TOP 10 CLEAN EATING FOODS

Avocado

If you’ve been looking to follow a healthy living lifestyle or movement for 2020, you have come to the right place.

According to the annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey, the 2020 healthy revolution will include these top 10 healthy foods.

#1 Fermented foods

Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, tempeh and miso are known to contain probiotics which are important for optimal digestion and a strong immune system.

These foods are a result of a process known as fermentation, which is a traditional way to make food last longer.

Fermented-FoodsDuring this process, yeast and bacteria turn carbs into acids, which in turn preserve the fermented foods and promote the growth of good bacteria (i.e. probiotics).

Probiotics improve digestive health by restoring the balance of good bacteria and relieving gut issues.

They also boost the immune system by protecting the body against infections and help with food digestion by breaking down nutrients into simpler forms (i.e. lactose).

Beware however that some individuals may experience bloating when they consume fermented foods due to the high probiotic content.

#2 Avocados

Avocados are super healthy and delicious as part of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Their creamy texture combines very well with other ingredients.

They are high in fiber and low in carbs, which may promote weight loss by helping you feel full, hence eating less calories.

AvocadoThis fruit contains healthy fats (i.e. monounsaturated oleic acid), fiber and various important nutrients such asvitamin K, Folate, vitamin C, Potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, iron, and the list goes on.

Many studies have shown the benefits of avocados in improving the heart’s health by reducing bad cholesterol.

In addition, healthy fats aid in the absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Therefore, adding an avocado or avocado oil to vegetables can greatly improve the absorption of nutrients.

#3 Seeds

There are so many healthy seeds to choose from such as flaxseeds (make sure you are using powder form), chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.

SeedsThese are extremely nutritious and are loaded with fiber, Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, and other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants crucial in maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Many studies have shown their health benefits in reducing blood sugar levels, bad cholesterol levels, inflammation, some risk factors for heart disease and other chronic illnesses and maintaining a stable blood pressure.

For example, Hemp seeds are a superfood and an important source of protein and all essential amino acids.

On the other hand, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are a great source of Omega-6 fatty acids and magnesium.

When making your next smoothie, make sure to incorporate some of these powerful seeds to boost your energy levels.

#4 Exotic Fruits

Exotic fruits, also known as tropical fruits are so varied and interesting in looks and texture.

Some of them are very popular such as mangoes, kiwis, lychees, acai, goji berries, dragon fruit and star fruit.

Other varieties are less known such as atemoya, kiwano, pomelo, durian, fuyu persimmon, lucuma, cherimoya, and the list goes on.

Exotic fruits are high in fiber and contain many essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins.

In addition, these fruits are known for their high antioxidants content (i.e. flavonoids, cartenoids and polyphenols), which protect the body’s cells against damage and may help lower the risk of some diseases.

Exotic-FruitsSome varieties also have antibiotic properties and in some regions, are used to treat infections.

When considering including an exotic fruit as part of your diet, it is important to watch the calories content and plan accordingly.

Some claims suggest that acai berries can boost the metabolism and make you lose weight.

However, more studies are required before such claims hold true.

Studies have confirmed the high levels of antioxidants found in acai berries and their benefits in reducing oxidative damage.

#5 Ancient Grains

According to the Whole Grains Council, an ancient grain can be defined as a grain that hasn’t seen any changes in terms of texture over the years.

These grains are less known by the western world since the varieties available in the market nowadays are mostly processed (i.e. Wheat).

Most of us have heard of quinoa, chia seeds and millet; but other types such as farro, amaranth, kamut, teff and sorghum are less known.

Ancient-GrainsIn fact, ancient grains are considered superfoods since they are rich in nutrients.

They are also known to improve the digestive system and boost the immune system.

The demand for products that include ancient grains is evolving and we’re seeing more and more products containing quinoa, chia seeds, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.

Since these grains haven’t changed over the years, their nutritional profiles hasn’t changed.

Some varieties are gluten-free such as amaranth and teff.

All of the ancient grains are rich in dietary fiber, protein, fatty acids and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium.

They can easily be included in all types of cooking and baking from breads to salads to muffins.

The sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating ancient grains in meal planning.

#6 Blueberries

Blueberries are considered a superfood given their nutritional profile.

They can be enjoyed fresh or frozen as part of a smoothie or incorporated in your favorite muffin or pancake recipe.

Given their numerous health benefits, they are one of the most popular berries out there.

This fruit is high in antioxidants (i.e. Flavonoids) fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Studies show that consuming blueberries on a regular basis may protect cell from oxidative damage, which in turn may slow aging.Blueberries

In addition, the antioxidants found in blueberries are tied to improving brain function.

Many studies have shown that blueberries lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

Hence, their inclusion in low carb diets (i.e. Ketogenic diet).

#7 Nuts

Who doesn’t like snacking on nuts?

These are considered a superfood because of their high fat quality and content.

