Nutritional Value In Whole Grain and Colorful Foods
The healthiest foods in nature are the most colorful foods. Orange, red, green, purple and even brown foods offer the highest nutritional value. There are very few foods that are “white” that offer high nutrition. Cauliflower and jicama are both white and nutritious but the majority of white foods, especially white flour and white rice are nutritionally void.
Many years ago, in an attempt to preserve foods for a longer period of time, white flour was invented. The traditional whole grain flour, which tends to be various shades of brown, contains all of the highly nutritious and fiber-rich parts of the seed including the outside bran layer and the germ. However, whole grain flour has a tendency to spoil quicker and it also attracts weevils.
So in order to preserve foods for a longer period of time, flour made from only the endosperm of the seed was developed. This flour was light and white and often even bleached with chemicals in order to make it white and pretty. It is interesting to note that while whole grain flour will attract weevils, white flour is actually a natural insecticide because insects cannot survive on a diet of pure white flour, as there is not enough nutritional value.
This highly refined white flour became a big hit. People enjoyed the lightness of it and the pretty white food that it made. However, it was soon discovered that this pretty white flour contained almost no nutritional value so in an attempt to regain some of the nutritional value that had been lost, the flour was enriched by adding back in 4 vitamins and minerals. However, this made little difference because 15 vitamins and minerals had been displaced and none of the fiber was added back in.
Unfortunately, these days many of the breads and other foods made from flour that we find on our store shelves are made from this nutritionally devoid flour. Many so-called “wheat” breads are actually made from enriched flour rather than whole grain flour. In order to achieve the highest nutrition we need to make sure that the first ingredient listed on the label is “whole” meaning that the flour is made from a whole grain whether it is wheat, rye, oatmeal or any other type of grain.
White foods tend to be void of the major nutrients. The more processed a food is the less nutritious it tends to be. White rice is similar to white flour in its nutritional value. In order to receive the highest nutritional value you need to look for whole grain foods and foods that are made from whole grains are never white but rather they are shades of brown.
Other colors are also important when it comes to nutrition. Orange fruits and vegetables provide beta-carotene. Purple fruits and vegetables provide anthocyanins and resveratrol. Green fruits and vegetables provide many other antioxidants and crucially important vitamins and minerals. The healthiest and most nutritious diets are the most colorful.
So in order to maximize your nutrition eliminate the white foods, except for cauliflower and jicama, of course, increase your consumption of the colorful fruits and vegetables and include lean proteins of either lean meats, fish or poultry, or beans and legumes if you are a vegetarian. And make sure that the bread you eat is made from whole grain flour and not enriched.
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