Holistic Health is becoming a very popular topic these days.
With many researchers realising the importance of having a healthy mind, body and soul for optimum health and happiness.
But holistic health, starts first and foremost with having a rich, simple & convenient whole food diet..
You can read more about the benefits of being healthy holistically here.
So the question is, what are you putting into your body?
Ever had one of those days where you’ve been feeling so stressed that:
- You’ve hardly eaten anything throughout the day and you’re body feels like it’s running off adrenaline?
- You’ve eaten way too much and your will power went out the window?
- You’re just so tired and run down, you cbf doing anything – let alone cooking or eating a healthy meal? (A quick Maccas run may be on the cards!)
If you’ve experienced any of the above, guys I can tell you first hand – I’ve been there!! Maybe not the maccas run part….but the rest, 100%.
The problem with these stress-related eating habits is that they often make us feel additional guilt, frustration, disappointment or absolute exhaustion during our day.
They can also lead to many health problems including weight gain, weight loss, fatigue and burn out.
Although I’ve always been a health-conscious person, I’ve often struggled with afternoon cravings, snacking and grazing on things I shouldn’t throughout the day.
I’d use food as my comfort – leading to emotional eating and rewarding myself with food. As you can imagine this did not bring some healthy habits into my life…
Because of my poor eating habits I was:
- Hitting the 3pm slump (my eyes would start shutting, concentration went out the window and I’d find myself starting to fall asleep at my desk)
- Craving sugar to get me through the day, so would have a chocolate bar or something sweet to get me by
- Gaining weight and didn’t know why…
- Crashing at night, but still tired in the morning.
Then, I was introduced to the concept of whole food nutrition and portion sizes.
Geeeez my world changed…
The key things I’ve noticed since:
- I lost that extra 4kg I couldn’t seem to get rid of
- My afternoon sugar cravings reduced
- I have so much more energy to do all the things I want and need to do during my week
- My sleep quality is better
- I crave healthier foods and water (instead high sugar, salty or high carb foods).
- I don’t experience the mid-arvo crash anymore
- My head isn’t as cloudy and foggy
How did I do it?
Well that’s exactly what I’m going to be talking about at the end of this article.
The power of whole food nutrition and eating a rich whole food diet can truly change your life!!
What are Whole Foods?
Compared to caveman days, we now have access to such an amazing array of different foods. Almost anything you like is right at your fingertips.
Just go to a super market these days and the choice is incredible!!
There’s isles selling you all kinds of food – from healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables to numerous brands of chocolate, lollies and chips – can we even call that food?
But although we’ve gained access to almost any kind of food that our heart desires, research is starting to reveal that keeping things simple and getting back to basics (like we did a hundred years ago) may actually be the best way to go…
That’s where the term “whole food” comes in.
A whole food is simply a food that is as close to its natural state as possible. It is often unprocessed and unrefined before eaten and doesn’t usually contain additives like salt, fats, sugar or other preservatives (1)
Many of them can be found in your garden or your nearest shop including:
- Whole grains (eg. Brown rice)
- Beans & legumes
- Fruits & veges
- Lean unprocessed meats (eg. Chicken breast, salmon)
Some examples of eating a whole food versus a processed food:
- Eating an apple rather than an apple flavoured roll up.
- Having a handful of unsalted nuts rather than a honey coated mixed nut bar.
- Eating a baked potato rather than a pack of honey soy chicken chips
- Having a smoothie / juice rather than a chocolate flavoured milk or Redbull soft drink.
A little tip you may find useful (as I know how much it helped me), is sticking to the outer isles of a super market when you do your weekly grocery shop.
In many cases, most of the highly processed foods are located within the inner isles whereas fruits, veges, nuts, meats and most other whole food ingredients can be found on the outer.
Why a Whole Food Diet is Good for Holistic Health
Nutritional research consistently shows that a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes brings numerous health benefits.
A diet of minimally processed foods that are close to nature and predominantly plants is linked to:
- Improved holistic health and wellbeing
- Improved psychological & mental health
- Disease prevention and a reduction in chronic illness
- Healthy weight loss
The reason that whole foods are more beneficial to our health compared to other foods is because they retain their fibre and contain a plethora of phytonutrients in their natural form. These nutrients are often removed from processed foods.
