The Importance of Eating Whole Foods
Obviously every meal and snack we have will not be made up of whole foods. However, if we aim for them to make up 60 to 75 per cent of our diet. it will go a long way towards preventing disease and slowing down aging. Here are just a few of the many benefits to eating whole foods:
1. Less Risk of Heart Disease
Eating a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables greatly increases the amount of fiber in your diet. Researchers have found that a high fiber diet greatly helps to protect your heart from damaging cardiovascular disease.
2. Mood Improvement
Studies have shown that eating all of the trans fats found in processed food increases stress, irritability, and aggression. Human bodies are not really designed to handle unnatural trans fats, so they can negatively affect the brain. By cutting these out of your diet, you can feel more relaxed and lower your levels of cortisol stress hormones. This means you are happier!
3. Easily Eat a Balanced Diet
While processed foods may have unnaturally high levels of fats or sugars, most fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans naturally grow with correct proportions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They also contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, so simple meals can provide all of your needed daily vitamin values.
4. Stronger Bones
Many vegetables offer forms of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K that the body can absorb easier than animal-based versions of those minerals. Your body uses these minerals and vitamins to create strong, healthy bones that are less likely to break or develop osteoporosis in later years.
5. Higher IQ
When growing children eat boxed foods with high levels of sugar and fat, their IQ decreases as they age. Research suggests that children who eat a diet of whole foods will be smarter than their peers who only have processed food.
6. You'll Have Great Hair Days!
The grains that often make up a lot of a whole foods diet contain zinc, which is responsible for building hair, and vitamin B2, which is an important part of creating skin. This means that a diet high in whole grains results in shiny, strong, full hair and soft, smooth, glowing skin.
7. Better Blood Sugar
One of the most noticeable effects you’ll see from eating plant-based sources of protein is better blood sugar levels. Animal foods contain IGF1 (insulin growth factor) which promotes higher blood sugar causing cravings, blood sugar swings, and often that shaky, moody feeling you get if you don’t eat something right away, or if you skip meals. Plant-based proteins don’t cause this. They keep you full a long time and provide greater satiety. They also don’t spike your blood sugar.
8. You May Appear Younger
Many vegetables contain a variety of phytonutrients which help to diminish cell damage from stress or environmental toxins. Red and orange vegetables provide lycopene, which helps to prevent sun damage, and the vitamin C found in other forms of whole foods assists in producing collagen, which lessens signs of aging.