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How to Start Eating Clean – And Five Power Foods

Simplified, eating clean means stripping your diet of nutritionally meaningless foods. This means no fatty, fried, processed, sugary stuff. In comes the WHOLE FOODS.

Did you know that eating clean actually means you can EAT MORE??? That’s right. You can eat more on LESS calories. How amazing is that. Who doesn’t love eating??? Umm I do. I love eating and if I can eat more, gosh darnit, I will! Eating things like lean protein (chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, tofu, egg whites etc.), veggies (broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce, green beans etc.), whole grains (quinoa, oatmeal, bulgur, brown rice, etc.), and good fats (almonds, avocado) will keep you fuller, longer.

Why? If you eat processed foods, they are pretty much already “broken down” for you, so the time it takes to digest a french fry will be waaaaayyyyy quicker than the time it takes to digest a baked sweet potato with skin. Make sense? And processed foods usually have a TON of sugar, sodium, and preservatives that can make them quite addicting. If you try to ween away from chips, candy, and all that other “bad stuff”, your taste palette will rewire itself so that you won’t want it anymore.

How To Start Eating Clean

  1. Stop eating anything fried, sugary, and processed
  2. Start eating a ton more veggies and lean protein
  3. Eat things in their whole form! Fresh fruits, veggies, real meat (not patties and chicken nuggets)
  4. Replace refined carbs (like white rice) with whole grains (brown rice, quinoa)
  5. Drink tons and tons of water to stay hydrated
  6. Eat 5 times a day. If this is not possible, it is ok to do 3 a day, but just make sure each meal is balanced
  7. Make and take with you as many meals as you can to not be swayed by temptation

5 Power Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

You are what you eat, so starting eating and even juicing these power foods. They’re guaranteed to make you feel healthier, quickly improving your body’s systems.

1. Watercress

Watercress is a great detoxifying vegetable. Watercress is packed with antioxidants that can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells. DNA damage to blood cells can increase the development of cancer.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a daily portion of watercress (85 g) can decrease DNA damage to cells that already have been damaged by free radicals. (1)

Besides the beneficial antioxidant properties, watercress can also reduce triglyceride levels in the blood. (1) Heart disease and stroke can be preventable by keeping stress levels down, keeping cholesterol levels down and making sure you get enough movement throughout the day.

Watercress also contains an antioxidant called lutein and beta-carotene. These antioxidants are important in maintaining healthy eyes and decreasing risks of macular degeneration and cataracts.

2. Berries

All berries are beneficial. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals. Berries can decrease heart attack risks due to the high level of flavonoids that they contain. Besides healthy heart benefits, berries also decrease the chances of cognitive dementia due to old age.

Even though berries are categorized as fruit, they are low in calories and high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble fiber). Berries are also great for people who have diabetes because it doesn’t spike up blood sugar levels like other fruits. I like to blend rather than juice berries. Next time your craving something sweet, grab a handful of berries.

3. Raw Almonds

Almonds are packed with vitamin E. One small handful of almonds provides the recommended daily consumption of almonds.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats which have been associated with decreased risk of heart disease which is primarily due to the abundant amount of vitamin E that almonds contain. (2) Besides vitamin E, almonds also contain magnesium. Magnesium increases blood flow throughout the body.

Almonds also contain potassium. Potassium is important because it is involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, regulating blood pressure, and healthy heart function. (2)

Almonds are a great snack. Eat a handful in between meals and see the difference in how you feel.

4. Beets

Beets contain betacyanin. Betacyanin is a type of pigment that ranges from dark red to purple. Betacyanin is being studied for it’s anticancer and tumor fighting effects. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that increases the bodies immunity against different aliments. Beet juice is a great way to build immunity.

Beet juice and beets have soluble fiber. This is my favorite type of fiber because soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach which could help control weight gain. Soluble fiber also is capable of lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Beets are packed with folate (provides 34% of the Daily Value). Folate is important for pregnant women, since it may prevent birth defects and promote brain development of unborn babies. Folate may also protects us against heart disease and cancer.

Beets may also prevent anemia since it can foster red blood cells due to it’s components iron and folic acid. It’s also a natural blood purifier since it works to push toxins out of the blood.

Beets are packed with nitrates. Many clinical studies have found that supplementing your diet with 2 cups of beet juice per day actually lowers your blood pressure. Besides lowering your blood pressure the nitrates found in beets enhance athletic performance by reducing your body’s need for oxygen during a workout.

Drinking 2 cups of beet juice before a workout is safer and healthier than taking caffeine and workout supplements. Workout supplements often have nitrite which is toxic at high levels. Read this for even more information on beets!

5. Kale

During the winter months when other leafy greens are out of season, kale is in full bloom, in season, and richest in flavor. This leafy green, cruciferous vegetable is versatile to cook with and can be prepared just like spinach or any other greens.

Kale is packed with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which helps to build the body’s immune system. An antioxidant helps neutralize free radicals and helps prevent molecules from oxidizing. One cup of cooked kale has about 5.8 mg of beta-carotene (Barone et. al, 2002). Beat-carotene is also important because it’s a precursor for the production of vitamin A. When we get adequate amounts of vitamin A, we have healthier skin, a stronger immune system, and it helps with vision as well.

According to Organicauthority.com, kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also easier to absorb. Calcium is important in preventing osteoporosis, preventing bone loss, and helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Remember to get enough vitamin D, since it helps with the absorption of calcium.

Kale is dark green so that is a clue that it has high amounts of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a type of pigment that provides kale it’s deep green color. There are many benefits of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll aids in gastrointestinal problems, promotes the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells, has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, and it also helps with bad breath.

Chlorophyll is a great detoxifier as well, so add kale and other dark leafy greens to your juice

The Importance of Fiber for Good Health

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate called a complex carbohydrate. Our bodies cannot digest fiber, and it doesn’t contain any calories. The very fact that we can’t digest fiber is what makes it so important for health! Fiber acts like a sponge as it travels through our bodies, bulking up and moving easily through and out of the intestines.

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes* (DRIs), a reference for recommended and adequate intakes of particular nutrients, most American adults should consume between 21 and 38 grams of fiber per day, depending on age and gender.

There are two basic types of fiber that compose “Dietary Fiber.” Soluble fiber absorbs water and softens stool; this type of fiber also helps reduce cholesterol. Insoluble fiber helps to bulk the stool for easier passage through the intestines.

Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that contain fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk for heart disease, a disease associated with many factors. Low-fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables may also reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Great Source of Dietary Fiber

Pears are an excellent source of fiber! Pears are one of the leading fruit sources of fiber. A medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber, which equals about 24% of your daily value (DV) for fiber! The skin of the pear contains the majority of the fiber found in a pear, so enjoy the skin for added flavor, texture, and nutrients!

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