Whole foods are eaten in their natural form. A tomato, for example, is a whole food, while ketchup is not. Consuming mainly whole foods limits your exposure to additives, preservatives, chemicals, sodium and sugar. It may also help you squeeze more nutrition out of meals, as your body best absorbs nutrients from food. Whole foods also contain certain compounds that may help you better utilize those nutrients. A day’s worth of whole food is satisfying and easy to prepare.
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Start with a bowl of steel cut oats, which are minimally processed. Add to it fresh milk, blueberries, walnuts and raw honey. Choose unsweetened fresh or frozen berries. Raw walnuts are less processed than those already roasted and salted. Scramble two eggs in olive oil if you need additional calories in the morning. Never skip breakfast, as it can lead to making poor food choices throughout the rest of the day, according to the Better Health Channel.
Enjoy a large green salad made with fresh romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Add roasted chicken breast, toasted sesame seeds and sliced almonds. Dress the salad with a dressing made from the juice of one orange, olive oil, red wine vinegar and a splash of soy sauce. Look for natural or organic chicken to make sure no marinades or sodium preservatives were added to the meat. Along with your salad, have a soup made from fresh roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic pureed with a bit of milk, salt, pepper and curry powder. Have a piece of fresh fruit to finish your meal.
A whole-food dinner might be composed of baked, wild salmon with roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli or summer squash sautéed in olive oil. Make homemade mashed potatoes by boiling Yukon golds and, after draining, mashing them with milk and real butter, or serve brown rice or quinoa on the side. For dessert, enjoy plain yogurt with raw honey and sliced strawberries.
Whole food snacks include yogurt; natural cheese such as cheddar or feta; nuts; fresh fruits and vegetables; and woven wheat crackers. Other whole food snacks include smoothies made with pureed fruit and milk; shredded wheat cereal; and hummus homemade from dried chickpeas. Whole food snacks are often high in fiber, which helps keep cholesterol down, reduces your risk of heart disease and may protect from some types of cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.