How often do you hear your dietician, nutritionist, doctor or your family say, “Please include healthy foods in your diet”?
Almost every time, right?
Well, however tempting it might be to grab that can of ready-to-eat meal or just have a cup of coffee for breakfast in the name of “cheat days”, fight the urge to do it. In reality, taking your nutritionist’s advice and switching to natural foods is the way to a happy and healthy life.
So, what exactly are natural foods?
Natural foods or whole foods are those foods which have been provided for us by nature. Like fresh whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and legumes. They are the ideal nourishment for our bodies to flourish and survive.
After all, we are part of nature and are evolved to thrive on natural meals.
While we may absolutely survive on processed foods, it is not recommended to thrive on them.
Foods that are as close to their original condition as possible, or as nature intended, are rich in health-giving nutrients that nourish and energize us. These are also rich in nature’s “life-force,” which, in combination with essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, contributes to a positive, natural state of physical and mental health and vitality.
Now that we have understood the meaning of naturally grown foods let us dig in to find out the benefits of including this in the everyday diet:
1. It is a powerhouse of nutrients
Plant foods that haven’t been processed can help you get the vitamins and minerals you need for great health. For instance: 69 g of kiwi contains 215 mg of potassium and other vitamins, 100 g of fox nuts contains 60 mg of calcium and 14 mg of fiber among many other nutrients.
2. Keeps your heart healthy
Antioxidants and minerals that support heart health, such as magnesium and healthy fats, are found in abundance in natural foods. Inflammation, which is one of the key drivers of heart disease can be minimized by eating a diet rich in healthy, unprocessed foods
3. Low in sugar
Processed foods are always high in their sugar content and obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease are all linked to increased sugar consumption.
Natural foods tend to be lower in added sugar therefore making it a healthier option.
4. Keeps your skin healthy
According to studies, eating more veggies, legumes, and nuts can help prevent wrinkles, elasticity loss, and other age-related skin changes. So, switch to natural foods and save on spending money for cosmetics
5. Helps in improving your gut health
Processed foods can be very complex to break down and harder to digest because of preservatives and other such things. Eating natural food may benefit your gut microbiome, or the bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Many such foods are prebiotics, which are foods that your gut bacteria convert into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids may help with blood sugar regulation as well as gut health.
6. Adds to your sustainable lifestyle
Adding natural foods to your diet will reduce the non biodegradable waste produced by an individual and contribute to a step towards becoming sustainable.
Some natural foods that can be added to your diet right away
The natural foods mentioned below are easily accessible, tasty and are available throughout the year.
Some of the must include fruits are banana, papaya, apple and citrus fruits. These fruits are available all around the year and can be eaten during any time of the day. These fruits are a great source of potassium, carotenoids, pectin and tannin and vitamin C.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, peas and spinach. These super vegetables have to find a way on your plate. Some of them can be eaten raw (carrots) or boiled and do not consume much effort in cooking them. These vegetables improve health, help fight against cancer causing cells, and give good energy among other benefits.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and foxnuts (makhana). The nuts can be consumed directly and the seeds need to be roasted and seasoned before consuming. These are a great source of Omega 3, fatty acids and proteins among many other nutrients. They are rich in all the good elements and will give you instant energy. These nuts and seeds are super healthy, delicious and a great option for snacking.
As an age old saying goes, “health is wealth” and we have all recently experienced the significance of these words, it is time to tilt towards becoming health conscious and avoiding processed foods. Yes, processed foods make your lives easier, quicker and fall in the hustling category but, at what cost? Something to ponder over…
Make the right shift before it’s too late. Eat natural, live healthy and happy.
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