The term whole food is normally applied to vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and animal foods with minimal processing. Minimally processed foods are foods that are closest to their natural state. When harvested, they come loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre and other essential nutrients. Most foods we eat have undergone some degree of processing, whether it’s washing, chopping, drying, freezing or canning.
As the degree of processing and refining increases, fats, salts and sugars are added and the food’s nutritional value decreases.
Diets consisting of whole foods that are closest to nature, predominantly plants, encourage a vast array of vitamins and nutrients to work together, and absorb into our bodies more efficiently. A whole food diet is associated with promoting health benefits while also preventing disease.