‘You are what you eat,’ they say, and now more than ever people are clocking onto how much of an impact food really has on our health.
No longer about curbing hunger and pleasing our taste buds, today food is only as good as its health benefits. Current statistics from Britain and the U.S. show that products like ‘functional foods’ – foods with added nutritional ingredients – are more popular than ever and with the aid of things like ‘whole foods’ and ‘live cultures’ you too can be assured of better health!
In a nutshell, ‘whole foods’ are foods that are in their most natural state, their original qualities of goodness intact. On the other hand, live cultures – or probiotics as they are also called – are foods that have been partially fermented to create ‘good’ bacteria for aiding the body. Read on to find out more…
The word ‘whole’ can be taken quite literally here as it refers to food that is in its most complete form and has not been tampered with. Unlike processed food – that contains added preservatives or has undergone things like hydrogenation – with whole foods you can be assured that no one has interfered with the process and that the health properties have in no way been compromised. Eat more whole foods to enjoy a larger number of nutrients, minerals and vitamins in your diet.
Eat more whole grains such as brown rice and get your hands on fresh, organic fruit and vegetables. Also try to up your intake of raw salads.
You may be surprised to learn that, contrary to popular belief, not all bacteria are bad. Make sure you are getting enough ‘good’ bacteria in your diet by making sure you eat probiotics. Produced by the action of bacteria, yeasts or a combination of both, foods containing live cultures can act as anti-inflammatories for the body, helping with things like digestion, allergies and even bad breath.
Yogurt is a great one for this, but make sure it has not been pasteurised. You can also try exotic probiotics such as Miso and Tempeh (both from fermented soy bean).