When you first hear of the term’ whole foods,’ what does it mean to you? In diet and healthy eating, ‘whole foods’ refer to foods that are closest to their natural form as possible. This means it has gone through less processing and, therefore, also has the most nutrients any food, vegetable, or fruit may ever have. If your goal is to improve your health in the best way possible, then you can’t go wrong with switching to this healthy diet choice.
It may seem like a difficult change to make at first to start eating clean and healthy, but once you get used to eating only whole foods, you’ll realize it’s the best change you’d have made for your overall health and fitness. You’re keeping your body full and nourished while also avoiding all the nasties. If your body and health could speak, you’ll definitely thank yourself for this more responsible choice.
As your guide to starting on this diet, this article gives you the top insights on how you can successfully incorporate whole foods in your day-to-day meals.
Choose 100% Whole Grains
Whole grains are the healthiest type of grains, making them a good component of a healthy diet. It’s a good source of fiber, so you’re left feeling full and satiated. This keeps your weight in check, as you’ll crave food less, without feeding it with any junk. As its name implies, whole grains are in their full form while still retaining all parts of the seed.
Whole grains are good sources of iron, potassium, and folate. You can incorporate 100% whole grains into your diet through the following food sources:
- Brown rice
- Whole barley
Whole grains are good for your health, for the following benefits it brings:
- It’s heart-healthy.
- It may help slow down cognitive decline.
- It may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
If you don’t know where to start with purchasing whole wheat, or perhaps you don’t have a wide selection of whole wheat and other whole food in your local supermarket, you can always start shopping for online wholefoods from reputable sources that deliver to your local area.
Pack Up on Legumes
Legumes and beans are great sources of fiber and Vitamin B. They have quite a number of health benefits, along with increasing healthy gut bacteria and reducing cholesterol. Some of the healthiest legumes you can add to your meals are:
- Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, can possibly aid in losing weight and may also lower the risk factors for heart disease.
- Peas, which are a great source of fiber and protein.
- Black beans, which are a good source of folate.
- Soybeans, usually in the form of tofu, contain high levels of antioxidants.
- Peanuts, which you can have as a healthy snack, it’s a good source of monosaturated fats and protein.
Consider these ways, so you can successfully incorporate more legumes and beans in your daily meals:
- Snack on peanuts rather than chips.
- Prepare soups and casseroles which have beans as its ingredient.
- Add cooked beans to your burger and meatball recipes.
Bake With Whole Wheat Flour
If you enjoy baking, you may want to consider using whole wheat flour. You don’t have to make that drastic change in your recipes. What you can do is substitute one half of the white flour with whole wheat flour and reduce the number of sweeteners to use in your recipes, and replace the other half with another non-artificial sweetener of your choice.
You don’t have to go big with the change right away. In fact, if you’re intimidated by the prospect of baking with whole wheat flour, these tips will come in handy:
- Add more liquids when baking with whole wheat flour, as liquid tends to absorb the whole what four more quickly.
- Mix with ease, as the bran on the whole wheat flour cuts the gluten, and you don’t have to worry about the flour getting elastic.
- Leave the baked goods uncovered, as the bars made out of whole wheat flour can benefit from overnight cooling. The whole wheat can use that extra time to soften the grain’s bran.
Be Creative with Your Vegetables
Vegetables are an important part to incorporate in any diet, as they’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which fight off disease and boost your health. If you’re trying to manage your weight, vegetables are also great because of their low-calorie count. Some adults and a lot of children, however, still find a diet filled with vegetables inconvenient. So, you need to be creative with incorporating vegetables into your diet.
Some of these include:
- Make veggie-based soups. Soups are a great way to have a lot of vegetables all in one dish, as it’s savory and tasty. You can either incorporate veggies as core ingredients of the soup or use it as the base itself by pureeing the vegetables, mixing with water or broth, and adding more flavor with some spices.
- Cook with veggie noodles. If you love pasta and other noodles, rather than go for the usual white pasta, there are healthier options now with pasta made out of vegetables.
- Make a cauliflower pizza crust. If you enjoy making your own dough or bread, you can also have pizza or bread with vegetables mixed in it.
- Prepare a vegetable omelet. Eggs are versatile, as you can include as many vegetables as you want with them. Eggs add some nutrients, and you can put in whatever vegetables you fancy having for the day or what is near the expiry date in your fridge, for instance.
- Switch to a veggie burger. If you’re trying to go meatless, you can also have your own burger patties or meatless meatballs made out of vegetables. Sweet potatoes and black beans are two of the most common combinations when making vegan burger patties. You can season as you wish and add other ingredients as well.
While there are a lot of arguments on what the best diet is, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach. Whatever diet you do decide to pursue, what matters is what the diet is actually made of. Health and wellness communities agree, though, that the best diet is still one that’s filled with healthy and fresh ingredients. The less processed the food is, the better, as this means it still contains so much of all the nutrients vitamins needed for overall health and wellness.