Article by Carol Wildgoose
Wholefoods, What Are They and Do We Really Need Them?
Wholefoods, we see the word more and more these days, but what are they and do we really need them?
It seems that every day there is a new news story about what is good for us and what’s not. What we should cut out of our diets and what we should not. New scientific studies are produced, seemingly on a conveyor belt, to convince us of a particular theory which has been tested.
In fact, there is so much ‘information’ around that many people now take the attitude that it really doesn’t matter a bit what you eat. To be honest, I think you could be forgiven for having this attitude; the incessant white noise starts to grate on you after a while and, after many failed attempts to get it right, you generally wind up back where you started.
Unfortunately, you don’t have to go far outside your front door to see the effects that this confusion and the modern day diet and dietary guidelines is having on the population. Overweight and obesity, chronic illness and disease, from arthritis and eczema to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue to type2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer and everything in between are increasing at a rapid rate. Obesity alone is reported to cost the NHS a whopping £5.1 billion per year.
The question is, is it related to the food we eat?
It is my belief that it absolutely is. I also firmly believe that a return to wholefoods is a major part of the answer to this global epidemic.
Wholefoods are foods in their natural form, as they were intended by nature. The world is abundant with wholefoods, yet we have been led to believe that the processed ‘foods’ which are on the shelves of the supermarkets are the same. That food is food, this simply is not the case.
Let me explain something really quickly; our bodies need nutrients from the food we eat, not just something to fill a hunger gap. You can see more on this in this article about nutrition v food.
Our bodies need a myriad of different nutrients each and every day in order to function correctly. We need these nutrients for energy, cell function, the immune system, the endocrine system (hormone production), longevity, weight management, detoxification and much more. Even a minor deficiency of a nutrient can cause severe long term effects. It is estimated that around 9 out of 10 people are not getting enough nutrients.
The modern day way to discover what is causes illness, disease, obesity etc is to focus in on one element of the diet and launch scientific studies into how that particular element is the route of all evil. What is being sadly missed is that when eaten in a well balanced manner, the effects of wholefoods combined together have an inexplicable effect. When nutrients are separated from the whole food, they simply do not behave in the same way. The wholefood provides a combination of nutrients in a perfect form which can be easily utilised by the body.
Why then are there no health claims on natural wholefoods? The answer is simple; those foods are healthy in themselves, they need no claims to support them.
Health claims are made on the packages of man-made foods claiming to be natural, they are there to convince us to buy them and, ultimately, to make more profit for the companies which produce them.
Processed foods provide us with little, if any, nutrition. In fact, they provide anti-nutrients which interfere with the natural functioning of our bodies and prevent nutrients from reaching our cells. They require more nutrients to deal with them than they provide and as there is little nutrition going in to the bodies of many people due to their diet, their systems become stressed. Where does this leave us? Overweight, sick and dying before our time!
Did you know for instance, that just one teaspoon of sugar can suppress the immune system by 50% for up to 5 hours? Or that 25 nutrients are removed from wheat in the refining process, only four of which are artificially replaced?
Or that 25 nutrients are removed from wheat in the refining process, only four of which are artificially replaced?
Is it simply then that we should be eating the way nature intended? That we should stick to the basic, beautiful foods in their whole form?
In my opinion, the answer to this question has be a resounding ‘yes’. Wholefoods can provide constant support to the body, allowing it to function correctly, protect us from illness and disease, detox us of the toxins we pick up in the environment around us, provide us with energy, clarity of mind, longevity; the list goes on. We owe it to ourselves, and to nature itself to make the shift. The more we do this, the less demand there will be for processed foods and the less they will be produced.
If you would like to try it out and see if you can feel the difference for yourself, below are some simple guidelines to help you along the way:
- Try to source food locally wherever possible, organic if possible. Local produce travel less miles and will have more of it’s nutrients in tact by the time it reaches you. Also, many fresh items bound for the supermarkets are treated to a bath in extra chemicals so that they travel better and last for longer; buying locally avoids some of this.
- Aim not to rely on man-made vitamin and mineral supplements, these may be required under certain circumstances but they simply do not work in your body in the same way that wholefoods do. If you feel the need for supplementation then look to wholefood supplements like spirulina and chia seeds.
- Eat a wide range of food, it doesn’t matter how wonderful a food is, if you’re eating nothing but that you will become deficient in certain nutrients. Eating a wide range of foods allows the best chance for the correct nutrients to enter your body and be properly absorbed.
- Eat as much plant based produce as you can, keeping meat as a less frequent treat. This may seem like a tall order but the more veg, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes you include the more you will grow to love it.
Stuck for recipe ideas? Head over to www.foodily.com , type in the ingredients you want to cook with and it will bring back some fabulous recipes. You need never eat steamed veg again J
Stay nourished. Carol x
Carol Wildgoose – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/healthymissc/
My name is Carol Wildgoose, I am 41 years old and a Mum of two, living in rural Lincolnshire. I am a qualified gym instructor, nutritional therapist, clinical weight loss advisor and former disordered eater. My personal experiences with food and dieting have led me to focus my interests around coaching women who struggle with erratic eating patterns and a poor relationship with food. I love working with women and watching them change their lives with food after years of heartache and struggle