This is not a post just about eating all organic foods, paleo dieting, or something crazy hard and strict but just eating a more natural diet can have a dramatic impact on your health and well being.
It’s something we hear about all the time and probably contemplate on the daily while eating some chips, cookies, or that delicious donut from Dunkin across the street. But what is a natural diet? How can you get a tad healthier with it? And what real benefits does it have?
First, What Constitutes Eating More Natural?
Eating natural in essence and most straightforward form is starting to consume foods that are minimally or not processed at all. Getting foods as close to as they are in their natural state as possible.
Some great examples include:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 🌱🍌🥦
- Whole Grains (wheat, barley, corn, brown rice, oats, etc.) 🍠🌽
- Fresh never froze meat (chicken, pork, beef, eggs, etc.) 🍖
- Naturally occurring oils (olive oil, avocado oil, flax-seed oil, and peanut oil) 🥑
Incorporating these into your diet more often and tossing out some of the processed, frozen, and boxed meals can help in more ways than just one, which we’ll go over soon.
Why Processed Foods Are Bad
When eating natural foods, you end up avoiding a good amount of toxic chemicals that were meant to be in your body in the first place such as preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and toxic hexane. On top of that with all these poisonous additives and flavor enhancers such as sugar and salt, you are devoiding your body of many needed nutrients that are required for optimal health and well being.
But avoiding processed foods can be tricky because of the marketing tactics used by large brands to make some not so healthy snacks look great for you.
Some things to look out for when avoiding processed foods:
- White grains (white bread, rice, cereal, pastries, etc.) 🍞🥐
- Refined and added sugars (cakes, boxed snacks/bars, candy, etc.) 🍫
- Trans fat (hydrogenated oils found in big brand PB, candy, pastries, desserts, fast food, etc.) 🍕🍔
These few highly processed foods are proven to lead to some life-threatening diseases, obesity, and more. 😬
4 Benefits Of Eating A More Natural Diet
So now we all know just a little bit why eating a natural diet can benefit you and some of the harms of processed foods. Let’s dive a little deeper into some specific benefits you can receive if you decided to make just some small more natural choices throughout the day.
1. Better Digestion And Gut Health
A significant advantage of eating more natural foods is the high fiber intake you will be receiving. Most processed foods strip the fiber out of the grains and leave your gut and the bacteria in it unsatisfied and quite unhealthy.
Getting more fiber itself has more than gut health benefits though! It’s the most essential nutrient for healthy blood sugar, digestion, and heart health combined. Natural foods like the ones mentioned that you should be adding to your diet have high amounts of insoluble and soluble fiber which support digestion and your digestion regulation along with keeping your full which can help aid in weight and fat loss.
With more fiber in your diet, your body will break down food slower and more controlled. Allowing you to stay fuller as well as get all the nutrients from the food you are digesting. On top of this, it helps lower blood sugar as well due to the low glycemic response that comes with eating a right amount of fiber.
2. More Energy
Ever feel lethargic after a large meal or something loaded with processed ingredients and added sugar?
We’ve all been there. But the reason is an insulin spike then crash. As your body intakes all this sugar and glucose, it doesn’t need and digests it rather quickly you get that quick burst of energy (insulin spike). But once the food is finished passing your body doesn’t know what to do without that fuel source and crashes your energy.
But with eating all-natural foods, most of which will end up being slow digesting carbohydrates and low-glycemic. Meaning they will absorb slower throughout the day and give you the continued needed energy instead of all the energy at once followed by the crash. Not only that but, the slow digesting carbs, aminos, and healthy fats found in more natural oils, meats, and produce have some significant benefits on your metabolism and contain vitamins and minerals that support the body.
3. Lower Inflammation and Pain
Always sore after or workout or just a long day? Maybe it’s the foods your eating to fuel you through that day!
Many processed foods are acidic meaning that they create a chemical/ph imbalance in our bodies that leads to inflammation. Diets high in fiber and healthy fats with loads of omega fatty acids in them lower your bodies inflammation and help even out that chemical imbalance.
4. Better Blood Sugar
This is an effect and benefit that will be extremely noticeable and can happen relatively quickly in the first two weeks.
Processed foods as discussed contain high amounts of high glycemic and fast digesting foods such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and white/refined grains. Which all which promote higher blood sugar causing cravings, blood sugar swings, and often give you the shaky, moody feeling you get if you don’t eat something right away, or if you skip meals.
Eating a more natural diet doesn’t cause this at all and reverses it! These foods high in protein, healthy fats, and slow digesting carbs keep you fuller longer, provide greater satiety, and don’t cause insulin and blood sugar spikes.
So if you’re tired of being hangry, maybe switching to more natural snacks throughout the day could turn you from hangry to happy! 😄
Conclusion And How To Implement
With all this behind us, it’s clear to see the benefits of including more natural foods and unprocessed foods into our daily diet. Such as:
- Better Digestion And Gut Health
- More Energy
- Lower Inflammation
- Better Blood Sugar
Now, this doesn’t have be something insanely strict either! The best way to start is slowly and little step by little step.
Just start with switching your breakfast from a highly processed cereal or bar to a few eggs, whole wheat toast, or oatmeal and just see how much it changes your energy throughout the day. Next take on lunchtime, snacks, dinner, and going out to eat. Don’t bombard yourself all at once, but take it slow. Your body will thank you!
Have a peanut butter-tastic day,
Evan and Sam