WHY FOCUS ON EATING WHOLE FOODS?

This article talks about the benefits of eating whole foods, which means a single ingredient whole food that is free of chemical additives, unprocessed and rich in nutrients. If you follow a diet based on real foods it will help you to lead a high-quality life and maintain good health. 

  • Loaded with nutrients: Unprocessed plant and animal foods contain minerals and vitamins that we need for our optimal health. Example: Eggs are high in choline that is essential for proper brain functioning, Brazil nuts provide with great amounts of selenium, broccoli and organs contain a great amount of vitamin C. 
  • Low in sugar: Added sugar is linked with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart diseases, fatty liver and obesity. Fruits contain natural sugar along with fibre and water which makes it much healthier than processed food items or sodas.
  • Heart-healthy: Real foods help to reduce inflammation. The nutrient and antioxidant content like magnesium and healthy fats help to support heart health. 
  • High in fibre: Fiber helps to boost our metabolic health and digestive functioning. They provide a feeling of fullness which prevents overeating so try to include foods like chia seeds, flaxseeds, beans and legumes in your daily diet.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels: Real foods are unprocessed and high in fibre which helps to balance and control the blood sugar levels.
  • Good for skin health: They help to protect our skin from sun damage, age-related changes, loss of elasticity and wrinkles. Eat foods like olive oil, flaxseeds, pomegranate, dark chocolate, fatty fish, etc.
  • Help to lower triglyceride levels: The triglyceride levels are greatly influenced by our food intake. Real foods like vegetables, nuts, etc help to reduce triglyceride levels as they are free from refined carbs and processed sugars. 
  • Have good healthy fats: Nuts, whole milk dairy, seeds, avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. all consist of good healthy fats that protect our heart health and help to fight inflammation.  
  • Good antioxidant content: They help to fight against free radicals that cause damage to our cells. Example: Egg yolk consists of zeaxanthin and lutein which helps to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Great for gut health: Real foods also function as prebiotics that is basically food for your gut bacteria. They help to maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome and promote gut health along with improving our blood sugar control.

In conclusion focus on eating real foods as they are one of the important pillars in leading a healthy life. Daily exercise along with good food is very important to manage and lower your stress levels. Eat healthily and stay healthy.

References:

  • Purba, M. B., Kouris-Blazos, A., Wattanapenpaiboon, N., Lukito, W., Rothenberg, E. M., Steen, B. C., & Wahlqvist, M. L. (2001). Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference?. Journal of the American College of Nutrition20(1), 71–80. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2001.10719017
  • Zhang, J., Wang, C., Li, L., Man, Q., Meng, L., Song, P., Frøyland, L., & Du, Z. Y. (2012). Dietary inclusion of salmon, herring and pompano as oily fish reduces CVD risk markers in dyslipidaemic middle-aged and elderly Chinese women. The British journal of nutrition108(8), 1455–1465. 
  • Schwingshackl, L., & Hoffmann, G. (2014). Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lipids in health and disease13, 154. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-13-154
  • Delcourt, C., Carrière, I., Delage, M., Barberger-Gateau, P., Schalch, W., & POLA Study Group (2006). Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoids as modifiable risk factors for age-related maculopathy and cataract: the POLA Study. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science47(6), 2329–2335. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.05-1235
  • Ebbeling, C. B., Sinclair, K. B., Pereira, M. A., Garcia-Lago, E., Feldman, H. A., & Ludwig, D. S. (2004). Compensation for energy intake from fast food among overweight and lean adolescents. JAMA291(23), 2828–2833. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.291.23.2828

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