Whole Foods Defined

The dictionary definition for whole food is; food that is considered healthy because it is grown naturally, has not been processed, and contains no artificial ingredients.
The term whole food is often confused with organic food, but whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole.

A true whole food is one that can be eaten entirely in its natural state such as an apple, a cucumber and a walnut. Foods that need to be cooked to be edible such as whole grains can also be considered whole foods. Some animal products can also be considered whole food such as freshly squeezed raw milk, raw honey and raw fish. We now also consider minimally processed packaged foods that do not contain any additives or artificial ingredients as healthy and close to being whole.

It is now known that the majority of the truly beneficial disease preventing and healing phyto-chemicals are found in the cores, seeds, stems and skins. This is why many people who think they are eating healthy are still getting sick or not getting well on their not quiet whole food diets. Fortunately with todays high powered blenders it is possible to micro blend whole foods including their cores, seeds, stems and skins.

The big benefit from eating whole foods is from the fact that the nutrients they contain act in concert, rather than simply as single agents. Whole unprocessed foods are therefore more than simply the sum of their individual parts. Researchers typically focus on single compounds in whole foods that promote health such as; antioxidants, enzymes, dietary fiber and on compounds in refined, processed foods that are damaging such as; synthetic chemical additives.

Current scientific research supports the concept that foods should be consumed containing as much of their original complement of nutrients as possible. Studies exploring the relationship between diet and health consistently show health benefits from eating minimally processed whole foods; whereas, studies focusing solely on isolated compounds have yielded mixed results.

An example of this is the research examining the relationship between beta-carotene and cancer. Epidemiological studies show a relationship between consuming whole foods high in beta-carotene, such as vegetables like carrots and bell peppers with a lower risk of cancer. These observations have led researchers to test the effects of beta-carotene itself on preventing cancer. Studies using synthetic (chemically-made and purified) beta-carotene have not shown any protect against cancer. Instead, in some of these studies, people who smoke were found to have higher rates of cancer when given the synthetic beta-carotene supplement than smokers who did not take the supplement.

These apparently conflicting results have been baffling to scientists who are not aware that the protective effect of foods is due to more than just one form of beta-carotene. Real nutritional benefits come from the synergetic effect of the complimentary array of all the phytonutrients and co factors found in whole fruits and vegetables.This complement of thousands of health-promoting compounds provides a synergy of health-protecting effects in our bodies and is likely to contain many yet-to-be discovered beneficial components that are also needed to provide healing.

Our bodies require whole food nutrition in order to function optimally.
So remember you are part of nature and you require whole foods produced by your Mother…Mother Nature.

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