10 Big-Picture Benefits of Eating "Clean" Outside of a Happier Gut

Eating a clean diet that’s rich in probiotics and complex carbs keeps your gut bacteria healthy and happy! And, a happier gut means a stronger immune system and better health overall.

But, eating clean isn’t just about gut health! The big picture benefits include more energy, improved moods, easier weight loss, and so much more. No matter what your goals are, making the switch to a clean diet can revolutionize your overall health and wellbeing! Here’s how.

  • You’ll Be Taking Better Care of the Planet

  • Did you know that processed and conventionally grown foods often travel as much as 1,500 miles or more to get to your local grocery store? Switching to a clean diet that’s made up of locally grown foods significantly reduces your carbon footprint.

    For the biggest impact on the environment, shop food that’s grown using sustainable farming methods and new technology in agriculture to reduce waste and environmental pollution. Remember, what’s good for you is also good for the planet!

  • You’ll Be Happier

  • Processed foods loaded with sugar, empty carbs, and trans-fat might fulfill a sudden craving, but they can really throw off the levels of mood-regulating hormones in your brain. Many people don’t realize it, but many of the foods we often call “comfort food” can actually trigger the symptoms of depression.

    On the other hand, clean foods rich in nutrients like creatine, vitamin D, and omega-3s can actually combat depression and boost your mood. And, they won’t trigger those emotional highs and lows you get from refined foods, either!

  • You’ll Be Less Stressed

  • The foods you eat have a major influence on the levels of stress hormones your body produces. This includes cortisol and adrenaline, as well as neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. 

    For example, a study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that people who consumed flavonoid-rich dark chocolate have lower levels of adrenaline after a stressful event.

  • You’ll Be Smarter

  • Clean food is brain food! Diets rich in omega-3s from clean foods like avocados, nuts, and fish improve cognitive function, focus, and memory. On the other hand, fried and processed foods that are loaded with refined sugar and bad fats can actually shrink your brain over time and have a negative impact on your cognitive abilities.

  • You’ll Be Stronger and Perform Better

  • Food is fuel, not just for your workouts, but also for everyday tasks. That’s why a clean pre-workout snack of protein and complex carbs is so important for boosting performance and energy during high-intensity exercise. 

    In fact, everything you eat throughout the day has an impact on your performance, both in and out of the gym. Providing your body with the vitamins, minerals, and hydration it needs keeps it performing at its best.

    Not only that, but a nutrient-rich clean diet helps to build more muscle and keep your muscles strong. Whether your ultimate goal is to bench press your own bodyweight or run a marathon at 50, eating a clean high-protein diet can help you get there.

  • You’ll Have Less Chronic Inflammation

  • Inflammation is a key contributor to all sorts of health issues, from brain fog and stress to cancer, heart disease, and chronic pain. But there is good news! According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a clean diet of whole grains instead of refined grains reduces the levels of C-reactive, inflammation triggering protein in the diet by up to 38%.

  • You’ll Have a Healthier Heart

  • Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the US, especially among women. The good news is, eating clean can reduce your risk of heart disease significantly. For example, snacking on a handful of healthy nuts every day can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by as much as 29%! That’s amazing!

  • You’ll Be More Productive

  • Want to be more productive at work and in your everyday life? It turns out that people who stick to a clean diet are as much as 66% more productive than those who don’t.

  • You’ll Have More Energy

  • We could all use more energy, and there’s nothing better than B-vitamins and vitamin D for keeping your energy levels up. Consuming a clean diet that’s rich in complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein keeps your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout the day. It also provides your body with the vitamins it needs to stay revved up all day long.

  • You’ll Spend More Quality Time with Your Family

  • How can eating clean help you spend more quality time with your family? While it’s true that preparing healthy meals from scratch takes more time than grabbing a pizza, it’s just the kind of atmosphere that cultivates conversation and interaction among family members.

    Families who cook at home and eat meals together several times a week are more likely to talk about their day and what’s going on in their lives. They’re also less likely to spend their meals staring at a screen. 

    Not only that but preparing clean, healthy meals for your family means they’re eating cleaner, too. What could be more important than that?

    And, Perhaps the Best Reason of All…

    And finally, here’s the best reason of all to follow a clean diet. All of the amazing benefits we’ve outlined in this article add up to a longer, healthier life. Eating a variety of clean, healthy foods every day means you’ll be less prone to chronic illness and have a better quality of life overall. It doesn’t get any more “big picture” than that!

     

    Credit: Nicole McCray