Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Benefits of Seasonal, Whole Foods vs Processed Foods

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When I was approached by Serena for a guest post about food I was ecstatic; she is an actual real and true food writer. Being a (former)scientist my writing skills are technical writing--SOPs, Lab reports, data anaylsis--boring stuff.

I asked her if she could do a post on the benefits seasonal whole foods vs ugly processed foods. This is a topic I'm extremely passionate about due to my GI issues. It is a must for me to eat whole foods that I prepare myself, so I know exactly what I'm eating. I stay far, far away from evil processed foods because, even though they are convenient they rip up my stomach.

Thank you Serena for this educating post!

Problems with Processed Food

One of the main problems with processed food is that it is manufactured to last a long time, and to be transported around the world. The longer food is stored and preserved, the more it loses the health benefits of its nutrients. Adding in preservatives also means that processed food contains empty calories and chemical content that will affect your health. Nitrites in processed meats can raise your risk of cancer, while food colouring agents and BHT have been linked to tissue damage. The high levels of sodium used in preserving food will also raise your blood pressure.

Processed foods that are high in trans fats like chips lead to problems with cholesterol, while sugary snacks can cause Type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Fructose corn syrup in sweet ready meals cause similar problems. Many processed foods also contain acrylamide, a carcinogenic substance. The more processed food you eat, the more your body will become dependent on it, leading to high blood pressure, headaches, and appetite problems. Processed foods can similarly produce stomach problems when high in salt and fat, as well as poor skin and breath.

pumpkin autumn harvest
Seasonal Food Benefits

By contrast, seasonal foods likes fruits and vegetables that are dug out of the ground and delivered to shops or your door within a few days are much better for your overall health. These fresh foods are supposed to be eaten quickly to take advantage of their nutrients and ripeness.As they’re grown at different times of the year, they’re also ideal for a varied diet. Nutrients that are typically lost in the manufacturing of processed food like Vitamin C can consequently be
retained, while food doesn’t have to be loaded with preservatives to retain flavour.

Seasonal food also tends to taste better, as they are usually picked and sent out much more quickly than processed food, which may have gone through a long transportation before getting to your local supermarket. Regular consumption of organic fruit enhances your healthy by containing phytonutrients, which boost your body’s ability to grow and heal itself. Potatoes, fruits and vegetables, strawberries, pumpkins and spinach contain antioxidants that cleanse the blood, have reduced calories to prevent weight gain and heart problems, and are low in
cholesterol. A consistent diet of seasonal produce can consequently make you feel fuller for longer, while enhancing your immune system. Processed food doesn’t have to be avoided completely, but like anything, should not be relied on all the time for your diet, as it will only cause health problems in the long run.


Serena is an avid blogger for various subjects which highly interest her, including education, travel and health and fitness. She would recommend co-op food as your local convenience and food store all across East Anglia in the UK.

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