Benefits of a Whole Food Diet?

One of our lovely part-time packers Jake shares his new found knowledge of plant based life…

The term ‘Whole Foods’ can seem confusing but it basically means foods that are the closest to their natural form. I didn’t really know the meaning until I started working for Forest Whole Foods. Before I started my new job I had bad habits – eating unhealthy foods like chocolate, crisps and biscuits. This was especially the case during stressful times such as exams.  I knew healthy, equally as tasty whole food alternatives would be better. This made me choose a whole food diet and I have decided to share some of the benefits with you.

What are the benefits of plant based diets?

Many people are aware that whole foods are healthy but don’t know the specific benefits that they bring, so here are some useful facts.

  1. The high fibre intake in Whole food diets may create a reduced risk of the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fibre comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble fibre.  Soluble fibre lowers glucose (sugar) levels as well as helping to lower blood cholesterol levels and insoluble fibre can help to move food along your digestive system reducing constipation. It is recommended that women eat 25 grams of fibre per day and men eat 38 grams per day, however, on average people eat about 15 grams per day! So it is very important to make sure that we eat foods that are good sources of fibre, like whole foods. Great sources of fibre include peas, prunes, beans and bulgur wheat (1)
  2. Organic whole foods from plant-based diets contain antioxidants which may reduce the risk of cancer (2). The good news is that antioxidants can be found in foods such as red kidney beans, prunes and pecans. Studies show there is between 18% and 69% more antioxidants in organic food compared to non-organic methods (4).
  3. Whole foods contain plant sterols such as sesame seeds and almonds. Plant sterols have a similar shape to a type of cholesterol called low-density lipoproteins (the bad sort) and plant sterols compete with this type cholesterol for uptake into the body. Low-density lipoproteins can lead to clogging of the arteries and can cause heart disease and other forms of cardiovascular diseases. Plant sterols can easily be found in a whole variety of whole foods such as lentils, dried beans, almonds and pumpkin seeds (3)
  4. Organic whole foods also contain less of the nasties found in many refined foods and made in the right way, whole foods can be equally as delicious!

Its’s better for the planet too!

  1. Don’t forget, whole foods don’t just benefit us, they help the environment so not only do you benefit, other people do too. This is because they use fewer pesticides which can seep into water and can cause many plants and animals to die.  This maintains a more biodiverse planet for all of us to enjoy.
  2. Another major environmental benefit is that our packaging is recyclable.  This reduces the waste that goes to landfill which also reduces the carbon footprint you produce.  This means less energy is required to recycle the bags rather than produce new bags.

I hope this has helped you to understand some of the benefits of a whole food diet to both our health and the environment!

Jake Joint

Forest Whole Foods All-rounder