What is a Whole Food? A food is considered whole when it has not been processed, changed, or refined in any way. Whole foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and animal products such as meat and eggs. In whole foods there exists a natural balance of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Although essential for our growth and survival, it is the micronutrients that we are more often depleted in since these are often the missing components of foods that have been processed.
In an ideal world, through clean eating and varying our diets, we would get everything and more out of whole foods because they contain all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients necessary for health. But we know it is not always possible to get all that we need from food alone and with even the simplest of processing of foods- like juicing or overcooking- we can lose many of the phytonutrients we need to promote optimal health.
So you ask, what is a phytonutrient? Phytonutrients are active compounds in plants that have been shown to provide benefit to humans when consumed. Particularly in the area of disease prevention, phytonutrients show special promise for lowering the risk of health problems. We know an orange is not only a source of vitamin C. Oranges contains bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and organic acids that work in synergy with vitamin C in the flesh of the orange itself. It is no wonder then, that vitamin C in a whole food environment would be good for us to eat. It is what nature intended.
How do I get enough?
The purpose of incorporating whole food supplements into our daily regimen is to provide our body with the foundation it needs to maintain health and prevent illness. Whole food supplements should be composed of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from real food and are best taken with meals for proper assimilation, absorption, and usage of their components. I suggest choosing a product that provides all of this in two tablets daily- to give your body these important nutrients all day long. Being a Vancouver Island born and raised resident, I also value my local farms and markets. Knowing where my supplements are coming from- and where the ingredients are grown is important to me.
Pure food supplements from Whole Earth and Sea are available for men and women and provide a complete blend of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The majority of these are sourced from organically and locally BC grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs- right in our backyard! You can really achieve the benefits of a growing season in a tablet; but remember this is not a substitute for healthy eating. Incorporating whole food supplements into our daily regimen is meant to provide our body with the foundation it needs to maintain health and prevent illness. Rather than treating a system or a disease, I strive to teach my patients how to raise the bar of their health and promote a healthy and well-fed body.
Dr. Jennifer Brix is a licensed naturopathic doctor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with distinction from the University of Victoria and completed her professional training at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC.