All of us have watched diet and healthy eating fads come and go. A diet will explode onto the market, usually accompanied by a book and possibly a subscription, and soon everyone we know is buzzing about it. Months or even a year or so later, no one is talking about it and they’re onto the next big food fad. Atkins. South Beach. Keto. The list is endless. Yes, the Whole Foods craze has stuck around, and there is good reason; it is based on science and its fundamentals have been true far longer than the words “whole foods” have been in our lexicon.
Whole foods are simply foods that are in their natural state and haven’t been processed, or have been lightly processed. This means whole fruits (not juices), and whole vegetables. They are very high in phytonutrients that come from plants and have beneficial effects on your system. There are over 10,000 phytonutrients that have antioxidant effects; they boost the immune system, are anti inflammatory, and can help prevent heart disease and alzheimer's. Some actually behave like antibiotics working to heal your body’s ills.
Where to Find Phytonutrients
Deeply colored vegetables are rich in phytonutrients - the deeper the color the more they have. Nuts, flax, seeds, and olive oil are also excellent sources. They exist in the wide range of fruits and vegetables available to you. By simply raising your awareness of the difference in refined versus whole foods you can train your mind to desire more of the latter.
What We Lose in Refined Foods
When we refine a food we take many of the nutrients out of it. For example, if we turn brown rice into white rice - which is what processing does - we are literally stripping it of nutrients. One alert you should watch for is the word “refined” or “fortified.” When a food says “fortified,” it means nutrients have been taken out and the manufacturer has attempted to put them back in. Consider that when foods are refined, 76 percent of the iron - needed to make red blood cells - is removed. 85 percent of magnesium - needed to keep your heart healthy and prevent arrhythmia - is also stripped from refined foods. Refining foods removes copper, zinc, and many nutrients necessary for our body to function at peak performance.
Knowledge is power, and understanding the benefits of eating whole foods can help you make wiser choices in your diet. Sometimes our lives are busy and we get off track, consuming more refined and less whole foods than we’d like. Another way to boost your nutrient level is to add a supplement to your diet, such as our Multi-Vitamin patch, ensuring that, even when you’re too busy to eat a purely whole food diet, you get the nutrients you need.