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Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and animal products, including meats and non-homogenized dairy products. The earliest use of the term in the post-industrial age appears to be in 1946 in The Farmer, a quarterly magazine published and edited from his farm by F. Newman Turner, a writer and pioneering organic farmer. The magazine sponsored the establishment of the Producer Consumer Whole Food Society Ltd, with Newman Turner as president and Derek Randal as vice-president. Whole Food was defined as ‘Mature produce of field, orchard, or garden without subtraction, addition, or alteration grown from seed without chemical dressing, in fertile soil manured solely with animal and vegetable wastes, and composts therefrom, and ground, raw rock and without chemical manures, sprays, or insecticides’ Its principal aim was to act as a liaison between suppliers and the growing public demand for such food. In 1960 the leading organic food organization called the Soil Association opened a shop in the name selling organic and whole grain products in London, UK.
"Diets rich in whole and unrefined foods, like whole grains, dark green and yellow/orange-fleshed vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, contain high concentrations of antioxidant phenolics, fibers and numerous other that may be protective against chronic diseases." A diet rich in a variety of whole foods has been hypothesized as possibly anti-cancer due to the synergistic effects of antioxidants and phytochemicals common in whole foods.
A focus on heterogeneous whole foods offers benefits over a reliance on dietary supplements for most people. They provide nutrition for being a source of more micronutrients, essential dietary fiber and naturally occurring protective substances, such as phytochemicals.
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