About this Episode
Season 2 host Meghan Hamrock, MS, MPH, and special guest Weston Bussler, PhD, discuss the whole food advantage. What components define a whole food? Why is including whole foods in the diet so important for human health? They also talk more about phytonutrients from plants – about how humans need these beneficial metabolites just as much as they need macronutrients or micronutrients, just in a different way. Different colors seen in plant foods – like ruby red beets and vibrantly green kale – are often indicative of the different phytonutrients found in different plants. This is why people might hear someone say “eat the rainbow”; it’s so important to have a colorful diet!
What is a “whole food”?
- Foods from sources in a more naturally occurring state (01:03)
- Foods containing macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) (01:29)
What are phytonutrients?
- Components of plants that affect human health (02:22)
- Bitter compounds affect blood glucose management and sugar uptake (4:23)
Related: Nutrient and Phytonutrient Gaps in the Diet (article), Bitter Perception Affects Vegetable Consumption (article), Phytochemicals, Bitter Receptors, and Carbohydrate Processing (podcast episode from Season 1: Be the You Nature Intended), Managing Glucose with Bitter Nutrition (video from Animation Series)
What is the whole food matrix?
- “Whole food matrix” (04:44) describes the packaging of nutrients in whole foods that provides the best delivery, or “filler” (06:21)
Related: Whole Food Health Advantage (video from Animation Series)
Vibrant colors of plants are often indicative of the plant being a rich source of nutrients (07:36).
- Beetroot (08:23)
- Swiss chard (10:17)
- Cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, kale, and Spanish black radish (11:15)
- Buckwheat and oats (15:23)
Related: Color of Food Educational Series (downloadable PDFs)
- Adopting Nutritional Practices
- Color of Food Overview
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Spanish black radish
- Swiss chard
- Brussels Sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Turnip greens