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Some of nature's most perfect foods. These superfoods are nutrient-rich and will boost your overall health and wellness almost instantly in these ways.

Part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is eating foods that are nutrient dense. Food is meant to fuel our bodies and some supply more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than other. Including more of these foods in your diet can greatly increase your overall health. 

What makes a food perfect? In my opinion, it must have many health benefits, be delicious (of course), and versatile. Below are 7 of my favorites:

Spinach – The Ultimate Perfect Food

Remember being told to eat your spinach? It’s not an old wives’ tale, it’s true! Spinach leaves (and all dark, green leafy vegetables really), are the king of vegetables.

Packed with water-soluble vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3, B6), fat-soluble vitamins (K, A, E), minerals (potassium, zinc, folate, magnesium) and other less common nutrients (chlorophyll and alpha-lipoic acid amongst others), makes spinach an extremely nutritious and health-balancing food.

It is delicious and versatile too, raw, cooked or wilted in salads, added to smoothies and casseroles, for taste, color and nutrition. Some of the benefits associated with spinach include diabetes management, bone, skin and hair health, cancer and asthma prevention and lowering blood pressure.

Salmon

Eat your salmon, it is a great source of Omega 3. We’ve all heard that. But, is that what salmon is all about? A 4oz slice of good-quality, wild salmon contains, 236% of your daily B12, 128% of your vitamin D, 78% selenium, 52% phosphorous and 21% of your daily iodine, amongst so many more).

Salmon is also an extremely versatile fish, it can be cooked, broiled, baked, grilled, ground and used from a can. So many ways to include it in your diet and grab some of those wonderful nutrients! Dinner tonight, anyone?

Raw Honey

Sometimes we think nature’s most perfect foods are all gloom and doom. Can we ever satisfy our sweet tooth naturally? The answer is a resounding yes!

Raw honey is nature’s sweetener. Not only is it sweeter than sugar, but it’s good for you! It has a lower Glycaemic Index than sugar, meaning that the sugar is absorbed slowly in our digestive tracts, not causing a high (and unhealthy) insulin response.

It also contains decent amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and can help you to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies! Drop a spoonful into your morning tea and get these benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth. 

Blueberries

There aren’t really any naturally found foods which are blue like blueberries. That’s maybe what makes blueberries special. They’re also very convenient, simply eat them by the handful, or add them to smoothies, fruit salads and muffins (mmmm…) these are the queen of fruits!

High in antioxidants, like resveratrol, these can make you live longer. They also contain many anti-inflammatory nutrient benefits.

Chia seeds

A health fad? Maybe. But nutritionally sound? Definitely. Chia seeds are well known for their Omega-3, fibre and iron content.

They also contain antioxidants, calcium and a fair amount of protein. Fibre content can help increase bowel regularity, as well as aid in heart and cardiovascular health (in combination with Omega-3s).

They can substitute for eggs in vegan cooking when mixed with water, be sprinkled over salads, added to granolas, trail mixes and baked goods and be made into a delicious pudding, which is awesome with a little honey and some blueberries. 😉

Here are 10 benefits of eating clean whole foods and how to incorporate them more into your diet. 

Coconut

No list of perfect foods would be considered complete without coconut. Step into any grocery store today and you will find shelves lined with coconut products.

Coconut butter, oil, flour and sugar, dried and desiccated coconut, coconut milk, water, cream and coconut aminos. Of course, there’s the fruit too. Extremely versatile, and with a delightful flavor, coconut is any health nut’s dream.

Each product has its own uses and nutritional benefits. From the anti-bacterial and cholesterol-lowering properties of coconut oil, to the hydrating and electrolyte balancing benefits of coconut water, to the protein, potassium, iron and protein source of the coconut meat itself, coconut is a powerhouse of nutritional benefits, that can be enjoyed in so many varying ways.

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Acai

Acai bowls are popular now since the acai berry has made it’s way onto the superfoods list. 

The acai berry is high in antioxidants like the blueberry and also have plant compounds that help with brain and heart health. They’re also loaded with healthy fats and fiber which benefits your overall health and well-being. 

You may like: Understanding Low Carb Eating and Easing into the Keto Diet

Do you need to be convinced that you should eat more clea whole foods from this list to benefits your overall health?

5 Almost Instant Benefits of Eating Clean

Clean eating is simple, yet so many people get it wrong. In basic terms, the goal of clean eating is to consume whole foods that are minimally processed, refined or come from a natural source.

It challenges us to choose more fruits and vegetables as well as foods that are free of additives and preservatives and from nature.

What Makes Processed Foods Bad?

Although some experts will tell you that processed foods are not necessarily a bad thing, because it removes bacteria and toxins and helps to preserve foods for a period of time, they are wrong for multiple reasons.

Processed foods are low in fiber, low in complete nutrients, usually contain unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and sugar, high-fructose sugar, refined oils, and trans fats.

Each of these qualities poses significant risks to our health including the dreaded heart disease, the risk of stroke, diabetes, obesity, and cancer to name a few.

What Happens When We Eat Clean?

Several things start to happen to your body the moment you decide to eat clean. While the long-term effects can be momentous and life-changing like weight loss or the reversal of heart disease or type 2 diabetes, there are immediate changes that begin to occur in a matter of just two or three weeks.

Clean eating is not just another diet plan, scheme or fad. Clean eating is a way of life that is pulling in followers by the thousands.

Here are five almost instant benefits of eating clean.

Energy Boost

Surprisingly, one of the immediate changes you start to notice after eating clean for a few days is the boost in your energy levels. Thanks to the combination of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats, your body reaps the benefits of an even distribution of energy that can last for hours at a time.

WebMD reports that your blood sugar becomes well-adjusted as a result of eating nutritious, timely meals. This action helps to reduce the number of spikes you sometimes experience eating processed foods.

Mood Swing for the Better

Clean eating is well-known for its ability to provide mental clarity and overall brain health in general. In addition to the fog lifting, you also start to experience a change in your mood.

Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, and improved regulation of brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, followers of clean eating can fend off feelings of depression and anxiety.

Improved Sleep Experience

According to Shape Magazine, another immediate benefit of clean eating is improved sleep experiences. Thanks to chemicals like tryptophan that naturally occur in foods like almonds, your body experiences a natural boost in the hormone melatonin which helps you to get much-needed sleep.

Yoga is proven to help improve your sleep too. Read these ways yoga improves your general health and the best types to practice for health and wellness. 

Improve Your Workouts

If you are looking to improve your workouts, clean eating can blaze a trail to improving your endurance, recovery time and build muscle according to researchers.

Great Skin Health

You are what you eat –at least your skin thinks so. A diet that is rich in fruits and veggies contains just enough vitamins to improve the elasticity and vibrancy of your skin. Followers of clean eating report changes in their skin for the better in a matter of only six weeks.

These are just five almost instant benefits of eating a clean. Remember to start small and aim big. Try clean eating for yourself and start making changes today. You are bound to see immediate changes in your mind, body, and spirit for the better.