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The Benefits of Whole Foods
I recently saw a headline that struck me as so simple, yet so profound. It read, “Maybe we should stop asking why real food is so expensive and start asking why processed food is so cheap.” Wow. What a concept. That is exactly the question we should be asking ourselves. What is our health worth? And this brings to mind another powerful quote by the Greek physician Hippocrates. He wrote, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” The common thread that these profound statements deliver is that a whole food, plant-based diet of super fruits and vegetables can be an important part of staying healthy. In fact, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with disease, as well as the functional decline often linked to aging. One of the largest and longest studies (Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study) concluded that the higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing certain conditions. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research acknowledges that super fruits and nutrient-rich greens have powerful immune, cellular and free-radical protective benefits. Plant-based whole foods contain significant amounts of phytonutrients responsible for their health benefits beyond just providing basic macronutrient and micronutrient value.
Phytonutrients from whole foods exert their effects in many ways, including acting as antioxidants, mimicking hormones, stimulating enzymes, influencing DNA replication, combating toxins, etc. Here are more specific examples:
- Garlic contains allicin, which provides immune protective benefits.
- Broccoli contains sulforaphane that help detoxify environmental toxins.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, which normalizes cellular growth and supports prostate and immune health.
- Flax seeds provide lignans, which can help balance female hormones and protect cellular health
- Berries contain anthocyanidins that are potent antioxidants and protect the heart and brain
- Spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella provide chlorophyll, which is known to assist in detoxification and important for supporting immunity.
- Pomegranate contains ellagic acid that helps protect the heart and circulatory system.
- Turmeric contains curcuminoids known to help maintain a healthy inflammatory response in the body, particularly helpful in supporting joint and cellular health.
Bluebonnet carries a wide selection of whole food and whole food-based products taking particular care in understanding how these super foods are grown, harvested, and processed to ensure that they make it to the table as pure and natural as they were when they were picked. Bluebonnet’s suppliers are working every day with growers and farmers who practice sustainable harvesting and wild crafting techniques so that they aren’t just sourcing the best super foods on the market, but they are doing so in a way that will protect the source and the Earth for generations to come. This meticulous vetting process involves all of Bluebonnet’s whole food and whole food-based products from the entire Super Earth® line (including Rainforest Animalz®) to the new SuperFruit extracts to marine- and plant-based omega fatty acids to whole food antioxidants to food/soy supplements to over 30 popular standardized herbal extracts. Paying careful attention to the procurement process means that Bluebonnet can preserve the inherent nutritional properties and integrity of these super foods and thus provide wholesome products that are as close to nature as possible without upsetting Mother Nature in the process.
Eating a healthy diet vs. an unhealthy one costs about $1.50 more a day, which works out to more than $2,000 more per year on the average family of four’s grocery bill, suggests a new analysis by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). In addition to eating healthy, incorporating lifestyle changes like being active 2 to 3 times a week for at least an hour or supporting your diet with dietary supplements not only has its immediate benefits (i.e., more energy, fitter physique, etc.), but it also has its long-term benefits - - reduced risks for obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, type II diabetes and more. In fact, chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes account for about 75% of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care expenditures each year, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This averages out to more than $5500 per year per person. That means that a family of four is spending over $22,000 each year on medical expense related to health care costs of chronic disease. It is true; your health is your wealth. And at an extra $1.50 a day… it sounds worth it to us.