Chemical processes alter the chemical makeup of foods through additives and other artificial substances. Food that undergoes processing is harmful to our health in the long run.
Artificial substances such as sweeteners, preservatives and other elements have for several years been a public safety concern worldwide for legitimate reasons says, Dr Vincent Bakyenga, a general practitioner with Uganda Health Federation.
He adds that foods that contain sugar essentially contain empty calories. This, therefore, means that the calories contained therein provide no nutritional value and are harmful to the heart and digestive system.
Dr Bakyenga says processing often empties the food of its nutritional value. Although many of these foods are infused with artificial nutrients, the quality of nutrition derived from such is far superior compared to whole, unprocessed foods.
If you are the kind that eats processed foods all the time, Paul Lutaakome, a nutritionist at Jinja Referral Hospital says you can counteract its complications by incorporating some raw foods, such as salads, into your diet.
These vegetables contain nutrients that act as body cleansers. They are good for your skin. They also contain vitamin B and potassium which are good for your heart and kidney. You can eat them raw or add them to whatever you may be cooking.
Beetroots are rich in iron which helps to increase the amount of blood and its flow in the body. Consuming beetroots and drinking beet juice regularly helps in growth of red blood cells in the body which treats anaemia. It can also be a good home remedy for menstrual disorders and helps to purify blood.
Carrots are very healthy foods which are good for your eyes. Raw carrots stimulate the gums to produce more saliva which kills bacteria and foreign bodies in the mouth thereby reducing oral health problems.
He says, “Carrots contain dietary fibre which is important in maintaining good digestive health. Carrot juice improves stomach and digestive health. It reduces the severity of constipation and protects the colon and stomach from cancer of the colon.”
It can heal skin problems and under eye swelling. Cut circular pieces and place them on the eyes or wherever you may have a skin problem. They have excellent cleaning properties, and can remove accumulated waste and toxins from your body.
“They also have the ability to prevent splitting of the finger and toenails and also to protect your body from constipation and kidney problems. They can also help in the management of diabetes,” says Lutaakome.
Track your meals
When attempting to eliminate a certain food group or type of food, it will be helpful to journal your current eating habits. This will help you be more aware of what types of processed foods you are eating, when you are eating them, and how frequently you are eating them. A meal plan will be helpful as you slowly eliminate processed foods from your diet. As you remove different foods from your regular meal plan, you can add more whole, unprocessed foods to replace them. A written meal plan can help you visually plan everything out for your week.