Your Healthy Food Encyclopedia — Keep It Cleaner

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Your Healthy Food Encyclopedia

Alrighty. This eating healthy business can be a little confusing from time to time, right? It feels like there are a heap of intimidating words and acronyms that might be recognisable to scientists, but not so much the average person. So you don’t pull faces every time you read an ingredients list, here’s a handy guide to explain what those healthy buzzwords mean, and how they fuel your body.

Let’s gooooo.

DHA

The acronym DHA stands for DocosaHexaenoic Acid – a mouthful and a half, right? – which is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that is crucial for the brain, skin, and eyes. DHA is AMAZING for you, and can predominantly be found in fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and some plant oils. (It’s also an ingredient in our kids Bambini Bars FYI).

Prebiotic

Prebiotic fibre refers to foods that travel through the small intestine undigested, before being fermented when they reach the large colon. Prebiotics are great because they increase the number of good bacteria in our digestive system. (Hello, happy gut!)
You can find prebiotic goodness in garlic, onion, asparagus, bananas, barley, and oats, along with a range of plant-based foods. Oh, and did we mention the Keep It Cleaner Coconut Cider drinks are prebiotic? Yep! (Also… yum.)

Probiotic

Not to be mistaken with prebiotics, PRObiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that love your tummy. Probiotic foods are fermented before they touch our lips, and help balance the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut. Get your daily dose of probiotics by sipping on a kombucha, or eating some yogurt, kimchi, kefir, or sauerkraut. Believe it or not, some cheeses are probiotic foods, too – so reach for the gouda, mozzarella, cheddar or cottage cheese if you’re in front of a delish cheese board on a Friday night.

Fibre

We hear this word thrown around all the time, but you’re not alone if you have no clue what fibre actually is! Fibre comes from plant foods and is brilliant because it’s only partially digested by the body, meaning the undigested bits travel through our digestive tract, not only making us feel fuller but ensuring everything is, erm, running A-OK ‘down there’. You’ll find fibre in basically all crunchy fruits and vegetables, but the absolute best sources are beans, wholewheat bread, brown rice, nuts, berries, and bran cereal.

Non-GMO

Okay, well let’s start with the ‘GMO’ bit before we explain what ‘non-GMO’ means! GMO is the acronym for genetically modified organisms – AKA organisms that are made in a lab, not by nature. Believe it or not, plant-based foods can now be grown by scientists to be near-identical to their natural counterparts. So, when you see ‘non-GMO’ on a food label, it indicates that food was created the old-fashioned way – naturally, by mother nature in the ground – rather than by Larry the lab assistant.

Polyphenols

God bless polyphenols! These guys are micronutrients that are brimming with antioxidants. For that reason, they’re also packed with health benefits including better digestion, weight management, and greater protection from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You’ll find polyphenols in a range of spices, herbal teas, dark-coloured berries, and olives!

‘Fermented’

Okay, here’s the easiest-to-understand explanation: the process of fermentation is where a food or substance is broken down by bacteria, yeasts, or other micro-organisms to create a simpler substance that absolutely adores your gut. Yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, tempeh, and pickles are all fermented foods that are tasty and great for you.

Cider vinegar

Cider vinegar is made by crushing certain fruits – say, apples, or coconuts – and squeezing out the liquid. That liquid is then combined with bacteria and yeast to start the fermentation process, where sugars are turned into alcohol, which can then be converted into vinegar! Because it’s fermented – you guessed it – it’s beneficial for gut health. You can find cider vinegar in two main forms: a fizzy drink (like Keep It Cleaner’s Coconut Cider) or a salad dressing.

Lecithin

Don’t ask us to pronounce it, but lecithin is a fat that lowers cholesterol, improves heart health, improves digestion, moisturises the skin, and may even fight symptoms of dementia. You’ll find lecithin in red meat, seafood, eggs, cooked green vegetables like broccoli, and soybeans.

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