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Eat Clean Healthy Meal Plan

Eat Clean Healthy Meal Plan

Diet, Diet, Diet! That’s all everyone seems to talk about these days. There’s always this new fad diet that everyone wants to try, and it seems like people are always moving on to the trendiest foods. But, if you’re working, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spend on preparing elaborate meals. And, it’s why many people develop bad eating habits. Simply because of a lack of time. To address that issue, here we look at how you can provide your body what it needs. These recipes are easy to prepare and have familiar ingredients that you’ll probably find lying around at home.

Here’s a look at a balanced meal plan.

Our bodies have daily nutrient requirements that help us function properly. Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats are the primary elements supported by vitamins and minerals. Most people exceed their daily needs, especially of carbohydrates and fats. The popularity of cheap junk food, full of saturated fats and sugars, only compounds our misery.

Let’s first look at carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are good for your body. Complex carbohydrates take time to break down and are absorbed into your system slower than simple carbs. This makes them less likely to turn to fat. And, some excellent sources of complex carbs include sweet potatoes, brown bread, green vegetables, oats, and beans.

Proteins are like building blocks for your bodies muscle mass. While there is plenty of protein in a cheeseburger, there are also plenty of fats. Lean protein gives you plenty of energy and helps with your metabolism, immunity and muscle mass. Some good sources of protein are fish like tuna, chicken breast, eggs, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

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Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for your body to function normally. Just like carbohydrates, fats are essential. There are good fats and bad fats. Healthy fats can be found in fatty fish, nuts, coconuts, and cheese.

A few helpful tips:

Pick brown bread over white

Limit sugars in the second half of the day

Avoid highly processed foods

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Minimize junk foods to an occasional indulgence

Stay away from sodas and other sweetened beverages

Your never too young or too old to start eating clean. Everyone from senior citizens to teenagers can eat clean.

Now that you’re aware of what food your body requires, let’s look at quick and simple healthy recipes.

1. Barbecue Chicken Wrapped Asparagus

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Barbecue Chicken Wrapped Asparagus Image

    This quick meal is healthy and easy to prepare. It is low in calories and has a high protein and low-fat content. It also tastes delicious. You will need some chicken Breasts, asparagus, and barbecue sauce. For the seasonings, you can use cumin, paprika, garlic, pepper. You can also grill some bell peppers on the side  Cut the chicken breasts into thin pieces, and flatten with a mallet if needed.Season with barbecue sauce and add other seasonings to your taste. Chop the ends of the asparagus and wrap chicken breast around it. Place it on a baking tray and in an oven and set it to 405 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Serve with a portion of white boiled rice.

    2. Two Ingredient Pancakes

    Two Ingredient Pancakes

      This works well for any meal of the day. It is filling and nutrient rich. All you need are some eggs and bananas. This portion makes about three small pancakes. You will need one whole egg and two egg whites and a large banana. Simply mash the banana in a bowl and pour the eggs in, still until it forms a thick batter. Using a little oil, grease a pan on medium heat. Pour a little batter into the pan into the shape of a circle, flip and serve with a little pancake syrup.

      3. Tasty Tuna Wraps

      Healthy Tuna Wrap

        For this healthy meal, you will need a can of tuna, low-fat mayo, onions, a whole wheat tortilla and bell peppers. Mix the tuna with the mayo. Chop the pickled onions and bell peppers. You can swap the vegetables with anything you prefer. Mix and spread on a whole wheat tortilla. You can grill it on a pan if required.

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        4. Quick Stir Fry

        Quick Stir Fry1

          A stir fry packs quite a nutritious punch and takes virtually no preparation. It is also versatile, if you’re a vegetarian stick to vegetables, if not, add some chopped chicken breast. In a pan add a little oil, and fry the chicken pieces. Add vegetables like peas, carrots, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and season with pepper, salt or garlic powder.

          Did you like these four simple recipe ideas? They are easy to make and will be ready in a jiffy. Don’t limit yourself to the above, being creative will help you find plenty of ways to make a quick, healthy meal. What are you waiting for?

          Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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          12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

          12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

          Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

          But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

          I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

          Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

          1. Nuts

          The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

          Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

          Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

          Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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          2. Blueberries

          Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

          When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

          3. Tomatoes

          Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

          4. Broccoli

          While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

          Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

          Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

          5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

          Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

          The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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          Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

          6. Soy

          Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

          Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

          Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

          7. Dark chocolate

          When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

          Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

          15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

          8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

          Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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          B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

          Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

          Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

          To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

          9. Foods Rich in Zinc

          Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

          Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

          Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

          10. Gingko biloba

          This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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          It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

          However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

          11. Green and black tea

          Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

          Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

          Find out more about green tea here:

          11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

          12. Sage and Rosemary

          Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

          Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

          When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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