Before the advent of modern refining techniques, food additives and the use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture, all foods would have been described as living whole foods.
What happens today?
Today the majority of supermarket foods have been tampered with – some more than others. Apart from the obvious drawbacks of processed foods, processing almost always involves the removal of some of the vital nutrients in food so that some food constituents become highly concentrated – in some cases more than the body can tolerate – and incorporated into such processed foods are many, many food additives such as preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, artificial dyes, flavoring and sweetening agents including high fructose corn syrup.
Whole foods look more appetizing, they taste so much better and they contain all of the nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and trace elements which are depleted in processed foods. Whole foods provide nourishment in a form and concentration which the body is accustomed too and of course is able to utilize to its full potential.
Every day more and more studies link processed and refined foods with chronic diseases that modern man, in the so called developed parts of the world, are subject to – cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, sclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many more.
You can reverse the modern western diet back to one of whole foods
- Whole foods include whole grains containing protein, essential oils, vitamins, mineral and fiber such grains include brown rice, oats, barley, wheat and other whole grain products.
- Whole foods include raw nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes.
- Whole foods include meat and dairy from grass fed livestock and eggs and poultry from free range farms.
- Whole foods include fruit and vegetables from your local organic farmer or your own garden.
Whenever possible, root vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips, parsnips, beetroot and others should be brought with the leaves or at least part of the leaf stalk still attached. This is because washed root vegetables last only a short time because they have been cleaned by abrasive action which often removes some or most of the skin. Detergents are also sometimes used which are difficult to wash away completely.
Earth is a good sign on root vegetables just as long as it is not covering up some rotten patches! Wash any vegetables, whether you are going to eat them raw, steamed or even baked, under a stream of cold water but do not leave to soak as this dissolves any minerals and vitamins. Don't be in a hurry to discard the darker outside leaves of green veggies or the skin of root veggies – you will lose many of the vitamins and minerals if you do so. Use a small scrubbing brush to clean root veggies and then only chop or shred just before cooking or eating.
The real cherry on the top as far as whole foods are concerned is to be in the position of growing your own vegetables and fruit – and the trend to this way of life is catching on fast – giving you complete control over what could amount to a large proportion of your diet and ensuring that your produce is fresh, in its prime and of course organically grown.
Leafy vegetables are so much better picked straight from your garden and taken to the kitchen because death begins at the moment of harvesting and enzyme action rapidly starts to destroy their vitamin content. Another growing trend is to keep your own chickens for a daily supply of free range eggs.
Even in the smallest space, you can grow fresh herbs for your kitchen.