Most of us understand instinctively that natural, whole foods, without a ton of ingredients you can’t pronounce, are the best choice when it comes to a healthy diet. And yet so many of us all too often reach for the highly processed stuff out of sheer convenience.
Healthy whole foods are basically foods in their most natural state, for example, eating an apple versus apple juice or eating a baked potato rather than fries. While it’s not possible to eat whole foods the entire time - many healthy foods have to go through a degree of processing to be edible, for example I don’t think any of us fancy eating raw rice kernels - eating foods that have been through less intensive processing techniques is better for us because the vitamins, nutrients and minerals are left intact.
While it might seem harder to fit eating healthy whole foods into your schedule, here’s 3 reasons why eating them is worth the time investment…
You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Illness
The nutrients found in whole foods help keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease. Diets high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are associated with reduced risks of diseases including many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. This is down to the fact that whole foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the latter of which protect against cell damage.
The main problem with highly processed food is that many healthy nutrients are removed. When you refine whole grains for example, the bran and the coating are removed meaning you lose significant amounts of fiber and other nutrients. You may be tempted to think that certain types of processed foods that contain added fiber make up for this but in fact the final product is likely to be far less nutritious than the whole grains in their original state.
It’s An Easier and More Effective Way to Get The Right Balance of Nutrients
Nutritional science has come a long way since 1912 when Dr. Casmir Funk first coined the term “vitamins.” Since then a multibillion dollar industry has sprung up based on telling us the different added vitamins, minerals, and supplements we should be taking to get our recommended daily allowances. But why drive yourself crazy trying to make sure you’re getting enough B12 or Omega 3 when the easiest way is eating a colorful variety of fruit, vegetables and whole grains? In fact, not only do whole foods give us a great selection of the nutrients we need without the brain ache, time and again they have been found to be more effective in producing favourable results than supplements.
You’ll Avoid Dangerous Additives
It’s not just what’s taken out of processed foods that makes them bad choices, but what’s been added in too. And while you may be wary of the scary sounding additives with the fancy names, it’s actually the more familiar ones like sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, and salt that can cause the most damage. Processed foods are often pumped full of these additives to make them taste delicious but they can have disastrous effects on your health resulting in weight gain and high blood pressure.
Luckily, making sure your diet is filled with whole foods needn’t be a chore. In fact, Jeca energy bars and energy cookies are made with high quality, whole foods and small batch techniques to ensure that with every convenient bite you get nutritional bang for your buck.