What Is Clean Eating and Functional Performance in Food?

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Lifestyle fads and the healthy living movement hit the mainstream years ago and what some may have thought was simply a trend has shown that it’s here to stay. Research continues to prove the benefits of nutrition and how we can stop disease and illness before it hits. But for those of us just now joining the race to wellness, we may need some help in the grocery store when shopping for the best whole foods. What should we look for and how can we know that we’re selecting the cleanest food products?

Let’s examine the functional performance of food and explore the real meaning of clean eating.

What Is Clean Eating?

Cleaning eating has been around for more than ten years and has become a dietary approach to healthy eating. The concept involves choosing non-processed foods and foods in their whole states such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Add whole grains, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, dairy, and high-quality animal and plant proteins to the list. Food with clean labels should have fewer ingredients than processed food choices. 

You’ll also notice that clean label ingredients won’t include a lot of added sugars, preservatives, or that high-fructose corn syrup that you often see on packaged products. Eliminating processed foods and opting for clean label food choices means you’re choosing the right path for wellness. You may already be feeling healthier just thinking about it!

Here’s what to look for when reading food labels.

  • What”s in it? Look for real ingredients.
  • How much-refined sugar is in it? (Brown sugar, fructose, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners)
  • Fillers and Additives
  • Salt
  • Unhealthy Oils and Fats

Defining Functional Performance in Food

Functional foods contain additional components that may be beneficial to your health beyond the nutritional value that they offer. Foods enriched with dietary fiber or foods containing probiotics such as yogurt are capable of lowering your cholesterol and providing good bacteria for your gut. Studies indicate that functional food performance acts as a deterrent for disease and/or illness. 

When examining how functional performance in foods can lead to healthier states, we must explore how they work. Take a look at these examples.

  • Omega-3 FA may improve nerve cell membrane regeneration and slow down the brain’s aging thus preventing dementia.
  • Dietary fiber found in oats, whole wheat, beans, peas, fruits, and vegetables has been proven to lower blood glucose, reduce constipation, and maintain a healthy digestive system.
  • Phytoestrogens found in tofu and other soy-based products have been shown to improve symptoms of menopause, counteract hyperglycemia, and balance insulin levels in the body.
  • Probiotics found in pill form and food sources such as yogurt have been shown effective in the management of some bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and have also been shown to improve immune function.

Functional Native Starches & the Benefits of Multi-Benefit Citrus Fibers

Not only are citrus fruits some of the tastiest and most refreshing desserts on the planet, but they are also one of the best food choices you can make. Citrus fruits include plenty of choices for adding some sweetness to your morning breakfast or evening dessert. Lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and mandarins bring sunshine to mind, but the benefits of adding them to your daily diet offer more than sweetness! 

Consider that oranges are a great source of fiber. One medium-sized orange offers up to 4 grams of fiber. The fiber aids in digestion and lowers cholesterol. In addition, you’ll reap the benefits of getting your daily dose of Vitamin C which helps keep your skin elastic and your immune system functioning at its best.

Why Is Clean Eating Important?

You can forego future healthcare expenses and live a life feeling good when you choose clean eating choices. You won’t have to sacrifice a day of hiking at your favorite place due to fatigue when you add the right ingredients to your daily menu. Consider these top 5 ways clean eating helps you.

  • Helps your body function normally.
  • Controls blood sugar.
  • Improves mental health.
  • Promotes a healthy heart.
  • Helps prevent cancer.

Choose Better, Live Longer

Consider the aforementioned tips and advice for choosing healthier food options and enjoy a longer life. Look for clean food labels and make better choices that are healthier for your body. You’ll feel better and have longer to work on that bucket list. Joie de vivre!

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