Processed foods today—fast food, frozen meals, “boxed pizza kits,” BPA-lined soup cans, canned vegetables, canned fruits, and other convenience foods—are not only loaded with dangerous chemicals and synthetic preservatives, they’re also lower in nutrients, likely to be packed with insulin-spiking MSG and other unhealthy flavor enhancers, and don’t supply the crucial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help you be healthy, energetic, and ambitious.
An organic whole foods diet is a smart choice for so many reasons. Let’s examine the best ones.
1) A whole foods diet is a nutrient dense diet.
Whole foods are nutrient dense foods—if they’ve been grown and raised on rich, healthy soil. Fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients, phytochemicals, proteins, and healthy fats, satisfying the entire spectrum of your nutritional requirements every day. Meeting these requirements assures you fuel every system of the body, keep your immune system fortified, and give every system in your body—bones, heart, brain—the nutrients to stay strong and healthy. When you don’t have time to cook a healthy whole foods meal or are on your way to work, you can’t get more nutrients packed into one dish than you can with a nutrient rich shake or smoothie made with an organic superfoods powder or green drink.
2) You’ll have better blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance and diabetes
Fibrous, plant-based whole foods are great for keeping blood sugar in check, helping you avoid insulin resistance and diabetes. Refined and preserved meats, cheeses, baked goods, and other packaged foods contain chemicals and hormones that promote higher blood sugar, insulin spikes, and the subsequent crashes. These blood sugar surges and falls cause more cravings for unhealthy quick fixes—sugary foods—to make you feel better.
3) A whole foods diet can help you avoid overeating, unhealthy eating, and obesity
Remember, if food is grown on healthy soil, it will provide all the nutrients unique to that plant or animal. Thus, a nutrient dense whole foods diet can help you fight obesity in numerous ways. Nutritional deficiencies cause all kinds of food cravings. A potassium deficiency can create sugar cravings. A choline deficiency or liver congestion will make you crave lemon or sour flavors. A low-fat diet will cause sugar cravings because the brain depends on glucose derived from healthy fats. Often, people end up binging on unhealthy foods because they’re not satisfied by a nutrient empty diet. A whole foods diet creates satiety by helping you meet numerous nutrient requirements. Learn to recognize what healthy food source your craving indicates. Good examples are found here.
4) A whole foods diet keeps you looking and feeling young
Processed foods are loaded with empty, unhealthy refined sugars and flours, all of which are very aging, especially to the skin. Refined sugar is the enemy of youthful looking skin and promotes aging of our bodies at a cellular level. On the contrary, whole foods are packed with nutrients like lycopene, which keeps our skin taut and youthful and protects us from harmful UV rays.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals and phytonutrients that keep our cells youthful and protect us from cellular damage, which further promotes a youthful body. Vitamin C rich whole fruits and vegetables promote collagen synthesis, keeping our skin elastic and youthful. Healthy seeds and nuts are rich in healthy fats that our eyes, skin, hair, and tissues need to stay young and healthy.
5) Whole foods protect you from cardiovascular disease and colon cancer
A whole foods diet rich in fibrous vegetables and fruits will help protect you from colon cancer
and cardiovascular disease. Studies demonstrate that a diet rich in fiber is both heart and colon protective. In “Cancer: A Nutritional Deficiency,” famed Canadian physician J.R. Davidson lays out a theory that was considered, in his own words, “too simple to be believed, too good to be true.” His speculation, backed by multiple case studies, is that cancer itself is a deficiency disease, one that can be prevented and controlled at least in part by a balanced diet high in vitamins. You’ll find his article in Foundations of Trophotherapy Volume III.
Whole foods are smart for too many reasons to list. They’re rich in nutrients you can’t get from any convenience foods. They help you stay lean, energetic, smart, healthy, and vibrant. Furthermore, they protect your body in a shield of immunity that you much need to be resilient in today’s world of environmental challenges.
Image from iStock/shironosov.