From the air we breathe to food we eat, we come across both internal and external toxins and pollutants every day. Fortunately, the body, with the help of the kidney, liver, intestines, blood, skin, lungs and lymphatic system, has the power to eliminate these toxins. However, dehydration, lack of exercise, poor food choices, and other factors can affect the body’s immune system. Clean Eating is a simple concept that can address this issue by detoxifying your body.
Clean eating is about eating whole foods or “real” foods, which are unprocessed or minimally processed, refined, and handled, so that they are as close to their natural form as possible. However, clean eating is a challenge these days because modern food production has become complicated. Here are some tips to get your body back on track with clean eating:
- Eat lots of fresh produce: The golden rule of clean eating is including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Eating fresh produce can lower the risk for a number of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. It can help fight off pathogens and infections and even improve your mood. Vegetables and fruits provide the vitamins, nutrients and soluble fiber you need to keep you fit.
- Opt for whole and high protein foods: Eat whole foods that are natural, unprocessed, unrefined and without additives and preservatives. Whole foods mean more fiber, antioxidants and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients. Choose whole grains such as quinoa, wild rice, and oats that look like they are in a just harvested state. Avoid refined carbs like white pasta, sugar, and white bread. This also helps if you are looking to lose weight and keep it off for long term. Similarly, high quality proteins are also an integral part of clean eating, as proteins plays key role in detoxification. The best plant-based options are beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid sugar: Added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. Cut down on added sugars by limiting sweets like soda, candy, and baked goods.
- Limit alcohol and sodium intake: Both alcohol and salt can lead to water retention and constipation, which are great enemies of detoxification. To limit intake of table salt, add a pinch of coarse sea salt or kosher salt as these items contain a comparatively less amount of sodium.
- Drink more water: Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day to wash out the toxins in your body. To boost detox power, add some fresh lemon to your water. This will help stimulate the liver which is the primary detox center in the body.
- Balance your diet: Focus on nutrients, but don’t avoid carbs or dietary fats entirely from your diet. As clean eating is all about balance and moderation, include these items but adjust portion sizes.
- Eat regular meals: Don’t skip breakfast or any meal. Try to eat five to six smaller meals a day. A healthy breakfast ensures that the body’s metabolism functions properly and the body receives the required nutrition.