In my book the Empowering Benefits of Detoxing, Cleansing, and Eating Clean, I talk about the unfortunate truth that Black people lead in having chronic illnesses in America. Often, when we see the doctor, they tell us that we have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer, and many times we are told it’s hereditary, or it’s in our DNA.
Many studies have suggested that a critical factor of Black America being ripped by these chronic illnesses is that many Black families cook and eat traditional Southern diet variations—with its deep-fried foods.
The Black American diet creates more than half the excess risk of high blood pressure among black men versus white men. According to the findings, the eating pattern was less critical among women but still explained almost 30 percent of the disparity between black and white women.
In a study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans switched diets for two weeks. During this time, the Africans consumed traditional American food — meat and cheese high in fat content — while African Americans took on a standard African diet — high in fiber and low in fat, with plenty of vegetables, beans, cornmeal, and a small amount of meat.
Researchers then performed colonoscopies on both groups. The researchers found that those in the African diet group increased butyrate production, a fatty acid proven to protect against colon cancer. Members of the American diet group, on the other hand, developed changes in their gut that scientists say precede the development of cancerous cells.
Black Americans still refuse to recognize the link between diet and cancer risk, the link between diet and diabetes, the connection between diet high blood pressure, the link between diet and high cholesterol, and the link between diet and gaining optimum health and wellness. The American Society for Clinical Oncology reported that obesity would soon surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer. Since the 1970s, rates of obesity have more than tripled, causing nearly 1 in 5 cancer deaths and $50 billion in healthcare spending, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We must begin a clean eating lifestyle.
Understanding Why It’s Worth It
Clean eating requires a complete lifestyle change. Your shopping, cooking, and eating habits are modified in this diet. However, it’s worth making the change because you will strengthen your health.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that your diet matters greatly. The study, “High Costs of Poor Eating Patterns in the United States,” found better diets can reduce health expenses by $71 billion. Changing your diet can help you reduce your medical costs.
There are multiple benefits to the clean eating diet:
- Lose weight: By focusing on healthy, whole foods and cutting refined products out of your diet, you can lose weight. Whole foods have more nutrients than refined and processed ones. This helps control your hunger so that you can make healthier food choices throughout the day. Besides, smaller portions and meals help cut down on extra calories.
- Enjoy clearer skin: By eliminating the chemicals and additives in processed foods, you’ll enjoy clearer skin.
- Enjoy more energy: Clean eating encourages you to combine proteins with carbohydrates and fats. This meal plan gives you more energy daily.
- Strengthen your immune system: Clean eating cuts out the refined sugars and unhealthy fats that can drag you down. The addition of herbs and spices also helps boost the immune system.
- Uplift your mood: The study, “On carrots and curiosity: Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life,” found that adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet makes you happier.
- Sleep more soundly: A study from the University of Chicago found that diet is tied to sleep patterns, and other studies show a connection. Eating clean can help you sleep better by regulating your metabolism and blood sugar.
If you’re eating clean, then you’ll notice several health benefits. Although it’s a diet plan that can help with weight loss, there are also other advantages. Clean eating is a powerful way to improve your body and nurture your mind.