Clean eating is a term that is broadly & loosely defined, I’ve learned while writing this post. It can relate to not only food & drink, but also exercise, sleep, stress management, and spending time with loved ones, all of which are important for a happy, healthy life. But, to me, clean eating refers to only the consumption portion: choosing closer-to-the-Earth foods & drinks that are whole and organic, either unprocessed, or minimally processed with nothing artificial added. This practice provides my body with what it really needs. As a result, I am the best possible steward of my health, which I believe to be my greatest asset.
There are many reasons I have made clean eating a lifestyle, and I want to share 6 of the biggies with you.
- Eating whole, clean foods is the manner in which our ancestors ate, and the way Nature intended. Only in the past 150 years has the practice of adding artificial flavors, colors, fillers, and other chemicals made in a lab become the norm. Because we evolved eating whole foods in their natural state, our bodies don’t recognize the man-made additives, and therefore don’t know how to process them. Many times, they are tucked away in our fat stores, but sometimes, they make their way into our vascular system and organs, and have the potential to cause disease. I don’t want to take that risk.
- Committing to buying organic fruits and vegetables keeps genetically-modified foods out of my body. Due in large part to government subsidies in this country, GMO food production is on the rise. This is true even though there have been no long-term studies done on human consumption, and short-term studies have yielded frightening results. According to the article 10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful to Human Health, consuming GMO food & drink may contribute to various cancers, gluten sensitivity, autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
- Nutrient-dense whole foods are high in fiber, the preferred food of my gut’s microbiome. Keeping my gut bugs happy is a priority, since they wield such power over my cravings and, therefore, my health in general. (Go to this article for more on that.) According to Michael Greger, MD, author of the book How Not to Die, eating the Standard American Diet, (which is high in processed foods, meats, & dairy, and low in high-fiber whole plant foods) can result in needing 4 or more days for digestion and elimination, whereas plant-based eating requires only one to two days. The slower process is undesirable for many reasons. For example, when those 4 or more days are passing, we don’t stop eating and wait for clearance; we continue eating more of the same hard-to-assimilate foods, placing an even larger burden on all body systems. It’s no wonder that the US spends more than any other country on healthcare (or disease management, to be precise.)
- Eating clean allows me to avoid taking most supplements. That saves me money. It also helps me avoid more man-made additives. In The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, asserts that obtaining nourishment from a variety of whole plant foods is superior to taking supplements due to the symphony of nutrients released from plants that all work together, versus the single extracted vitamin or mineral that works on its own or with its manufactured ingredients.
- Whole foods have a good amount of structured water in them, a different type of water molecule that is deeply hydrating and contributes to the optimal function of my body. In his book Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life, Dr. Gerald Pollack states that water is essential to each and every cellular process. Most processed foods & drinks have little to no water content that can be used for cellular hydration. (If you’d like to know more about the critical importance of hydration, check out this article.)
- Clean eating contributes to a healthy pH balance in my body. Processed foods cause the blood to become overly acidic, throwing off homeostasis. When this occurs, the blood can leach minerals from the bones to reestablish its set point. This can contribute to thinner bones and osteoporosis. Additionally, blood that is constantly exposed to excess acid can become a breeding ground for cancer.
Eating clean is a way to help meet your body’s essential needs while avoiding a tangle of harmful effects. You were designed to eat real, whole foods. By following Nature’s protocol, you are taking responsibility for your health, your greatest asset.
Blessings for Healthy Choices,
The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.