Eating a whole foods diet is one of the more simple eating styles around. There’s nothing really fancy or complicated about it. It’s what we should all be eating if we want to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Simple eat foods as they are found in nature, in their whole and natural state. The truth about a whole foods diet is that it is less complicated, more affordable, and offer an abundance of health benefits. Foods are consumed intact, with their fibre, and along with all the other nutrient factors that the food naturally contains.
Your body knows how to recognize and use these whole foods. Your digestion and processing of these foods is going to be cleaner and more efficient in burning the food as an energy source than if you had to force your body to try and digest foods it does not naturally recognize. Your body will not have to spend extra energy being forced to try and extract nutrients from foods that have little nutrient content to offer.
Grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables provide healthful nutrition. In their natural state, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other essential nutrients. Sometimes, the processing that turns these simple foods into commercial products can take away some of their value. The other problem with processed foods is that often many ingredients are added to the foods, which are not helpful for our health. Whole foods are rich in phytochemicals such as phytosterols and antioxidants. These are powerful nutrients, which are found in plant foods. Whole foods also contain beneficial fibres and fats – that are in a natural intact form. Compared with processed foods, whole foods contain significantly more vitamins and minerals. The combinations of nutrients in whole foods act synergistically to protect us from disease. The quality of meat that we consume is very related to the diet that the animal was fed. Opt for grass-fed and free range animal products. These foods will have a higher nutrient value.
Eat whole grain rice rather than white rice, for example. Eat the whole grape, instead of consuming the fibreless juice that has been extracted from the grape. You can find whole foods in your normal grocery store, health food stores, and at farmers markets. Markets are a great place to shop for foods. You may be able to talk to the producer or grower on a one-on-one basis and ask questions about your food. Find out where it came from, was it locally grown or was it brought in from somewhere else? How was the food grown? Or how were the animals raised? These are important questions and when you have the opportunity to find these things out, why not take the time to learn about what you are consuming. What you eat literally becomes a part of you. If you want to be made of good wholesome stuff and allow your body machine to operate at peak performance, then you should definitely care about what you are eating every single day. It’s the choices that you make on a regular basis that have a significant impact on your long-term health.
Tips for Living Well on a Whole Foods Diet:
- When you are out at restaurants, ask for whole grain options instead of the refined version of the food. For example, order brown rice instead of white rice.
- Check out your local health food store, there are some great options available for whole food bars and drink mixes that are convenient to take with you when you are on the go and need a healthy snack option. The truly whole food ingredients may be in a powdered form, dried, or freeze dried, but they are still from whole foods and retain most of the nutritional benefits of the food as it did in its original state.
- Head out to your local farmers market, you are likely to get some good bargains on fresh and locally grown foods. Get to know your food producers, ask them about the food that they grow and the food that you are purchasing for consumption.
- Try making new whole food recipes at home, look online for new and interesting recipes or buy a magazine or book that offers you some healthy recipe ideas. Be creative and have fun, there are many different grains, fruits and vegetables that you have likely not tried. Make it a goal to try new foods in your diet every week.