Focus on Health: Refining and enriching or degrading?

Normally, when we think of the word “enrich” we think of something good and something added as a benefit, but in the food industry does this ring true?

In the process of refining, grains are stripped of more than 20 nutrients and during the “enrichment” process only four or five of those nutrients are added back in as manmade, synthetic chemicals; not natural or enriching at all.

Refining removes 25 per cent of the protein, 50 per cent of the calcium, 74 per cent of the potassium, 78 per cent of folic acid and fiber, 82 per cent of manganese, 84 per cent of iron and magnesium, 86 per ecnt of vitamin B1 and niacin, 87 per cent of vitamin B6, 90 per cent of biotin, 95 per cent of vitamin E, and 99 per cent of its phytochemicals.

If you give me a $20 bill to break, and I give you back $4 or $5, do you feel enriched, of course not. You would feel robbed.

When it comes to your health, why is eating refined food any different?

Many people ask, “If refining removes so many nutrients why do it?”

The bran is removed to make the bread more light and fluffy with a lighter taste, though it is filled with fiber, antioxidants, important trace minerals, B-vitamins and antioxidants.

The germ is removed because keeping it in makes the food item go rancid faster giving it a shorter shelf life, though it contains healthful omega fats, protein, important minerals, such as magnesium and iron, vitamin B and E antioxidants, and is the heart and life of the seed, all of which protect our heart. It’s the germ that sprouts into new life when planted.

All that remains is the starchy carbohydrate endosperm with a little protein.

After refinement strong preservatives are used to keep the bread from molding before it hits the grocery store shelf and to prevent bugs from attacking it. Bleaches are also added, otherwise the flour is gray allowing manufactures to use a more inferior flour.

The problem with refined grains, whether in the form of pasta, bread, crackers, bolted or unbolted flour, pastries, cakes, cookies or any other form is that it negatively affects your health, not to mention the other unhealthful ingredients that may also be in that food product.

These refined flours enter into our digestive system too quickly and speedily breaks down, putting a load on the pancreas to keep up with the abnormally high spiking blood sugar.

As the pancreas pumps out emergency amounts of insulin to keep up with the glucose load, the insulin shoves the glucose anywhere it will fit, whether in the liver, fat cells, muscles or eventually out the kidneys called glycosuria.

This vicious cycle of high and low blood sugars creates weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, blood vessel damage, oxidative stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a loss of antioxidants, and a host of other symptoms.

The pancreas gets fatigued from getting beat up all the time and eventually diabetes and other diseases settle in.

Whole plant foods eaten whole offers the pancreas and other organs the opportunity to rest and work naturally, not frantically.

Stick to non-gluten grains in their whole state over flour state, such as quinoa, rice, oats and millet.

Eat whole foods whole and your body will love you.

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