, there are low-sodium salts that you can take which will help lower your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure will rise as you get older, so it is important now than ever to monitor how much sodium you are consuming each day.
7. Avoid Alcohol
When you are eating clean, alcohol can stop you from reaching your goals and cause you to stop losing weight. Drinking too much can cause you to feel hungry, ordering food an extra burger which isn’t good for you. Instead of alcohol, you can drink 100% pure water.
8. Reduce Stress
Stress, if bad enough can have an impact on your physical and mental health, and certain foods can help you feel calm due to the nutrients they contain.
• Eggs – Contain a nutrient called choline which changes the way the brain regulates your mood and reduces stress.
• Kidney Beans – They have an amino acid which helps in the production of serotonin which helps with calming.
• Sweet Potatoes – Lower your blood sugar levels which balance your mood due to being rich in fiber and carbs.
• Brown Rice – Your mood is stimulated due to a variety of B vitamins creating serotonin and dopamine.
Clean eating is all about choosing whole fresh good which hasn’t been processed using chemicals or food colorants. You will begin to notice a difference in yourself physically once you have given clean eating a go.
It is all about taking action, so get started with these healthy practices today.