Healthy eating is considered one of the best things you can do to live a happy and heathy life because it can prevent:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Mental health issues & psychological distress
- Memory deterioration
- and some types of cancer
Some research reveals that eating a whole food diet can even improve psychological well-being, happiness and life satisfaction.
This is a big part of what we call “holistic health” – being happy and healthy, inside and out.
Are You Eating a Good Whole Food Diet?
Despite many are aware of having fruit and vegetables in their diet, most adults (particularly men, young adults, and those living in poverty) consume insufficient amounts.
Several US studies have revealed that only 9-12% of American adults meet the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
In addition to this, eight out of ten Americans were found to fall short in eating all the colours of the rainbow – especially for purple/blue foods (88% of people neglected to meet their daily serving).
The current recommendations for intake are generally 1.5-2 cup equivalents of fruit and 2.5-3 cup equivalents of vegetables daily. But keep in mind this can vary depending on age and gender.
The Importance of Eating All Colours of the Rainbow
Did you know that different coloured foods have been proven to have different health benefits to the body?
This is why so many leading health organisations including the American Institute for Cancer Research, the American Heart Association and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service advocate for eating a whole food diet containing all colours of the rainbow.
And NO, by rainbow I don’t mean eating a fruit flavoured roll-up or a bowl of tri-coloured ice cream.
Here’s a brief list of how different coloured whole foods benefit our health.
1) Red foods for inflammation & immunity
Red foods have been found to contain high levels of:
- Immune modulating nutrients
- Vitamin C
Associated Health Benefits of red whole foods include prevention of:
- Neurological abnormalities
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Immunological disease
Red food examples:
- Fruit: Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Apples, Cherries, Cranberries, Pomegranate, Raspberries
- Veges: Beetroot, Capsicum
- Other: Rosehip
2) Orange Foods and Reproductive health
Orange foods have been found to contain high levels of:
- Vitamin C
(Similar to the red foods mentioned above).
Associated Health Benefits of orange whole foods include:
- Improved Reproductive health
- Heightened Ovarian function and male fertility
- Improved Progesterone synthesis (female hormone)
- Reduced risk of insulin resistance
- Improved endocrine system functioning
- Prevention of ovarian, breast and prostate cancer
Orange food examples:
- Fruit: Citrus Fruits (mandarins, oranges, tangerines etc), Papaya, peaches
- Veges: Carrots, Sweet Potato
3) Yellow Foods and Digestion & Gut Health
I guess it kind of makes sense given all the information out there about lemon water aiding digestion and metabolism.
Yellow foods have been found to contain high levels of:
- Bioflavonoid constituents
Associated health Benefits of yellow foods include:
- Heightening the function of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system
- Improved gut health & microbiome due to the pH levels (more acidic)
- Reduce ulcers
- Detoxify the gut and intestines
- Prevention of gastro-intestinal disorders
- Reduce nausea, vomiting and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Yellow food examples:
- Fruit: Lemons, Citrus, Pineapple & Banana
- Veges: Squash, Ginger
4) Green Foods and Heart Health
Green foods have been found to contain high levels of:
- Vitamin K
- Naturally occurring nitrates and folate
Associated health Benefits of green foods include:
- Improved Heart Health
- Reduced risk of hypertension
- Heart Disease & stroke prevention
Green food examples:
- Leafy Greens (salad leaves) – bok choy, spinach, spirulina
- Veges: Broccoli, Zucchini, Peas, Brussel Sprouts, Beans, etc
5) Blue-Purple Foods for Cognition & Cell Health
Blue foods have been found to contain high levels of:
Associated Health Benefits of blue whole foods include:
- Improved mental health, cognition & mood
- Lowered cholesterol
- Improved memory function
- Reduced inflammation
- Improve cell survival and neuroplasticity
- Reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells
- Reduce the clumping of platelet in our blood
Blue food examples:
- Fruits: Blueberries, Grapes
- Veges: Eggplant, dark leafed vegetables
As you can see, having a rich whole food diet of coloured fruits and vegetables is so important for holistic health.
But the problem isn’t availability, sometimes it just gets hard to remain consistent.
