Whole Foods What Are They And Why Should We Eat More of Them?
What are wholefoods?
Wholefoods are foods which are in the most natural form possible. They are foods which will have been processed or refined as little as possible if at all.
Typically wholefoods will not contain added ingredients such as salt, sugar, carbohydrates or fats. Tinned foods or those packed with other ingredients are not wholefoods.
A fresh pineapple is a wholefood, tinned pineapple is not.
Who should eat wholefoods?
Well, put simply, everyone.
We should all be including more wholefoods in our daily meal menus as means of increasing our intake of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
When should we eat wholefoods?
Basically we should be eating wholefoods at every meal and at snack time too.
Why should we eat wholefoods?
Wholefoods tend to contain more vitamins and minerals than refined or processed foods do.
Wholefoods are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Included as part of a healthy diet, fibre can help to prevent certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is also important in the management of constipation.
Wholefoods contain many natural substances recognised as being important for maintaining good health. Fruit and vegetables for example are a source of phytochemicals which are believed to help protect against heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Wholefoods are often good sources of antioxidants that protect the body from free-radical damage.
Wholefoods, unlike most processed or refined foods, are low in salt and sugar.
Wholefoods are free from additives such as colourings and preservatives which are often present in processed foods to improve their shelf life, their appearance and their texture.
Wholefoods such as nuts and seeds are high in essential fatty acids which are good for your health. They do not contain the harmful trans and saturated fats that have been added to processed foods and have been linked with many health conditions.
How can we eat more wholefoods?
Increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables you eat each day.
Try a handful of nuts or seeds for a snack once a day.
Eat whole grains whenever possible. Grains such as:
Wheat, Oats, Brown Rice, Barley (NOT pearl barley), Spelt, Kamut, Millet, Amaranth, Sprouted Grains, Buckwheat and Quinoa.
These are all whole grains that are unrefined and have not had their bran and germ removed by milling.
Drink water, fresh fruit juice, herbal and fruit teas or green tea.
Avoid eating refined grains. White flour, white rice, white bread and white pasta have all been made from milled grains that have been stripped of many of their nutrients and fibre.
Avoid (or reduce) eating convenience and processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, crisps, frozen meals and pies.
Avoid sugary drinks and limit drinks containing stimulants such as black tea and coffee.