Dieticians and nutritionists are consistently learning more about healthy nutrition. Their findings suggest that you can improve your overall health if you begin to eat and drink what people ate and drank the past. Before foods and beverages were processed in factories, a whole food diet was the norm.
What exactly is a whole food diet? Whole foods and beverages haven’t been altered from their natural form. Thus switching to a whole food diet might involve choosing wholegrain cereal over processed flakes, grilling fresh fish as opposed to popping fish fingers into the oven, or taking the time to make a jacket potato with cheese and chives instead eating a bag of potato chips.
Choosing a whole food diet also involves making smarter choices when you shop for groceries. You would need to avoid buying processed goods and purchase fresh unprocessed foods and drinks only. Your diet would ideally include plenty of whole grains, whole wheat flour, beans, pulses, lean meat, fish, eggs, fruit, milk, yogurt, honey, herbs, spices, vegetables, fresh fruit juices, water, and herbal tea. So what health benefits are associated with eating a whole food diet?
Phytochemicals are components in plant food sources that are biologically active. Known phytochemicals include the antioxidants lycopene, pterostilbene, and anthocyanin. Research indicates that these phytonutrients have a beneficial effect on the cells of the body. They help by promoting fat loss and reducing levels of bad LDL cholesterol. In order to get the full antioxidant benefits associated with these phytochemicals, it is necessary to ingest them in their natural unaltered state. Thus it’s a good idea to keep your recipes simple and use only unprocessed plant ingredients.
A Natural Source of Nutrients
A person who appears to eat more than enough food can still be malnourished. If your diet includes a lot of processed convenience goods, takeout, sugary soda, and junk food, it won’t just make you gain weight. It will also deprive you of several key nutrients your body needs to fight heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. Eating a whole food diet based mostly on plants is the most efficient way to protect yourself from these health conditions because it ensures that your body gets sufficient vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
No Additives or Extra Calories In a Whole Food Diet
When you cook simple meals from scratch using whole ingredients, you do not consume any of the additives or preservatives that have been added to many convenience foods in order to make them taste better. Processing food in a factory often involves adding MSGs, salt, fat or sugar to enhance the taste. Unfortunately, these added ingredients can harm your health and expand your waistline.
If you’re sticking to a diet that includes a lot of whole plant foods, your fiber intake will increase. This increase in fiber will help you to feel satiated for longer after eating. It will also help you to move your bowels on a regular basis. Hence eating sufficient fiber can greatly reduce your risk for colon cancer. Increased fiber intake also helps to control blood sugar, fight diabetes, and reduce the risk of heart disease.