Growing up, I never much thought about eating healthy or clean eating. You ate what was in front of you … and what was in front of me was delicious! Home cooking was awesome! We mainly had yummy, home cooked Trinidadian food and I was for the most part in Heaven!
When you are in the cocoon of your home as a child, you don’t know what is “out there” in the real world and by the time I was in high school, home cooking (and thus eating healthy) fell by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of Caribbean food, but there was also McDonald’s and KFC. It wasn’t until well into my adult years that I found my way back to the concept of “clean eating”.
Clean eating is a vital component of a healthy gut, a healthy body and a healthy mind.
You’ve probably heard all about the benefits of clean eating, but you may not believe you have the time to stick to a healthy diet. As a result, maybe take out is on speed dial and your freezer is filled with microwave meals.
What you may not realize is that by eating this way you are depriving your body of many essential nutrients and you are missing out on a number of important health benefits (such as a healthy gut).
I’m going to blow your mind about the real value of clean/healthy eating. Keep reading!
Clean Eating Gives You Energy
Clean eating gives you energy. Healthy foods are filled with slow digesting carbohydrates (think complex carbs, like vegetables). These take longer to digest than unhealthy, rapidly digesting carbohydrates (see below), so the energy they provide is released into your blood at a much slower and more stable rate. This means that you have more consistent energy levels which can take you through the whole day.
Unhealthy foods generally contain high levels of rapidly digesting carbohydrates (white rice, white pasta). These get digested very quickly and the energy they provide is released into your blood stream at a much faster, less stable rate. As a result, your energy levels generally peak and then crash when you eat unhealthy foods. Sound familiar?
Clean Eating Ensures That Your Body Works Properly
Healthy foods are packed full of the nutrients that your body needs. They support almost every function you can think of. For example, vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, chloride helps keep the fluid levels within your body balanced and potassium helps keep your blood pressure under control.
Eating unhealthy foods deprives your body of these nutrients and prevents your body from functioning optimally. For example, failing to eat enough vitamin A can limit your vision and in the worst cases cause full blindness. Not getting enough sulphur can prevent your nerves from functioning properly.
Clean Eating May Keep You Safe from Chronic Disease
Eating a good diet may keep you safe from almost any chronic disease. Whilst it is still not known exactly why the nutrients in healthy foods can protect against disease, study after study has consistently shown the power of a healthy diet when it comes to disease prevention.
Consuming unhealthy foods has the opposite effect and may actually increase your risk of contracting these nasty diseases. For example, according to this article from Medical News Today one third of all cancers are linked to poor dietary choices. Holy! Moly!
Clean Eating Reduces Your Chance of Illness
Another key benefit of following a healthy diet is that the wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in these foods supports your immune system. Your immune system is what keeps you safe from disease, infection and foreign bodies. It is important to have a strong immune system.
Following a limited, unhealthy diet means that your body may not be getting the immune supporting nutrients it needs. As a result, your immune system becomes weak and your body becomes much less effective at fighting disease, infection and foreign bodies. This leaves you much more open to illness.
Clean Eating Improves Your Physical Performance
Eating the right foods doesn’t just benefit you internally – it also greatly improves your physical performance. For example, the protein in healthy foods ensures that your muscles have the fuel they need to repair themselves after exercise and grow back stronger. The vitamins and minerals in healthy food keep your blood healthy and ensure that it can quickly transport oxygen to where it is needed when you exert yourself.
Following a poor diet has the opposite effect and can actually hinder your performance during exercise. For example, eating poor quality, rapidly digesting carbohydrates will not give you the steady release of energy that is required to complete a grueling workout. Failing to get enough protein will prevent your muscles from fully recovering after a workout.
There are many, many reasons to eat healthy. The reasons listed in this post are really just scraping the surface. The bottom line is that eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for your body. So if you are currently living off fast food, microwave meals and pizza then you should really consider making a few changes to your diet.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Grabbing a piece of fruit instead of a bar of chocolate, drinking a glass of water instead of a glass of soda or cooking up some chicken and vegetables instead of having a microwave meal are all quick and easy ways to eat more healthy.
Making smart choices such as these will do you a lot of good in the long run!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
Join my Facebook Group, Midlife Healthy Daily!
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.