Generally the term ‘Whole Food’ indicates the food that is close to its natural form. For example, a beet is whole food but beet sugar is not. Whole wheat flour is more whole food while refined white flour is less. It is said that whole food contains more nutrients than processed and refined food. Sure, the more nutrients should be the better. But, it seems the benefit of eating whole food is more than that.
Many researchers observe the relationship between food and health condition. Then they presume the particular element of the food is responsible for the positive or negative incident.
For example, Scurvy was a very common disease among the sailors in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Some remedies such as specific type of tea and lemon juice were used for the cure. Eventually a scientist found the scurvy-protective factor and named it vitamin C. Today it is well known that, not only vitamin C but many kind of vitamin deficiency causes various problems.
As we hear more about the cause of a disease and the effect of a specific substance, we hope the substance should prevent or cure the disease. Everything has the cause. If the North American diet seems to cause more obesity and heart diseases, check French who also eat rich food but don’t have the same problems. They drink lots of wine, especially red! That’s how the polyphenols contained in red wine got the spot light. There are lots of similar stories like Lycopene in tomatoes in Italian diet and Soy Isoflavones in Japanese.
If those things are responsible for specific health conditions, why don’t we extract them out of food and take them more efficiently? Naturally we think so, especially for the intensive care and quick result. That’s why the supplements were invented. Not to cause the vitamin, calcium or whatever deficiency, you take the specific nutrients in a concentrated format.
While it makes sense to take a supplement for a specific reason, it has been discovered that a substance works in a more complex way.
Some compounds like beta-carotene and vitamin E have been advertised as great vitamins for our health, but some negative effects are reported as well. It’s like their positive effects turn into negative when the intake volume pasts a certain point. The more is not necessarily better in these cases.
Also, many substances look like working in association with other substances. One of the well known cases is the calcium and vitamin D. Our body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium from what we eat.
If you are tired of wondering how the all sorts of ‘good compounds’ work together for you, forget about it and choose the whole meal made with plenty of whole foods. After all, it sees food contains the best balance of nutrients. Although supplements can be a very beneficial addition to your health management, your regular meals have the most potential to impact it.
Not just a piece of whole wheat bread but add a fried egg, slices of vegetables and fruits, a spoonful of nuts and so on. Make it a ‘whole meal’ with more colors and textures.
It would be convenient if you needed only one perfect supplement that gave you everything you needed. You don’t need to think what to eat or how to cook. No need to make a mess in the kitchen. No dirty dishes. But there is no such a perfect supplement in the reality.
In that case, instead of crying for it, make what you have more enjoyable. Admire the diversity of what you see on the table. Have fun with the stories behind – locally grown ingredients and homemade dishes involve much more memories and emotions than commercially manufactured food.
Just like whole food whole meal holds the great balance of important elements for your health. Enjoy your whole food, enjoy your whole meal.