Have you ever looked at the ingredients in packaged food? Packaged foods that you may think are healthy are often loaded with unhealthy and non-natural ingredients. Lots of bars have added sugars with no nutritional value such as brown rice syrup or tapioca syrup. Many bars also have non-natural controversial ingredients that are difficult to pronounce such as gum acacia or soy lecithin. Take a look at the ingredients of your favorite bar and see how many ingredients are in it that you do not recognize! These ingredients are found in far too many “healthy” bars. There are many reasons why you should focus on eating all natural foods, but here are my top 5:
1. All natural food is packed with nutrients
There are so many important vitamins and minerals found in natural foods. You might think of nuts as a tasty crunchy snack, but nuts are actually packed with vitamins and minerals. Nuts contain vitamin B-6, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and so much more! Nuts are not the only natural food loaded with vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, and seeds are also nutrient dense foods.
2. Heart healthy
All natural foods will have a beneficial impact on your heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for heart health. They help reduce triglycerides, which are a type of fat that can increase your risk for heart attack. Now you might be wondering what kinds of foods contain omega 3 fatty acids. Nuts, seeds, and fish are great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Some other foods that will help your heart health include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and berries.
3. Gut health
Gut health is important in helping you digest food and maintaining overall health. Everyone has many types of bacteria in the body. Some are good, but some are bad. The good bacteria help digest food while also limiting the amount of bad bacteria in the body. It is important to limit the amount of bad bacteria in the body because bad bacteria can lead to diseases such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. So what foods are good for the gut? High fiber foods are excellent for the gut because only certain good bacteria can digest them. This process stimulates the growth of the good bacteria. Some high fiber foods include vegetables, beans and fruit. Eat more of these foods and you will be on your way to a healthier gut!
Antioxidant is one of those words you often hear people talking about, but do you know what they are and what they can do for you? From a scientific standpoint, antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation. The human body is full of unstable atoms also known as free radicals. Free radicals can lead to diseases such as heart disease and different types of cancers, but antioxidants fight the free radicals to keep you healthy. This means antioxidants help prevent heart disease and cancer to keep you healthy! Several foods are high in antioxidants including blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, and the number 1 ingredient in the ExcaliBar…DATES!
5. Eating all natural foods means you are avoiding the unhealthy additives and preservatives!
Sometimes the best way to be healthy is to avoid the unhealthy. Avoiding added sugars with no nutritional value and avoiding preservatives such as sodium nitrate, MSG, and artificial food coloring is a great start to a healthy lifestyle.