There’s so much contradicting information out there when it comes to diet, so no wonder we’re all so confused about what to eat in order to be healthy.
There are also times where we don’t always have enough time to write out a complete shopping list of all the different whole foods we need, or even have the extra money to buy organic all the time.
An easy and convenient way around this is to get yourself a good quality whole food nutraceutical.
In addition to eating a plant-based and whole food diet, these whole food capsules have helped me to bridge the gap between the nutrients my body needs and the I’m actually getting from the food I eat.
In reality, most of us are in the position where we are not eating the levels of nutrients that we should be eating.
The Power of Taking a Whole Food Supplement
The amazing thing about taking a whole food supplement is that it contains active whole food concentrates that deliver broad spectrum nutrition to heal the whole body.
The capsules that I use are the most research product of its kind! To date there are over 35 peer-reviewed studies that have found that Juice Plus supports:
- Healthy gums
- Improved heart health and cardiovascular wellness
- A strong immune system
- Protects DNA
- Reduced oxidative stress (from regular exercise, stress and ageing)
- Systemic inflammation (due to injury/illness)
- Skin health and appearance
The capsules are said to contain 12,544 known nutrients to date.
Say what!!!! I didn’t even know that that many nutrients existed. #novicelife.
What I love about these capsules versus a lot of the crap mineral and vitamin supplements out there is that they contain active nutrients and enzymes.
They are also absorbed into the gut and detectable in the blood stream within 7 minutes of ingestion, unlike many other mineral and vitamin supplements.
Thank Christ!! I hate that yellow coloured disco wee that you often get from other mineral and vitamin supplements because a lot of the minerals and vitamins are just excreted and not even absorbed into the body.
It’s a really easy and simple way for you to boost your daily nutrition (macros & micros) especially when busy and you don’t have time to think about your food.
Here are some of the ones I take and the scientifically proven health benefits:
Given what research reveals about the importance of a rich whole food diet, an easy and convenient way to flood your body with this plant-based nutrition is to take a whole food supplement.
These whole food capsules contain over 33 different whole foods to help boost your nutrition including:
- A Vegetable blend with carrot, cabbage, Kale, Rice bran, Broccoli, Beetroot, Garlic, Tomato, Parsley, Spinach, Lemon Peel. It is amazing as a mineral support giving you many essential minerals that your body needs for support.
- A Fruit blend with Apple, Pineapple, Peach, prune, Orange, Cranberry, Mango, Beet, Acerola Cheery, Date & Lemon Peel. This helps you flood your body with an array of essential vitamins.
- A Berry Blend with grape, raspberry, bilberry, blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate, black current, blackberry, elderberry, artichoke and cocoa. This is a great antioxidant support for your immune system.
They are also Vegan, gluten-free and nonGMO – so can be taken by pregnant and breast feeding mummas.
Health Benefits Backed by Science:
- Improved energy
- Improved detoxification of the body
- Reduces Systemic Inflammation
- Strengthened Immune Health & Reduction in cold / flue symptoms
- Improved Nervous System Health & Brain Function
- Reduces the impacts of oxidative stress in the body (from stress, exercise etc) that can cause ageing and cell damage
- Decreased gut inflammation & IBS
- Improved skin appearance
Other Associated Health Benefits include:
- Reduced cravings
- Promoted hormone balancing
- Improved Sleep
Did you know, it can take 120 days for the blood cells in your body to renew?
This means that in your first 120 days of taking the capsules, your body starts to focus on removing toxic build up and waste. In the second 120 days, your body is able to focus its attention on healing the body from the inside out which is critical for holistic health.
But, how are they different to a traditional multi-vitamin?
Whole food Nutraceutical
- Has a nutrition label (is a whole food product)
- Is non-GMO (no genetically modified ingredients)
- They are bioavailable – readily absorbed into the body and enters the blood stream within minutes
- Floods your body with an array of active micro nutrients (minerals, vitamins and antioxidants) and living enzymes (just like the original food source)
- Ingredients are protected from heat and extreme temperatures to preserve their nutritional value
- There is science and peer-reviewed research to back them up
** Note current prices are in USD, but can be changed to AUD or your relevant country using the “world” symbol button on the top right.
