For many of us, French fries, hotdogs and coffee have become staples in our daily diet. It's impossible to imagine breakfast without coffee, hotdogs and bacon or fries to go with our other greasy processed orders of burgers and soda, as we take the easy option of driving through the nearest fast food chain during those hectic days when we're too busy to prepare a simple home cooked meal.

Whether we like to admit it or not, processed foods have become part of our day-to-day eating regimen. They're easy to prepare, cheap and delicious. What more could you possibly ask for in food? A lot more, actually.

Processed foods contain little or no nutritional value. The whole process of cooling, pasteurization, autoclavation, drying, salting as well as other techniques of food processing have undoubtedly increased the longevity of foods that would otherwise spoil right away. However, these processes have also altered its nutrient content. They take out vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that would otherwise have remained intact if left untouched. Processed foods also contain many harmful components like trans fats which have been blamed for a number of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Most companies compensate by fortifying these foods with vitamins that have been destroyed. Unfortunately, these are often inferior in quality and cannot match those of their original unaltered counterparts.

Whole foods or unprocessed, natural foods are undoubtedly the best diet there is. Local, organic and harvested fresh, they are packed with nutrients that fight off diseases and even reverse the harmful effects of illnesses that have been caused by too much consumption of processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes are examples of whole foods that should compose majority of our diet.

Whole food nutrition does more than fight off illnesses. Research has shown that consumption of whole foods has been linked to better overall health and longer life spans. Aside from the benefits it gives to physiological health, whole foods are also linked to improved cognitive and mental functions. While more substantive research is still needed in this area, what has been known so far is that children who are well-nourished are able to perform better academically compared to those who aren't.

Consumption of whole foods also reduces the incidence of degenerative diseases. Cancers, for example, are due mostly to too much processed foods in the diet like smoked or salted food which are saturated in carcinogenic food preservatives. Obesity is linked to over-consumption of fast food that are chockfull of simple sugars that cause a spike in insulin levels, slow down metabolism and contribute to fat deposition.

Mental disorders are also helped with the consumption of whole foods. Those who suffer from different forms of obsessive-compulsive and bipolar disorders are given eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid to improve their mood. In case you're wondering where these hard-to-pronounce components can be found, they're just omega-3 fatty acids which you can get from fish.

With the spate of lifestyle-related diseases plaguing our generation today, more and more people are going back to natural and unprocessed to meet their nutritional requirements. Only by the consumption of whole foods can we ever hope to let our bodies function as it should.

If you are interested in improving your health, make sure that you have a look at a Vitamix blender, there are a ton of amazing Vita Mix recipes that are super healthy.

Author's Bio: 

Proud mother of 2 lovely girls, world traveler, and natural health advocate.