Wholefoods are the 'whole' of the food, packed with goodness: 'food as nature intended'. The more we learn about how our bodies work, the more the evidence points to eating all of the food (that is, the wholefood) as being best. It is, of course, how we originally developed.
Dried fruit: we stock both organic and non-organic dried fruit. We are sometimes asked why our organic dried apricots are a darker colour to the dried apricots in the supermarket. The answer to that question is very simple: organic dried fruit does not contain sulphur dioxide as a preservative, so apricots have a more mellow, natural colour, rather than day-glo yellow. Dried fruit is only minimally less nutritious than fresh fruit (some Vitamin D is lost by drying), and is a good way to add fibre and sugar to your diet when fresh is not available. Dried fruit is excellent for commited organic wholefood eaters - though like everything else, should be eaten in moderation, so as not to add too many calories to your diet.
Nuts: are an important ingredient in a wholefood diet, giving many essential minerals and fibre. Eating nuts as part of a wholefood diet will provide you with many of the essential trace elements required for health. Nuts are particularly good for a vegetarian diet, as they contain protein, and are a fine source of energy, with lots of calories. Nuts are high in unsaturated fat, which helps maintain a healthy heart. Many studies have shown the health benefits of eating a handful of nuts every day. Don't forget, we also do a huge range of nut butters.
Seeds: seeds are a great source of minerals, and are also high in polyunsaturated fats and calories. For protein, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are best. For some smaller seeds, such as sesame, it can be a good idea to give them a quick blast (5 seconds) in a food processor - otherwise they can just pass straight through! For those with a busy lifestyle, wanting an organic wholefood diet, seeds are a good choice for high-value nutritional snacks. Organic seeds are not only great to eat, but are highly versatile and easy to add to many meals, for a wholefood twist. For our whole range of seeds, together with hints and tips, see our section dedicated to seeds, both organic and non-organic.
Rice: wholegrain rice is not only tastier than refined varieties, but has many nutritional benefits, and can be very important if you are following a wholefood diet. Rice is also great value to buy by the sack, as it keeps well and is easily stored. Don't forget, as with most wholefoods, 'brown is best' - that is, eating the whole grain. Wholemeal rice is wonderful with all curries - and don't forget rice pudding!
Grains: wholegrains should form an important part of your diet. In our grains section, you will find the full complement of wholegrains for a wholefood diet. Wholegrains contain three elements: bran, germ and endosperm. Each part has key components: the bran has fibre, while the germ has vitamins and minerals. Refining the grain removes the bran and the germ, thus losing fibre, vitamins and minerals, but eating the wholegrain keeps these valuable components. So much research now points to the importance of eating wholegrains as part of our diets - they should be a vital part of any organic wholefood regime.
From grains we get flour as well. When choosing flour, look for those that are slow-ground at low temperatures.
Pulses: dried pulses are what many people think of when they talk of an organic wholefood diet. They are very important, providing protein and counting as one of your 'five a day' vegetables. Pulses are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre, and low in fat. Simply soak your pulses overnight and they are ready for use. One major advantage of dried pulses is that they store very well if kept in a dry, air-tight container, away from light. And while not forgetting to eat plenty of them, remember that modern wholefood diets can be very varied, so do try some other organic wholefoods as well. If you interested in pulses, don't forget the old wholefood favourite of lentils too: cheap, versatile and easy to cook and eat.
Lentils/split peas: we could put our lentils and split peas in with the rest of the pulses - but they're so good, we thought a category of their own was appropriate! If you are vegetarian, lentils are one of your best sources of iron, as well as being a key provider of protein. Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five 'most healthy foods'. For many, lentils represent a key part of an organic wholefood diet, due to their versatility and ease of storage.
Flakes: organic wholefood flakes can form a good base if you want to make your own porridge or muesli. If you start with the basic flakes, you know exactly what you are eating. In addition, you can add flakes to soups, stews and casseroles.
Flour : if you're making the move to wholegrain flour, start by using 25% wholegrain and 75% normal flour, and then over time increase the ratio of wholegrain flour.
Pasta: at Naturally Good Food we are unique in having a whole section devoted to wholegrain pasta. These nutritious strips and balls of goodness are generally made from grains with a higher protein content than wheat pasta, and so are great for those in training who want an additional protein lift. To see our other sports nutrition goods, visit our Sports nutrition page and follow the links.
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