Are you looking to lose weight? Are you wanting your body to feel better after eating? Then, you may want to consider eating clean. Eating clean has benefits beyond weight loss. Eating the right foods is linked to a wide range of health benefits, from more energy to an improved mood. No matter what your goals are, eating clean can revolutionize your life. Here are 10 reasons why you should eat clean!
1. You Will Save Money
Many say that eating healthy is more expensive than eating processed foods. But actually, it isn’t. If you plan out your clean meals for the week, you won’t risk overspending at the store or going to restaurants. By skipping pricey restaurants and unhealthy takeout orders, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. Want to stretch your clean-eating dollars? Take leftovers for lunch.
2. Makes You Smarter
In addition to saving money, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts keeps our minds sharper, and our memories stronger by a whopping 24%, proved a study published in the spring 2015 issue of Neurology. For instance, our brains function better with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids while they slow down when we fill them with sugar (including alcohol), fast food, and the wrong kinds of fats. To sum it up, a balanced diet means better brain health!
3. Boosts Your Energy
The third reason why you should eat clean is that you will feel more energetic! Fruit is just one of the many clean foods that provide an instant dose of energy. High-fiber fruits like apples take longer to digest and can instantly stave off that afternoon slump while providing critical vitamins for the evening ahead. Other pick-me-ups include quinoa, almonds, eggs, kale, citrus fruit, and a glass of water.
4. Improves Your Mood
Your overall mood and food go hand in hand. The better the food, the better your mood! If you are feeling down, go for berries, bananas, coffee, lean proteins, chocolate, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these foods are proven to boost your mental state.
5. You Will Feel Stronger
Eating clean equals feeling stronger! The lean protein that comprises part of the clean-eating philosophy builds lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism, found in a study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting. Some great choices for your muscles include quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, spinach, and seeds. Don’t forget animal-based products like chicken, fish, and lean beef!
6. You Will Live Longer
Try to imagine the fountain of youth made out of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Studies show that consuming these foods can extend your lifespan. A recent JAMA Internal Medicine report found that each additional 28-gram serving of whole grains per day (go for nutrient-dense ancient grains like teff, amaranth, millet, and sorghum) was associated with a 5% lower risk of dying from any cause. European researchers have also found that increasing your produce intake to more than 569 grams per day reduces your risk of mortality by 10%. So choose raw veggies whenever you can!
7. Helps Improve Sleep
While getting a good night’s sleep will help you in all aspects, eating right will also help you get the sleep you crave. Researchers found that people who ate the widest variety of foods also consumed the most antioxidants. They also drank the most water. To help improve your sleep, strive to eat a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins rich in B vitamins, like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy. B vitamins may also help to regulate melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles.
8. Fights Off Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to everything from stress and brain fog to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. But according to an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat whole grains over refined ones cut their levels of C-reactive protein—a key indicator of inflammation—by 38%. And for your information, that was after controlling for weight loss.
9. Boosts Your Immunity
Not only will you feel better after eating clean, but it also helps boost your immune system! Studies show that keeping your gut bacteria happy and healthy (reach for probiotics and complex carbs!) can strengthen your immune system to reduce your likelihood of infections. Research in BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine shows that green tea can also help fight off the flu.
10. Relieves Stress
Last but not least, eating clean will help relieve stress. Foods have a significant influence on your levels of relaxing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, and your levels of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. For example, in one study, people who ate flavonoid-rich dark chocolate before undergoing a mock interview came out on top with lower adrenaline levels and felt not as stressed out.
Now that you know the top 10 reasons why you should eat clean, you have the option to choose to eat healthier. Consistently eating clean foods fills your body with many vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. Eating clean helps improve brain health, assist with weight management, build a stronger immune system, and increase energy levels, among other benefits. Check out The Kitchen at Be Well through our website and begin your clean eating journey!