People are catching on that a whole foods diet is a superior approach to achieving optimal health. Consuming plants directly from nature in an unadulterated format just seems to be the right thing to do and the way we feel confirms it. However, if one needs more convincing, here are six distinct benefits of eating a whole foods diet.
Most animal products, like meat, eggs, dairy and cheese, do not contain fiber, while brown rice, broccoli, oatmeal and almonds have six to 15g per serving. Fiber is the transport system of the digestive tract, moving food wastes out of the body before it has the chance to form into potentially cancer causing chemicals. These toxic chemicals can cause colon cancer or pass through the gastrointestinal membrane into the bloodstream and damage other cells.
Decreased sugar consumption
Eating a diet high in natural complex carbohydrates tends to be more filling and decreases the desire to consumed processed sugars. Lower sugar consumption also decreases overall food intake. As with fat, sugar is a hidden and unwelcome ingredient in many processed foods.
When eating primarily vegetables, a high sugar intake is automatically kept under control due to their low sugar content.
Plant foods are richer sources of nutrients than their animal counterparts. Compare wheat germ to round steak. Ounce for ounce, wheat germ contains twice the vitamin B2, vitamin K, potassium, iron and copper; three times the vitamin B6, molybdenum and selenium; 15 times as much magnesium; and over 20 times the vitamin B1, folate and inositol. The steak only has three nutrients in greater amounts: vitamin B12, chromium and zinc.
Plant foods also contain a higher probiotic and enzyme content, which is key to maintaining proper intestinal ecology. A thriving gut promotes proper nutrient absorption and proper disposal of waste, both of which are critical to a healthy body.
A greater variety of vegetables also exposes consumers to, literally, more colorful foods, like red beets, chard, yellow squash, red peppers and cabbage. The variations in color are due to various minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that perform important health promoting functions in the body.
More food satisfaction and less over-eating
Foods, such as vegetables, whole grains and beans, that are dense in nutrients and fiber require more chewing time and often result in the consumption of fewer calories. Eating whole foods makes a person more quickly satisfied, which means that the person will eat less. Eating less is associated with longevity and optimal health.
Foods grown naturally develop with the right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats intended for that particular food. They contain balanced vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients and enzymes.
This natural balance within the foods ensures that the body can properly utilize the nutrients provided to it in order to balance and heal each and every body cell. Foods that have been refined, processed (parts of them removed or altered) or enriched/fortified (things added) upset this natural balance in foods and will do the same to your body and your body's cells.
Transitioning from processed to whole foods can be a challenge due to habits and taste profiles that have been created over decades. However, adopting a whole foods diet and knowing which foods have the most benefits will provide a new energy that will keep one motivated to stay on the path to true health.