What Are Whole Foods And Why Are They So Important To Overall Health?

Whole foods come from the earth. A rule of thumb is that if you can’t pick it, pull it or peel it, it’s probably not a whole food – and I’m not talking about peeling back the cellophane wrapper. Whole, unpolished grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and unprocessed meats, fish and poultry are examples of real foods. The foods are in their original form, unprocessed and unrefined or have had minimal processing before being consumed. This provides the most health benefits as the food is usually in-tact delivering a higher degree of bio-available nutrients to the body.

Mother Nature knows best. The phytonutrients, plant fibres, and sterols are put together in such a way that makes the molecules easily identifiable by the body. The body recognizes whole molecules and will act on them more readily than supplements and enriched foods which are fragmented foods.

Fragmented foods can add to an acidic pH within the body and high acidity is related to disease promotion.

Take a look in your fridge. Is it loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours or are containers of sugar and additive laden juices the only things that resemble fruits and veggies? If all you see is juice containers and you have to switch to the pantry to find your cans of vegetables, there’s something you need to know. Boxed, bottled, canned, and frozen foods have undergone various forms of processing. The added sugar, salt, fat, additives and preservatives compromise the negative charge on your blood cells.

Your blood normally carries a negative charge to keep the red blood cells separated. This is a natural and ideal condition. Processed foods compromise this natural state and can contribute to rouleau, a condition where the red blood cells become sticky and bunch up against one another decreasing their ability to move through the smaller capillaries and deliver oxygen to the surrounding tissues. Your tissues need oxygen, so why not help yourself out?

Plan to include a variety of fruits and vegetables with your meals. They’re easy to prepare and the only reason they go bad is because you’re not eating them daily. Yes, it’s true, fresh fruits and vegetables have a short shelf life – this is because they’re alive. When picked from the plant or pulled from the earth they are cut off from their nutrient supply and continue to respirate.

The best place to get whole foods is your local farmers’ market or an organic delivery service. Either way, please try your best to eat organic. In Calgary, try the local farmers’ markets – Blackfoot or Currie Barracks, for example - or an online delivery service, such as Spud! www.spud.ca

Do you want healthy, shiny eyes and glowing skin? Eat fresh vegetables.

Click here for more information on the energetics of vegetables.

One serving of vegetables is ½ cup. Aim for at least 4 servings every day – that’s only two cups of vegetables. Heck I get 4 cups of vegetables in my homemade soup every day. Yes, I have a Vita-mix. This nifty machine makes it that much easier to get your whole foods. My favourite recipe requires 4 cups of raw veggies, ½ can tomato paste, ½ cup chick peas and two cups of hot water. Blend ingredients on high for 3 minutes and there you have it, hot, homemade soup - nutritious and delicious. If you don’t have a Vita-mix you can wash and chop your veggies the night before and put them in individual containers for taking to work the next day.

Try steaming in place of stir frying/boiling/microwaving your veggies if you’re not going to eat them raw. Adding fresh vegetables to your diet is the simplest and easiest way to increase your nutritional health.

There’s no magic to nutrition. If you follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, for Success) where ‘simple’ means whole foods with as little processing as possible you will gravitate toward foods in their natural form and be rewarded with an overall feeling of wellbeing.

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