‘Wholefood’ is one of those expressions that frequently gets bandied about. But would you be able to identify exactly what one is?
In truth, the definition isn’t a difficult one to get your head around. In simple terms, a wholefood is one which has not been processed, changed or treated in any way. In other words, no extra ingredients, additives or flavourings have been added while, equally, nothing has been taken away. So, for instance, fruit, seeds and vegetables are great examples of wholefoods, as are nuts, whole grains, legumes and even meat, fish and eggs. (However, you can of course follow a wholefood diet which excludes all animal products.)
Essentially, eating this way means that you preserve all of a food’s natural goodness.
Processed foods, on the other hand, are ones which have gone through significant modification, so that they are completely transformed from their original state. This strips them of their nutrients, bleaches them and adds chemicals along with other unnatural additives. The look, feel and taste of processed foods are therefore very different from those of wholefoods.
What are the benefits of eating wholefoods?
There are so many benefits to maximising wholefoods in your diet. These include:
- Richness in vitamins, minerals, fibre and similar vital nutrients your body requires to stay healthy.
- Wholefoods are typically low in sugar, since none has been added to them, meaning that they’re ideal if you’re looking to regulate your blood sugar levels.
- These foods are also better for the environment, since natural foods which have been sustainably grown and harvested have a reduced impact on the planet compared with processed ones.
What can I eat on a wholefood diet?
The good news is that there are so many enjoyable, flavour-packed wholefoods from which you can take your pick.
- Nuts and seeds
Choose from almonds, poppy seeds, macadamia nuts, pistachios and chia seeds, among many others. These superfoods make the ideal vegan snack!
- Fruit and veg
Any fruit or vegetable can be classed as a wholefood. Prepare them in a way that optimises their nutritional value – for example, cooking jacket potatoes makes the most of the nutrients in the skin.
- Planted-based milks
You may not realise that products such as almond and oat milks count as part of a wholefood regime. And if you stick to unsweetened versions, you give added sugar a swerve.
Don’t go against the grain! These foods are naturally high-fibre, digestion-boosting goodies which leave you feeling fuller for longer. Think wholegrain rice, buckwheat, quinoa and others. With these foods, you also get a hearty dose of minerals including magnesium and iron.
- Beans and legumes
This category includes chickpeas and lentils plus kidney, pinto and soya beans. Any one of these will make a hearty meal. What’s more, you enjoy protein, fibre in healthy quantities, but these foods are low in saturated fat.
Shop at Ganesha, online or in one of our stores, for a varied range of top-quality wholefoods.