Food is complicated, choosing where and what to eat is complicated, dieting is complicated. (Have you tried counting macros?) Sometimes, your best bet is to keep it simple and straightforward. This is where whole foods come in.

WHAT ARE WHOLE FOODS

There are 3 main things that characterize whole foods, namely:

1. Whole foods are food in their natural, most recognizable form, with as minimal processing and refinement as possible. It’s food that grows from the ground or found in nature, not a factory. No chemicals!

2. Whole foods consist mostly of plant-based food. We’re talking about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. The diet in particular limits animal products.

3. Because this is food in their purest form, there is a special attention to quality. The whole food diet promote fresh, locally-sourced, and organic produce.

WHY WHOLE FOODS MATTER


Why are whole foods favored by health and wellness communities all over the world? Simple: the human body loves them. Whole foods are food in their most nutritious, without additives and preservatives. They’re great sources of energy, easily digestible, and support optimal health. A whole foods diet has even been proven to reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular complications, diabetes, and cancer.

WHY WHOLE FOODS ARE IMPORTANT

Of course, the weight management is a giant plus. The whole foods diet thrives on being calorie-efficient. Because we avoid processed products, we naturally reduce our consumption of empty calories. Your favorite packed snacks may be packed with flavor, but they are typically very high in calories and fat due to all the added salt, sugar, and oil. Processing also removes a lot of the good stuff (such as water and tummy-filling fiber), which explains why we’re still so hungry after a junk food binge. They don’t keep you full for long!

Even when you’re not diligently watching out for your weight, drop by the supermarket and stock up on whole foods. Beyond a set diet or a fad, it’s a lifestyle: a constant, conscious preference for food that’s actually good for you. You can eat more, feel full longer, and get a big nutritional boost, without the extra calories.

Adopting a whole foods diet is also great for the planet! It has a smaller environment footprint compared to mass food production, and it supports the local agricultural industry!

Ready to get into whole foods, or at least start incorporating them more into your diet? Here are our 5 top picks!

THE WHOLE FOODS MENU


1. Wholly Grain Sorghum Grains (1kg), on sale at P162 (limited time only)
Don’t be scared of grains! Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, rye, and barley are good for you, especially when taken in the right amounts. Sorghum is a cereal grain that captures all the health buzzwords: non-GMO, gluten-free, low GI. If that’s not enough to convince you to make the switch from refined to whole grains, sorghum is also nutrient-rich, with high protein, fiber, and calcium content. It’ll make for an excellent alternative to wheat. Try it the next time you make homemade bread, cookies, or pasta.

Shop it here.

2. Green Silo Organic Quinoa (1kg), P650
Quinoa is a world-renowned superfood for a reason. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, B-vitamins, and antioxidants. (Whew!) Since it also contains all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is most known as an excellent source of protein (to help build lean muscle!), most especially for vegetarians and vegans. While it is essentially a seed, quinoa is widely used as an organic, low-carb, and high-fiber grain alternative. Use it as a substitute for rice, or sprinkle over your salads for a filling, nutrient-packed meal.

Shop it here.

3. Cordillera Wild 100% Organic Arabica (Ground), P180
You know fitness nuts love their coffee: they chug it (black) before a workout to boost metabolism and improve performance. It’s also the ideal companion during me-time; there’s nothing like an aromatic cup of coffee to kickstart or relax after a long day. Try this Arabica blend from the Cordilleras. It’s mildly sweet, with hints of chocolate, nuts, and berries. The acidity is very pleasant, not as bitter as your usual cup might be. And to the budget-conscious ladies out there: did you know 100g of coffee beans can make you approximately 14 cups? Whip out your grinder and French press and go ahead, make 14 great quality cups for the price of a single Starbucks latte.

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4. The Green Tummy Sugar Coated Cacao Nibs (80g), P120
Pack this guilt-free snack for when the sugar cravings hit! Cacao nibs are raw, bite-sized beans that are not only rich and delicious with their chocolate flavor, they’re also one of the best sources of antioxidants anywhere. They boast of the highest iron content of any plant-based food, which help fight symptoms of anemia. On top of that, the phytonutrient content in cacao keeps you alert, focused, and happy (they boost your mood just like a good chocolate bar would!). Eat them on their own, or mix with oats and smoothies for a delicious treat.

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5. Bee Well Raw, Wild Honey, P380
Yet another antioxidant powerhouse! Raw honey is one of your best bets for a natural sweetener. Since it is unrefined, it keeps all of those disease-fighting phytonutrients. The next time you need an energy boost, try mixing in water with some raw honey. Runners and triathletes would use this over calorie-laden energy drinks to boost athletic performance and endurance. It also relieves coughs and throat infections, promotes sleep, and supports digestion. Use it as a sugar alternative, or enjoy it in your tea, on some toast, or with Greek yogurt.

Shop it here.

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