You’ve heard about whole foods. Who hasn’t? But what exactly is a whole food? Food is food, isn’t it? Read on to learn more about whole foods and how you can heal your body with the right ones!
WHAT IS A WHOLE FOOD?
A whole food is minimally processed and as close to its natural state as possible. So, an apple is a whole food, but not an apple pie pastry. The apples in the pastry have been handled and processed extensively, which significantly lowers their nutrient density and alters the balance of other supporting factors. Food value disappears at every step in the process from growing in deficient soil to harvesting and then processing, shipping, and baking. The other parts of a pastry aren’t great either. The fats, flours, and sugars are all extremely processed foods, and that’s why people refer to things like apple pie pastry as empty calories. There is very little in prepared foods that nourishes our bodies on a cellular level. They’re just missing too many pieces.
In a whole food, all the constituent parts have been kept intact. Nothing has been taken out or destroyed by heat, nor has anything been added for flavor or preservation. The more food is handled and processed, the less “whole” it is. The more it has been altered to last a long time for shipping and shelving, the less whole it is, which means it has far less to offer your body. The end result is a nutrient-poor food and an undernourished you.
Ideally, natural food has been grown in mineral rich, healthy soil and contains a high amount of vitamins, minerals and other factors. This is the problem with our current food supply. A poorly nourished plant won’t produce the same nutrient profile as a healthier plant grown in better soil, and the quality of soil has gone down significantly in the last 40 years. Two apples can vary widely in their nutrient profile, depending on where they were grown. A whole food is also not chemically laden with pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. That is what we mean when we say, “quality, whole food.”
HOW DOES FOOD HEAL THE BODY?
First, let’s talk about macro-nutrients. These are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These macro-nutrients are the basic building blocks for muscles, hormones, and every organ and tissue in the body. We need sufficient levels of all three macro-nutrients in our diets for repair. As we sleep, our bodies go to work at restoring the wear and tear from the day. With low quality repair parts, or even a deficiency of repair parts, we don’t get the restoration we need on an ongoing basis.
Food also has micro-nutrients, things like vitamins and minerals. These drive the metabolic functions of the body. Micro-nutrients support the production of all the biochemicals in the body, such as neurotransmitters for mood balance and brain function, hormones, and bile for digestion. They also support energy production inside our cells, electrical impulses in the heart, our ability to think clearly and quickly, and a myriad of other metabolic processes.
Again, without enough of these micro-nutrients, our body can’t maintain balance and continue to repair and restore itself day in and day out, nor does it function well during the day. The result is a slow moving slide into chronic health problems, which we see commonly today.
CAN YOU SUBSTITUTE SUPPLEMENTS FOR WHOLE FOOD?
Each of these constituent parts can be isolated and turned into pills. A mineral salt can be packaged. A nutrient deficiency may be identified, and then a protocol for addressing the deficiency is created from supplements such as magnesium citrate, for example. Most nutritional programs are based on a step-by-step process of identifying these deficiencies in the body. Blood tests and other lab work may identify a magnesium deficiency, for example, and then the health practitioner creates a supplement list that will address and support the deficiency. The patient feels better for a time, but very often, it becomes a moving target, and full restoration never really happens.
If the diet remains relatively unchanged, and we think we can stick a vitamin or mineral in to a gap, like a puzzle piece, then full, lasting restoration will not take place. It’s impossible to fix a bad diet with supplements. If the diet is fixed, then the better food quality may be doing more than the supplements!
Studies have shown that this approach to nutritional support doesn’t work well, so what is missing?
STANDARD PROCESS TO THE RESCUE
Standard Process was the first whole food supplement company in our country. Dr. Royal Lee founded Standard Process in 1929 and established it on the whole food principle of providing all the nutrients in the full package, as nature supplied.
Dr. Lee was way ahead of his time – a nutrition prophet in a sense! He understood early on that there were constituents in food that had not been identified yet (many that we know of now), and they were as necessary to our health as the things that had already been identified. He saw that all these constituents work together in the body, some supporting assimilation, others helping digestion, and still others delivering vitamins and minerals to the right destination.
In other words, you can take the right mineral but miss out on the benefits of it because the rest of the package is missing. Eating the whole food, the way it was designed for our bodies, is the solution.
Scientists are still learning about what these other constituents are. We now know that phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, and many more things that will be discovered in time play just as big of a role in restoring health as the vitamins and minerals themselves. Dr. Lee was right.
John Troup, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Science, Education & Innovation at Standard Process, says that Standard Process is the only company in the United States that is focusing on the nutrient profile of the soil in which they grow their crops. They are also careful to manage the nutrient profile of all their whole food supplements from start to finish. As soil conditions have declined over the last 30 years, Standard Process has seen an increase in the nutrient profile of their soil.
Taking Standard Process supplements is one of the best ways to increase food value in your diet and boost the body’s ability to restore.
WHICH SPECIFIC WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD YOU TAKE?
At Natural Health Practices, we use a technique known as Nutrition Response Testing. This non-invasive technique allows us to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimal health. We are also able to determine what whole food supplements your body needs.
Our clinically proven system may be quite different from any other healing practice that you may have experienced. The testing procedure is simple and direct. Your body provides all of the information needed for your practitioner put together a natural health improvement program unique to your body’s needs. Nutrition Response Testing is so precise that it opens the door to a safe and lasting recovery, even in cases where everything else has failed.
After your Nutrition Response Testing analysis, we will provide you with a specifically designed clinical nutrition program based on the information your body provided. Most of our programs include dietary suggestions and whole food supplements to aid your body in healing. Depending on your specific health concerns, we may also incorporate ionic detoxification, massage therapy, chiropractic care, or other services to accelerate your health improvement.
To schedule a Nutrition Response Testing analysis, call or text our Port Orange, FL office at (386) 307-8207 or fill our our Request An Appointment online form.
We look forward to helping you with your natural healthcare needs!