If you are worried of not getting enough fiber from your diet, try snacking on nuts a couple times a day.

Nuts include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macademia and brazil nuts.

There are so many studies showing the health benefits related to regularly consuming nuts.Nuts and seeds

These benefits include a reduction in risk factors of chronic diseases such as heart disease, boosting brain health, reducing bloods pressure and lowering bad cholesterol levels.

Walnuts for example are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and brazil nuts are rich in selenium.

Both of these elements are scientifically proven to improve cognitive and heart health.

On the other hand, pecans and macademia nuts contain antioxidants and monounsaturated fats which are beneficial and may help lower bad cholesterol levels.

#8 Non-Dairy Milks

Living dairy-free isn’t a difficult task as long as you find the right alternative.

Non-Dairy-MilksThere are lots of options to choose from such as almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk or coconut milk.

 

The most popular is almond milk given the low-calories content and the vitamins and minerals naturally found in almonds.

If you’re looking for a similar alternative to milk, soy milk and oat milk both make the cut.

Individuals with allergies to nuts, soy and gluten should avoid all types of nut milk, soy milk and look for gluten-free oat milk.

Rice milk and coconut milk are the most hypoallergenic of all types of milk alternatives; however rice milk is high in terms of carbohydrates and low in fat.

Coconut milk on the other hand is high in fats and contains several vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, selenium, copper, etc.

It contains higher amounts of antioxidants (i.e. selenium and manganese) compared to the other alternatives.

All types of non-dairy milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and so they are highly nutritious.

#9 Beets

This vegetable is very popular and is used in many dishes around the world.

The bulb and the roots are both consumed and can be consumed as part of a salad, steamed or roasted, or as part of a smoothie.

Beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Beetroots are packed with plant compounds (i.e. nitrates and pigments) which have impressive medicinal properties.Beets

Studies show that nitrates can lower blood pressure which in turn may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

This vegetable contains fiber, iron, manganese, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium.

Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and may aid with weight loss.

#10 Green Tea

When you think tea, your immediate go to for health benefits is green tea.

This beverage is rich in antioxidants with beneficial effects on health and other nutrients.

Green-TeaIts benefits include but not limited to fat loss in the abdominal area, better skin health, a lower risk of some diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and a better brain function.

Known for containing less caffeine compared to coffee, green tea is a popular beverage among those with caffeine sensitivities.

Some studies show that green tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and protect cells from oxidation.

Hence, individuals who drink green tea may have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Making green tea a part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle will help you lose weight and lower your risk of chronic illnesses.

I hope you enjoyed this post. You can leave your comments/questions below and I will get back to you!

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6 Replies to “TOP 10 CLEAN EATING FOODS”

  1. I enjoyed your post and honestly, I was starting to get hungry while I was reading it.

    I was surprised that blueberries and nuts are considered superfoods.

    I would also have to try some of the exotic foods that you mentioned in this blog post because I love to try different things.

    This post also helped me realize that I need to eat healthier because I have not been eating that well lately.

    Maybe I’ll eat some blueberries and nuts because I love them😊

    Anyway, thanks for this post and I hope that you have a wonderful day.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for you comments. Yes! Blueberries and nuts are superfoods and I eat them on a daily basis 🙂 indeed they are my favourite go to snack.

      I’d be interested to hear about your experience trying any of the exotic fruits mentioned in my post!

      Cheers,

  2. Living a healthy lifestyle requires you to monitor and be careful of what and what you eat, 90% of how body system reacts is based on what we eat. I like idea of eating clean foods, mostly fruits are considered to be generally good for human health, take for instance, avocado has always been on every list i come across. Thanks for posting this informative article, it has been helpful.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment. My pleasure! I’m glad you found this post informative and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to have a discussion about this topic.

      Cheers,

  3. Nadia,
    I really enjoyed reading this post.  You did an excellent presentation of the nutritional values and health benefits.  Seeing the photos made me hungry. 

    One great source not mentioned is Moringa oleifera.  It is a tree that has a massive amount of nutrition and health benefits. All parts of the tree leaves, flowers, seedpods, and roots can be used. A site that gives the nutritional date is: for health and wellbeing.  It also includes some recipes.  

    Pomelo is my favorite type of grapefruit.  It is an old-world fruit and the ‘skin’ on the sections is simple to remove and juice does not run all over the place.

    Another tropical I would highly recommend is Soursop (It is not sour and is very healthy)

    I will be reading many of your other postings. Nutrition and the Flu, 5 best tips for grocery shopping, and your product reviews will be my first stops.

    Keep presenting us with the great information
    Leo

    1. Hi Leo,

      Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting on my post! You’ve just made my day and I’m really grateful you have shared your knowledge about the Moringa oleifera, pomelo and soursop. In fact, there are so many varieties out there and I’m really looking forward to try some of them.

      I appreciate your interest in my posts and in health and wellness in general 🙂

      Cheers,

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