What are whole foods? Why are they good?

Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined foods which our body loves. In a nutshell, they are anything fresh and whole, such as vegetables and fruit, for example. Shelly Najjar explains what whole foods are in her blog post.

How to add whole foods to your diet

Fruit and vegetable salads
Fruit is naturally sweet, packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, and tastes lovely by itself. Try cutting up a few pieces of fruit in a bowl, you’ll love the sweetness first thing in the morning, or as a healthy snack.
If you’re having a lasagna, or some chips and burgers, add some vegetables to a salad. Cucumbers, onions and sweetcorn work really well with main meals.
Salads are a great and easy way to get whole-foods into your body.
Change some of your main meals
Try adding a homemade country vegetable soup, or a tasty stir-fry, into your main meal diet.
Add them to your favourite meals
Do you love that curry you make/buy? Add peas to it. Adding one of two vegetables is very easy to do.
Legumes
Things like chickpeas and lentils, for instance, are legumes and are considered whole foods. Some legumes require to be soaked in water for 8 hours before cooking, so they are not considered handy for quick cooking!
Having said that legumes are very easy to eat and are packed with fiber which helps maintain a healthy digestion system. Try adding legumes to Mexican food — it is a great combination. Once you do this you’ll become an expert at adding them to other cuisines.

Health benefits of whole-foods

Whole foods have been proven to lower bad cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol. This helps us have a strong heart and clear arteries/veins. Whole foods are rich in fibre which helps us maintain a healthy digestive system.

I would also argue that whole foods can improve your mood, outlook on life, concentration… You might want to start eating more of them.

Reference

  1. Bruce, B. Spiller, G.A. Klevay, L.M. Gallagher, S.K. (2000) A Diet High in Whole and Unrefined Foods Favorably Alters Lipids, Antioxidant Defenses, and Colon Function. [Online] [Accessed on 18th March 2013] http://www.jacn.org/content/19/1/61.full

Why bother reading/writing about our diet?

Lately I have been writing posts related to our diet but why do I write them?

Everything starts with our diet

Okay this is not one hundred per cent true but most things start with our diet. Other factors, such as genetics, for example, influence what goes on in our environment: Our body has its own boundary because everything inside our skin belongs to us in its own environment.

Our diet can have a large impact on this environment because everything we eat enters our environment: The food we eat gets behind our skin, consequently our environment.

Photo of the word “diet” made out of vegetables

What is a healthy diet? What is a balance?

The short answer to this is eating lots of whole-foods, such as fruit and vegetables, for example. A healthy diet is one rich in nutrients which helps us build and maintain an excellent environment, free of cancers, minor alignments and physical organ problems. Don’t just stop eating a bunch of fruits and vegetables, get a range of them. What is the easiest way to do this? Become adventerous next time you are at the supermarket, swap most of your vegetables in your homemade soup for completely different ones, or subsitute one or two vegetables for new ones in your stir-fry. Getting this range allows us to have an excellent environment.

Diet is not just about food

If you are anything like me, you will love great tasting food. But our diet isn’t just about taste, it’s about how we look (how our skin glows…), how we feel (do we stay mentally well…) and how we act (do we feel energised to…). Our diet has a huge impact on our life, eating a healthly and balanced diet allows you to look great, feel fantastic and have a lot of energy.

In short I write these posts to learn about our diet which allows me to maintain a healthy, enjoyable body, as well as being able to publish them on this blog which allows you to maintain a healthy and enjoyable body. I hope to continue to write some diet posts as part of this blog on life.

Horse-meat in the UK, Ireland and Europe

For those of you who read this blog outside Europe (thanks for making this global!) you might have heard about the whole horse-meat scandal in Europe. If not, an explanation is given below.

Horse-meat is not bad for you

Some parts of Mainland Europe eat horse-meat happily whereas most people in the UK and Ireland see horse-meat as a ‘no go meat’ for culture reasons. Horses are seen as real pets and not as food. Culture is fascinating.

But the problem with horse-meat, in a nutshell, lies with the labels on foods. 100% beef burgers have up to 100% horse-meat in them. Horse’s get different medications, some of which can be harmful to humans, which need to be regulated. Having said that, some experts in the UK have said that a person would need to eat 500 grams of burgers a day to be infected.

You are what you eat

Although this saying is inaccurate (because you are what you digest) it got me thinking: we do not really know what is in our food. Government’s do not do enough to regulate the food industry. Why? Here are one, of many, reasons:

  • Next time you’re in the supermarket have a look at the content. Look at the amount of salt and sugar in our food. If the government really wanted to help with obesity and lifestyles they would get a tighter control on this stuff. You can run your body into the ground if you eat too much salt, or sugar. Some government’s do, however, offer guidelines but this does not reduce the volume of salt and sugar in our foods.

Food varies in price. How come lower quality food is mostly bad for you? Does this mean poorer people are more likely to suffer from health problems? This is not fair, yet this is the case.

What can I do about horse-meat?

You can’t do anything about the supermarkets and producers of these products. But you might want to consider getting stuff locally. If it’s local you have a greater chance of buying real products. Local produce is a little more expensive but you are likely to know where something has come from.

We really do not know what we eat. Although this is worrying, you should try to take as much control, on your part, as you can. One of the most important things to do is to cook your own sauce. Buy the ingredients yourself, get a lovely cookbook and knock yourself out. You can control lots of things this way — including salt and sugar. In fact, cooking from fresh ingredients allows you to have salt/sugar free meals.

Personally speaking, I cook from fresh ingredients. I find it relaxing, especially if I have coursework or exams. Don’t get me wrong, a cheeky chip is sometimes nice as a treat. But remember to enjoy your body. Love it, feed it with fresh (fruit and veg), tasty nutrients. Don’t overload it with rubbish. Salt, for example, will clog your arteries and will put a lot of strain on your heart because your body retains more water when there’s excess salt in your body.

Do you have anything else to add? How do you recommend a healthy life?