It's a "one-size-fits-all" eating plan supporting a healthy heart, brain and digestive tract. Following a clean eating plan is much easier than you might think. It doesn't require a lot of extra time or money to follow these seven basic tips:. The first step in clean eating.
2 Week Meal Plan for the Whole Family: Fall/Winter Menu
Read labels to avoid added sugars, salts and fats. While bagged, boxed, or canned foods can be a convenience — especially for healthy, out-of-season foods think canned tomatoes , make the habit of looking for added sugars, salt and fats. You can always "correct" the flavors if you choose, with your own additions. Try these healthy eating tips and salad recipes from Ikaria. Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables for nutrient density and freshness.
And include frozen fruits and vegetables in the mix without sauces. All humans are born with a "sweet tooth". And fruit is nature's candy. Fresh or dried, before there was candy, cookies, cake and other vehicles for loads of added sugars, we turned to fruit.
Portable, economical, and a treat for your taste buds. And there is a range of sweetness in fruits. Slightly under-ripe fruit is on the lower end of the sweetness scale, while super-ripe and dried fruits concentrate and boost the sweetness signals. Processed and packaged foods are the main sources of trans fats, but meat also contains small amounts. Surprising facts about this saturated fat. While not a food-specific recommendation, when you cook at home you know the ingredients and seasonings in every dish.
No guesswork or taste-testing for hidden fats, salt and sugar found in restaurant meals and prepared foods. You can personalize your eating with spices and herbs instead of salt, smaller amounts of healthy fats, and a lot less sugar. Our bodies need abundant water for optimal function.
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And while fruits and vegetables are mostly water and contribute a large portion of daily fluid needs, added fluids are needed daily. While the newest guidelines suggest drinking "when thirsty", most people ignore these signals, or don't really recognize them.
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Aim for at least six glasses of water daily which also includes non-caffeinated drinks, like herbal teas and coffee and seltzer. But there are healthy ways to add flavor to clean foods. Here are some herbs and spices you can use in your daily cooking:. Basil: This bright-green delicate leaf contains flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants.
You can grow basil plants on a sunny windowsill throughout the year or grow it in your garden and preserve it by freezing or drying it. Use peppery and minty basil in tomato sauces, salad dressings, pesto, sandwich spreads, soups, and chicken, beef, pork, and fish dishes. Marjoram: This fragrant herb contains many phytochemicals — including terpenes, which are anti-inflammatory — lutein, and beta carotene.
Plus, it has lots of vitamin C and vitamin D. Marjoram is delicious in any dish made using beef and is perfect with vegetables like tomatoes, peas, carrots, and spinach. Together with bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and tarragon, it makes a bouquet garni to use in stews and soups. Mint: Mothers used to offer mint to kids for upset stomachs because it soothes an irritated GI tract. But did you know it may be a weapon against cancer, too? It contains a phytochemical called perillyl alcohol, which can stop the formation of some cancer cells.
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Mint is a good source of beta carotene, folate, and riboflavin. Use it in teas, in desserts, as part of a fruit salad or lettuce salad, or as a garnish for puddings. Oregano: Used in Italian dishes, this strong herb is a potent antioxidant with the phytochemicals lutein and beta carotene. Who knew that spaghetti sauce could be so good for you? Add spicy and pepper oregano to salad dressings, soups, sauces, gravies, meat dishes, and pork recipes.
If only people knew then how healthy it really is! This mild and leafy herb is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium. Use it in everything from salads as a leafy green to rice pilafs, grilled fish, and sauces and gravies. Rosemary: Rosemary contains terpenes, which slow down free radical development and stop inflammation. Terpenes may also block some estrogens, which cause breast cancer.
Use this pungent and piney herb in soups, stews, meat, and chicken dishes. Chop some fresh rosemary to roast a chicken, cook with lamb or beef, or mix with olive oil for a dip for warm whole-wheat bread.
Sage: Sage contains the flavonoid phytochemicals apigenin and luteolin and some phenolic acids that act as anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Its dusky, earthy aroma and flavor are delicious in classic turkey stuffing as well as the turkey itself , spaghetti sauces, soups and stews, and frittatas and omelets. Tarragon: This herb tastes like licorice with a slightly sweet flavor and is delicious with chicken or fish.
Tarragon is rich in beta carotene and potassium, too. Use it as a salad green or as part of a salad dressing or mix it with Greek yogurt to use as an appetizer dip. Thyme: This herb is a good source of vitamin K, manganese, and the monoterpene thymol, which has antibacterial properties and may help protect against tumor development.
Cinnamon: The aroma of cinnamon is one of the most enticing in cooking; just the smell can help improve brain function!
It can also reduce blood sugar levels, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and overall cholesterol levels. Cinnamaldehyde, an organic compound in cinnamon go figure! Add cinnamon to coffee and tea, use it in desserts and curries, and sprinkle some on oatmeal for a great breakfast. Cloves: These flower buds are a great source of manganese and omega-3 fatty acids.
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They contain eugenol, which helps reduce toxicity from pollutants and prevent joint inflammation, and the flavonoids kaempferol and rhamnetin, which act as antioxidants. Cloves are a great addition to hot tea and coffee as well as many dessert recipes, including fruit compote and apple desserts. Cumin: This spice is rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. It also has iron and manganese, which help keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Add cumin to Middle Eastern recipes, rice pilafs, stir-fried vegetables, and Tex-Mex dishes.