Issues and Challenges

Clean Eating

The goal of healthy living can only be accomplished when you focus on your diet, your thoughts and your daily actions. A healthy person is one who is physically, mentally and socially fit, and food plays an integral part in achieving this goal. In most cases, our health depends on what we consume in our daily routine. We need food to gain its healthy and nutritious substances. Today, with the advancement of science and technology, we are able to prove that disease can be prevented or controlled with the right intake of natural nutrients as they have an inbuilt power to combat diseases.
Clean eating is the another popular phenomenon focused on fresh food intake. Taking in the right amount of naturally grown nutrition and vitamins is extremely important. A clean diet is a lifestyle, “… that allows you to eat more and weigh less,” says Tosca Reno, an author of The Eat-Clean Diet series. Clean eating encourages a lifestyle that includes exercise and a diet plan with unprocessed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and no artificial ingredients or preservatives. The eat-clean diet recommends avoiding all saturated fat, trans fats, over-processed, refined foods especially white flour, sugar, sugar-loaded colas, processed juices and alcohol. The diet further recommends that each meal intake should remain between 200-300 calories and every meal should have a protein of about 20-21 grams. Drink at least 8 to 10 cups of water daily. Never miss a meal, especially breakfast as it is not healthy. Consume adequate healthy unsaturated fats like nuts and fish.
You can easily incorporate the idea of eating clean in your daily routine by choosing whole grains that are less processed, eating lean proteins with less fatty streaks and loading up on raw, green, colored fruits and vegetables. The core idea of eating clean is to choose foods that are closest to their natural form. Avoid buying boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, frozen or processed meat or refined liquids.

Whole Grains Are Your Best Friends
Studies show that a diet high in whole grains and fiber can lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer. Avoid eating refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and rice. Switch to whole wheat, brown bread, pasta or wild rice. Or you can choose from other whole grains like oatmeal, popcorn, barley or bulgur. Add gluten free products to your diet such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat and polenta.
Fruits and Vegetables are Staples to Eating Clean
Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help fight inflammation and protect your body from damage. Always read the label to make sure you are not buying products with added preservatives, sugar or unhealthy fats. Also choose whole fruits instead of buying processed juices, which have less fiber and more sugar.
Watch Out for Salt and Sugars
Follow no added salt and sugar approach. Studies indicate that high intake of salt and sugar leads to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and cancer, among other health problems. Flavor your platter with spices and herbs instead, such as basil, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cumin, and coriander.
Skip Artificial Ingredients
Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives and other manmade ingredients are unhealthy and should be avoided as much as possible. Our body refuses to recognize such products as they are unnatural and thus stores them as fat in the body.
Hydrate Your Body
Water is the healthiest beverage you have available. It helps in detoxifying heavy toxins. Drink water instead of sugar-heavy soft drinks and juices, sip low-calorie beverages, such as unsweetened coffee and herbal tea. Water can curb hunger, fend off fatigue and provide you with more energy. A well hydrated body is a healthy body!
Rethink Caffeine
Research shows that too much caffeine can lead to nervousness, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, indigestion and muscle tremors. Caffeine intake should be moderated at all times. Health experts recommend no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine (about three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee) a day. It is best to consume unsweetened tea or coffee.
Go Organic
Organic farmers use natural pesticides and avoid using chemicals to grow their product. Food growing industry sprays the product with fertilizers and chemicals, which poisons our immune system, thus, buying from local farmers or growing your own fruits and vegetables is recommended. 
Be smart about meat and dairy; dairy, meat and eggs you buy at the store may come from animals that are injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. A farmer’s market is a good place to learn more about where your meat and dairy comes from. Seafood isn’t labeled as organic, so look for items low in mercury.

Studies show that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains have been linked to a healthier mind and body, reduced risk of depression, anxiety, obesity and chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke and cancer. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating clean reduces inflammation in the body. Clean eating also helps to combat oxidative stress. Start changing your eating habits and replace your platter with healthy nutritious and wholesome foods. Eat well and stay happy! HH

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