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Whole Foods are Essential for a Healthy Diet

Knowing how to identify whole foods helps explain why they are critical for a healthy diet.

Author: Everett Smith
Date: Oct 1, 2011 - 6:12:41 PM

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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 most recent emphasis on healthy eating, there is a baffling array of so-called healthy food 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 `natural`, `organic`, `balanced`, `pure` and so on. Actually, the healthiest things for humans to consume regularly are whole foods; these being totally natural food items which have not been refined or processed and have no additives.

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 intent with the latter categories is to make use of as many usable components as possible, such as making stock out of bones.

Whole grains are a healthy example of whole foods as they are among the finest guardians against disease. One reason for this is their ability to decelerate digestion, thus nutrients are made more bio available for the body because of enhanced absorption rates. During the digestive process they make changes within the intestine which allows beneficial bacteria production, hence a superior immune system. Whole grains also include phytoestrogens and other phytochemicals which are known to break down carcinogens.

Fragmented foods are not whole foods because they have lost elements of their nutritional value in the refining and packaging processes. Some fragmented foods are obvious; such as products made with white flour, white rice and refined sugar. Others are less visible; 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 discrepancies between whole and fragmented foods, even if the `missing` nutrients are consumed separately as supplements, and will benefit more from whole foods. This is why it is considered ideal for a human diet to include a minimum of 70% whole foods, allowing for the healthiest absorption of valuable nutrients.

Even if 70% is not realistic, every person should make an effort to upgrade their nutritional health by eating some whole foods every day. Nutritionists propose 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 power packed juices to your diet. Concentrated formulas make it possible to obtain more valuable nutrients in fewer calories, with less time, money and energy.

Author Cliff Everett Smith is President of, the Internet's fastest growing online health food store that offers concentrated whole foods and health drinks not sold in typical stores. Dig up more healthy diet tips, or just browse the site and see the catalog.

View all articles by Everett Smith

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