Last Updated on August 2, 2018 by Cathy Jo Johnson
In basic terms, the goal of clean eating is to consume whole foods that are minimally processed, refined or come from a natural source. It challenges us to choose more fruits and vegetables as well as foods that are free of additives and preservatives and choose foods that are of nature.
What Makes Processed Foods Bad?
Although some experts will tell you that processed foods are not necessarily a bad thing, because it removes bacteria and toxins and helps to preserve foods, they are wrong for multiple reasons. Processed foods are low in fiber, low in nutrients, contain unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and sugar, high-fructose sugar, refined oils, and trans fats. Each of these qualities poses significant risks to our health including the dreaded heart disease, the risk of stroke, diabetes, obesity, and cancer to name a few (MedlinePlus). Concerns for people of any age but especially for those of us over 40!
What Happens When We Eat Clean?
While the long-term effects can be momentous and life-changing like dramatic weight loss, the reversal of heart disease or type 2 diabetes, there are immediate changes that begin to occur in a matter of just two or three weeks. You can reap the benefits of clean eating at any are or despite your previous eating patterns. The minute you begin to follow this lifestyle several things start to happen to your body.
Here are six almost instant benefits of eating clean.
It’s no secret that as we age, it gets more difficult to lose or maintain weight. At the core of weight management is a healthy diet. Processed foods are usually higher in calories, lower in nutritional value and full of additives. Not a winning combination for weight loss. Many people who have adopted a clean eating approach to living find it’s easy to maintain weight by merely monitoring portion size.
Many of us experience a decline in energy as we age. Surprisingly, one of the immediate changes you start to notice after eating clean for a few days is the boost in your energy levels. Thanks to the combination of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats, your body reaps the benefits of an even distribution of energy that can last for hours at a time. WebMD reports that your blood sugar becomes well-adjusted as a result of eating nutritious, timely meals. This action helps to reduce the number of spikes you sometimes experience eating processed foods.
Mood Swing for the Better
Hormone production fluctuates in our 40’s, 50’s and beyond, and that can impact our moods. Clean eating is well-known for its ability to provide mental clarity and overall brain health in general. In addition to the fog lifting, you also start to experience a change in your mood. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, and improved regulation of brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, followers of clean eating can fend off feelings of depression and anxiety.
Improved Sleep Experience
Do you still sleep like you do when you were younger? Most of us don’t but, according to Shape Magazine, another immediate benefit of clean eating is improved sleep experiences. Thanks to chemicals like tryptophan that naturally occur in foods like almonds, your body experiences a natural boost in the hormone melatonin which helps you to get much-needed sleep.
Improve Your Workouts
It was easier for me to build muscle when I was in my twenties. Today it’s doable but more challenging. If you are looking to improve your workouts, clean eating can blaze a trail to improving your endurance, recovery time and build muscle according to researchers.
Younger Looking Skin Health
You are what you eat –at least your skin thinks so. A diet that is rich in fruits and veggies contains just enough vitamins to improve the elasticity and vibrancy of your skin. Followers of clean eating report changes in their skin for the better in a matter of only six weeks.
These are just six almost instant benefits of eating a clean. Remember to start small and aim big. Clean eating is not just another diet plan, scheme or fad. Clean eating is a way of life that is pulling in followers by the thousands and has numerous benefits. Try clean eating for yourself and start making changes today. You are bound to see immediate changes in your mind, body, and spirit for the better.
How have you eliminated processed food from your diet? Leave a comment down below.
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