“Whole” foods provide more nutrients than refined grains, but healthy nutrition can be produced with both kinds of grains, even if those fruits and veggies are chemically treated with pesticides or artificially processed to improve nutrition. Also, adding organic produce to your diet can add to your total supply of antioxidants.

Vitamins A and C are naturally occurring, but even organic foods that may have been grown with insecticides or synthetic fertilizers can still contain natural pesticides. Organic crops are generally naturally rich in antioxidants. Whole grains are also rich in antioxidants.

By consuming foods such as wild greens and wild salmon (on the bone!), organic foods boost your blood’s natural antioxidants as well as your immunity, which is more likely to survive disease or infection.

Whole grains can also boost your health by helping you stay more energy-neutral throughout the day. The “energy gap” between meals is one of the biggest causes of eating disorders. Eating food after a full meal makes you feel fuller longer, and has been shown to reduce calorie intake.

If you don’t think you have time to cook every meal from scratch, your next best bet is to buy whole grains in bulk from a local grain dealer. Purchase organic flour (regular whole wheat flour contains chemicals) and use it in pancake batters or brownies. And don’t forget to pick organic produce to fill your organic or natural grocery cart, such as organic potatoes, almonds, organic milk, organic apples, organic dried fruit, etc.

The Bottom Line

Organic foods tend to be healthier, with more nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. Many of these foods are also naturally gluten-free. Many grain products, fruits, and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and easily made gluten-free by following a few simple rules: Avoid freshly harvested grain if it hasn’t been washed to remove any chemicals. Raw whole grain products may contain gluten.

Even if you’ve already eaten a healthy whole grain product such as whole wheat bread, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat more healthy whole grains. Organic and non-GMO organic whole grains don’t necessarily come from organic fields, and all grains naturally contain some pesticides.

You may be shocked that some grain products still contain unhealthy additives such as artificial colors and flavors.

One alternative is to make whole grain products with fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and veggies and adding pure maple syrup to enhance nutritional content. With a little creativity and time, you can easily “eat healthy while eating whole foods.”

If you are not eating whole foods and have gluten sensitivity, check with a health care practitioner to make sure you are healthy to consume gluten.