- Contains a supplement label, it’s not food. It is synthetically made with isolated supplements
- Often made in a laboratory-like setting
- May be genetically modified depending on the ingredients
- Often these vitamins are not readily absorbed by the gut, and a lot of the vitamins end up being discarded (yellow urine).
- Often the vitamins and minerals are heat treated which denatures them (they become less active and effective)
- Little scientific evidence or clinical trials to back up the claims made
These whole food capsules are a great way to support your holistic health journey and a diet rich in whole foods.
Not good at swallowing capsules? Try the whole food shakes.
Although you can empty the content of the whole food capsules into a smoothie or sprinkle on your breakfast, you can also get a good dose of whole foods from a shake.
The shake is great from a macronutrient perspective – fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Although, these plant-based shakes are not designed as a meal-replacement or protein shake, some do use them in this way. As an example, they’re great as an ingredient in a breakfast smoothie!!
The plant-based proteins in these whole food shakes cover all of the amino acid chains. That way you know you’re getting all the protein you need within one scoop, without needing a meat source.
Ewww imagine meat in a shake – I’ll just disappear for a moment as a vomit. Just kidding!! But seriously…
The shake also contains several plant-based carbohydrates (eg. amaranth, quinoa and millet) and superfood vegetable concentrates such as broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, pumpkin, pomegranate, spirulina, yucca and mushroom.
If you have them on the regular, the shakes are great for overall gut and digestive health.
Health Benefits of the Whole Food shakes
- Improved Digestive Health
- Lowered cholesterol
- More stable blood sugar levels
- Reduce sugar cravings during the day
- Can lead to weight loss, due to reduce cravings
- Can help to promote muscle growth post-workout
** Note current prices are in USD, but can be changed to AUD or your relevant country using the “world” symbol button on the top right.
3) Plant-Based Omegas
Did you know that fish don’t actually make omegas? They actually get their omegas from their food source (algae). As do we!
Omegas are important for holistic health given they offer so many different benefits for our bodies because they support a wide range of bodily functions and systems.
What I love about these plant-based omegas are that they provide you with a pure and more sustainable source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
They also contain omegas 5,6, 7 and 9 from other plant-based sources including pomegranate seeds, sea buckthorn berry, raspberry seeds, tomato seeds and safflower oil.
The omega oils are cold pressed, so are not denatured by heat. They are also free from contaminants or pollutants. This is because the algae is grown in a controlled environment NOT the open ocean ensuring the oils are of the highest quality.
Most fish oils are exposed to heat and light which damages the oils. Often they are not from controlled environments so can contain elements of mercury and pollution.
Key Health Benefits of the Omegas:
- Improved eye, brain and heart health
- A good source of Vitamin E
- Improved memory and blood flow to the brain
- Reduced muscle & joint inflammation (eg. Osteoporosis and post exercise muscle soreness)
- Improved skin quality
- Reduced IBS symptoms
- Increased hair health and nails
- Helps regulate heart beat and blood pressure
The DHA component of omegas has also been linked to lower susceptibility to depression, Alzheimer’s disease.
Holistic health relates to having a healthy mind, body & soul. This starts first and foremost with having a rich, simple & convenient whole food diet..
Getting yourself a whole food supplement can be a great way to go, whether you already eat healthy or need to get some additional whole foods into your system when you don’t have a lot of time.
Now, these products aren’t exactly cheap compared to some of the low grad multi-vitamins, but you get what you pay for.
Trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way…with many unused vitamin and mineral bottles in my fridge and me feeling no different than before taking them.
The way I like to look at it is that compared to what you’d pay trying to shop for all those ingredients, they are extremely convenient and affordable.
Great for busy women who are happy to invest that little bit extra into their health, want to save time and aren’t big on cooking or shopping for that matter.
You can also rest assured that they are:
- Made with the highest quality ingredients
- Farmed in the finest top soil conditions
- Not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.
You definitely know you’re getting quality, which is awesome.
So there you have it, a simple and easy way I have managed to get more whole foods into my diet and improve my health and energy through a convenient whole food supplement.
Hopefully, you now also have a greater insight into holistic health and why a rich whole food diet is critical for optimum health and performance.