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April is the perfect time for spring cleaning in your home, but what about your body? On Ebony, Erika Nicole Kendall breaks down "clean eating," including how to do it and why it's important for your long-term health.

What makes clean eating so important? Quite simply, the exclusion of processed foods comes with the inclusion of more fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens carry all the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and gut flora that your body could possibly need in order to not merely survive, but thrive. Keeping your arteries clear, your liver free of excess fat, your pancreas functioning properly, and your body nourished, even a handful of extra vegetables can result in a massive change in how your body handles daily activity.

Not only that, but processed foods are actually deleterious to one's health. Processed foods are engineered to cultivate overeating habits. The point is to eat it all – quickly – and then you have to go back to the store to buy more. The excessive amounts of salt and sugar might be great for extending shelf life, but are awful on your heart and blood sugar. With flavors that are crafted in a lab as opposed to a garden, they also can alter your taste buds in a way that turns you off from natural taste. When's the last time you tasted a watermelon that tasted like watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers? I thought so.

Read Erika Nicole Kendall's entire piece at Ebony.

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