Many people think 'whole foods' is just the name of a grocery store chain, but they are nutritional necessities for a healthy diet.
With the current focus on healthy eating, there is a bewildering array of so-called healthy foods available in typical grocery and health food stores. There is also much confusion about what exactly is the healthiest food, with so much being described as all natural, Non-GMO, totally organic, or any number of other labels. Really, the healthiest things for humans to consume are whole foods; these being totally natural food items which have not had nutrients removed or added.
Vegetarian whole foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Animal whole foods include shellfish, small fish eaten complete (anchovies, whitebait, smelt etc), eggs, poultry (chicken, turkey etc) and larger meat animals (goat, beef, lamb etc). The aim with the latter categories being to make use of all parts of the creature, like making stock from bones.
Whole grains are a fine example of whole foods as they are among the most ideal protectors against disease. One reason for this is their potential to decelerate digestion, thereby more nutrients are absorbed for use by the body. In the course of the digestive process they cause changes within the intestine which allows good bacteria production, generating a superior immune system. Whole grains also are made up of phytoestrogens and other phytochemicals which are known to break down carcinogens.
Non-whole foods are known as `fragmented foods`, meaning that they have been deprived of part of their nutritional quality by means of the refining and packaging processes. Some fragmented foods are easy to spot, like products made with refined sugar and white flour. Others are less distinguishable; products made with hydrogenated oils, or canned vegetables that have been overly heated in processing, reducing their nutritional value.
Research has shown that the human body can discern the differences between whole and fragmented foods, even if the missing nutrients are consumed in an isolated vitamin or mineral supplement, and will benefit more from whole foods. This is why it is vital for a human diet to contain a minimum of 70% whole foods, which allows for the most beneficial intake of naturally wholesome nutrients.
Even if 70% is not attainable, everybody takes responsibility for their own health when they make an effort to improve their nutritional health by eating some whole foods every day. Dietary experts suggest the following on a daily basis: one serving of animal protein, one serving of beans, two portions of whole grains or nuts and a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit.
A contemporary way to realize this 70% mark is to add concentrated whole foods and health drinks to your daily diet. Concentrated formulas generate greater enhancements by delivering more valuable nutrients in fewer calories, requiring less time and effort.