Is your dinner all shades of beige? When we’re busy or stressed taking the time to create healthy meals can be tough. New research suggests that the more colourful your eating plan is, the better it may be. Here’s what you need to know about adopting a colourful whole food diet and why it could improve your health.
What is a whole foods diet?
If you’re looking for a way to boost your nutrition, switching to a whole foods diet could be a smart move. The main idea of this eating plan is that you tend to eat natural foods, rather than anything that is heavily processed. Experts believe that following this diet can improve your health. That may be because it’s rich in vitamin-packed products, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Before you decide to adopt this particular eating plan, you need to understand the rules of the diet. The main thing that you need to remember is that things need to be as natural as possible. If you get produce from a local market, for instance, you should be fine. With that in mind, here are some of the main guidelines that you should stick to when following the plan:
> Feast on fresh fruit and vegetables
> Avoid processed foods
> Avoid high-sugar products, such as soda
> Eat whole grains rather than refined grains
While the whole foods diet has become immensely popular, there’s an even healthier way that you may want to go. The plant-based whole foods diet is a new take on the plan. Essentially, it means that you follow the same rules above but also avoid meat, dairy and animal-based products. The combination of the two healthy diets could boost your health. The diet has become more and more prevalent.
What does the research say?
The study – from Penn State University – suggests that eating a whole foods diet could help to prevent health conditions including colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. The results found that this is particularly effective when participants tend to eat a wide range of colourful fruit and vegetables. The experts believe that the compounds found in these ingredients may work on a molecular level to prevent certain illnesses.
While eating a plant-based whole food diet could be associated with lower levels of chronic diseases, you still have to be conscious about the choices you make. Determining what products you buy could be easier than you think. Surprisingly, the colour of the fruit and vegetables you eat may give you a hint as to whether they will protect your health.
The experts also believe that the more vibrant and colourful an ingredient, the more likely it is to contain bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids. These compounds have previously been linked to cancer-fighting properties, which could mean that you have a lower risk level.
“For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds,” said Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences, Penn State. “We use the purple potato as a model and hope to investigate how other plants can be used in the future.” Looking at the colour of your food before you eat it could be key.
The current research suggests that eating colourful whole foods could have a positive effect on your health. There’s no harm in boosting your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables as the vitamins they offer will improve your health. With every single piece of new research, it’s important to keep a level of skepticism and do your own research too. However, it’s clear that there is merit to the plant-based whole foods diet.