3 Hush-Hush Benefits of Eating Clean (Spoiler: It’s About Farts)
My kid is a hoot. When he still lived at home, I kept my FB friends regularly entertained with our conversations.
My Son: Mom, can you buy more apples?
My Son: Because I read that eating apples increases your sexual appeal.
Me: Um, okaaaaay.
My Son: And at 17, if there’s one thing that’s important to me…..
Me: Do not finish that sentence.
My Son: ….. it’s my sexual appeal.
Me: Ok. Wow. Just…. Wow.
My smart-ass son’s obvious attempt to kill me slowly aside, he has a point.
“Eat clean, train mean” is a favorite rallying cry of the fit and fabulous. Do a quick search for 'fitness + nutrition' and you’ll find the mantras, “fitness is 20% exercise, 80% nutrition” and “abs are made in the kitchen.”
"Eating clean" – eating mostly foods in their natural, unprocessed form – is indeed important to getting fit and healthy and diet can make or break one’s success in losing weight and toning up. A bad diet will derail even the best exercise program and no amount of hours in the gym can erase bad eating habits.
But if taking your fitness to the next level isn’t enough motivation to clean up your diet, maybe these unusual benefits – that no one likes to talk about – will be.
1. You’ll fart less.
Might as well start this off with a bang toot!
Yes, some clean foods are more gas-producing than others - think beans and dairy - so if you’re on the EPA’s watch list for ass-emissions, you’ll want to keep a food diary and note which foods seem to trigger the onslaught of air biscuits.
Over-consumption of sugars and simple carbohydrates contributes to stinkier colon cologne (and increased body fat), so watch your intake on those. Greasy, fatty foods are common offenders. And, over-eating in general contributes to increased butt burps.
Many trainers and dietitians recommend eating several small meals spread throughout the day. Less food in your intestines is easier on your digestion and means less build-up in the air pressure too, if you know what I mean.
Hi, I'm Laura, and sometimes I'm 12.
You'll also want to eat more digestive tract-friendly foods like yogurt.
But not the dessert-that-masquerades-as-yogurt yogurt, PLAIN yogurt.
Sorry to break wind it to you folks, healthy yogurt isn’t sweet. The probiotics in yogurt help your body maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, which aid in digestion, which in turn lessens your need to crop dust across the fitness room floor.
OMG I could do this all day.
2. Your pits won’t stink.
One time, in gym class? Two friends and I were the only three freshman to get put into an all seniors gym class. We spent the first semester being sufficiently scared to death. We were on high-alert mode of “stick together and don’t get killed by older mean girls.”
But by second semester, we realized they were all bark and no bite (so far). So.... we started messing with them.
I have hours of stories, but one day we were having a spray deodorant war in the locker room. One of the mean girls got annoyed with the aerosol-filled air (looking back, she had a point....) and threatened that if we didn’t stop, she’d shove those deodorant cans right up our you-know-whats.
We did stop. But then we all three made a “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” noise to mimic the spray sound.
Then we ran and hid behind chatted with the teacher, just in case we were about to be beaten to a pulp.
And now that I’ve told you that almost-irrelevant story, let’s talk about body odor. B.O. Smelly pits.
First things first – it’s not about the sweat. You have sweat glands. They’re designed to, you know, sweat. It’s a normal function and as such, should not be suppressed.
Some people sweat more than others; and some people’s sweat stinks more than other people’s sweat stinks.
Me: Did you know people from [a certain country] have fewer sweat glands and are therefore less likely to have body odor? I read that. My Son: Don’t be racist, Mom.
So why does sweat stink?
One function of sweating is to eliminate toxins from the body. And since you are what you eat, your degree of armpit funk may be a reflection of your diet.
Your body metabolizes food and then excretes toxins. This excretion happens through pee and poo, breathing, and yes, through your skin, your largest organ. Consuming more clean foods means feeding your body more usable nutrients and fewer crap to purge.
Fun Fact: pheromones are emitted through sweat, so body odor can increase your sexual attraction.
Wait…. apples + sweat = increased sexual attraction….
Me: Jonathan, go to your room. You’re grounded for infinity. Son: Why? Me: And no more google for you.
3. Zits Clear Up
Me: My name is Laura, and I have adult acne. Therapy Group: Hi Laura.
I started getting zits as a pre-teen and they never quit coming. I thought I’d grow out of it (hormones). I ate fewer fried foods. I scoured washed my face every night and changed my pillowcase every day. I stopped eating chocolate. I even used prescription meds that gave me stomach cramps – but look! Clear skin! – and took a birth control pill that was known to reduce acne.
I did everything Teen Beat magazine told me to do and nothing worked. That's because, all along it was.... Sugar.
Sure, hormones play a part. Sure, make-up and other additives can clog pores. But it wasn’t until I truly cleaned up my diet and ate well every day for a long time that my skin cleared up.
Now, if I have a week or two of bad eating, it shows.
When I got honest about what I was eating, it was clear (pun intended) that I was taking in a lot of sugar. The occasional soft drink and dessert, typical breakfast foods like sweetened cereals, yogurts, and baked goods, sugary condiments, and simple carbs were appearing in my diet more than I’d been willing to admit.
If acne is a problem for you, you might try cleaning up your diet. Really cleaning it up.
Besides reducing sugar intake, add leafy greens, antioxidant-rich foods, quality protein, probiotics like plain yogurt and kefir, and eat a diet rich in vegetables. It will brighten up your skin and it just might clear up your acne.
No definitive cause of acne has been found, but it simply makes sense that if we feed our bodies foods that they can recognize and use, we’ll be healthier all the way around. You might find that eliminating sugar doesn’t help you, but it worked for me, so it might be worth a try.
And if you aren’t willing to break up with your sweets, I feel you.
Patient: Is there anything else I need to do, doctor? Doctor: Well, is there anything you still enjoy that I haven’t taken away yet?
So there you have it, folks! Now go forth and be fit, fart-free, fresh-faced, and fabulous!