Singer Kelly Clarkson is looking fitter than ever. And unlike other Hollywood stars, her recent weight loss isn't due to some trendy diet or wacky workout: she simply started to eat cleaner.
"I literally read this book," Clarkson told Extra, referring to "The Plant Paradox" by Steven R. Gundry, a cardiac surgeon. "And I did it for this autoimmune disease that I had and I had a thyroid issue, and now all my levels are back up. I’m not on medicine anymore because of this book. It’s basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic."
So what is "The Plant Paradox"? On Gundry's website, he writes, "The key to strong, sustainable health lives in all of us… in the form of beneficial microbes. These 'good bacteria' are in danger of dying out, due to dietary and environmental issues that overload our systems with threatening 'bad' microbes. Once you begin taking care of your 'good' microbes – or, as I like to call them, 'your gut buddies' – you can begin an incredible transformation."
According to Gundry, certain health foods like fruits and vegetables can harm your body by producing lectins, which he calls "toxic chemical compounds."
"When lectins invade our bodies, they can cause some serious inflammatory responses and other health issues, like leaky gut syndrome, weight gain, brain fog, and more," Gundry writes on his website.
On his list of approved foods include cruciferous veggies, nuts, fish, and goat cheese. Most fruits are out except for seasonal berries and avocados.
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, a nonprofit health agency dedicated to increasing awareness of autoimmune diseases, autoimmunity is the No. 2 cause of chronic illness. Approximately five percent of the U.S. population has been diagnosed and treated for an autoimmune disease.
The notion that you can heal an autoimmune disease, or a thyroid issue like Clarkson's, through diet and proper nutrition isn't new. Several websites and books prescribe a "clean eating diet" -- one in which embraces eating whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plushealthy proteins and fats -- to soothe inflammation and injury.
"The greatest impact on whether our genes for illness get triggered is by what we put into our bodies – what we eat," Dr. Brooke Goldner wrote for the Center of Nutrition Studies last year on the link between autoimmune disease and nutrition. "Your cells are literally created out of the foods you put into your body. If you eat purely for taste and convenience, like many people do, you are likely eating nutrient-poor foods that cause damaged dysfunctional cells. When you learn to eat foods that nourish your body, your cells can repair themselves, and the new cells created will be high functioning healthy cells."
Additionally, as Clarkson's new figure attests, eating a "clean diet," meaning one that is well-balanced and rich in whole, unprocessed foods, is known to be effective for not only healing your body but for also shedding pounds. In fact, recent research supports the notion that monitoring the quality of the food being eaten will help you drop weight faster than counting calories.
And if that doesn't convince you to start eating cleaner, Clarkson also said about the perks of her new diet: "Literally, I haven’t worked out at all."
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