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Importance of Whole Foods

Jan 28, 2014Healthy Living0 comments

Young girl eating healthy, fresh whole foods

The healthiest foods to eat are whole foods complete with all of their rich nutrient density; vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fibre, and more, for the least amount of calories. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. They have not been highly processed nor do they contain synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients. By definition, whole foods are foods in as close to their natural state as possible. For example, an apple is a whole food, as opposed to commercially prepared apple juice, or a bowl of brown rice as opposed to ten-minute white rice.

 

Whole foods have had little to no processing and retain most, if not all, of their original nutrients and fibre. Another benefit of eating whole foods is that they retain their natural flavour, too, and once we get a taste for whole foods, we notice the full, naturally sweet flavour of many vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits.

“There is always a best way of doing everything.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“…forty or fifty years ago, something changed. This was the beginning of what was termed the information age, when for the first time people became more interested in nourishing their brain with information and less worried about what they fed to their bodies. This was the beginning of the takeaway age; fast foods, new technologies, genetically modified foods and the introduction of thousands of never-before-seen chemicals into our food chain. Since then, many new health problems have reared their ugly heads.” Cyndi O’Meara (Changing Habits, Changing Lives, 2007).

Sorry, it’s true! Many of the ailments that afflict people in our modern day are related to our lifestyle and all the trimmings that go with it. The three major diseases of the western world are diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They either put you in hospital (which then decreases your ability to heal the cause of the illness, instead just moves the symptoms), or kills you. A healthy diet will help you prevent disease, along with a balanced lifestyle and a healthy mental state. A healthy diet is not just about the number of calories or the amount of fat or the measurement of GI; it should take a holistic approach. A holistic approach considers your lifestyle, your exercise, your energy levels, your emotions and moods, your mental attitude about food, and how you relate to other people.

An unhealthy person is usually an unhappy person. The aims of a healthy diet should be about improving health, vitality, energy and to feel better as a person, not just to lose weight. If you focus on health this way, you can’t help but lose weight as a result, but you will gain so much more, including your long term health. If you are just trying to lose weight, at any cost, in the long run this will end up costing you more, and in more ways than one! There are many reasons why you may be overweight in the first place, again if you are just focusing on the symptoms (losing weight) you are not addressing the true cause (why you are overweight to begin with). You will spend your entire life chasing the latest fad diets instead of finding the roots of your problems and resolving them to live a life of great health and happiness. An unhealthy lifestyle is merely a series of unhealthy habits, to adopt a healthy lifestyle you need to change those habits, as a result you will get different outcomes.

“If you continue to think as you have always thought; you will continue to get what you always got.” Anon

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