People say that you are what you eat. However, with all the additives that go into every meal, that is certainly not a very comforting thought. If you worry over pesticides and insecticides being injected into the foods and fruits you regularly have, going organic could be the right alternative.
So how does one exactly benefit from eating organic? While the answer depends on who you choose to consult, there is no denying that organic foods have a raft of health benefits backed by science. Find them here:
Your health is undoubtedly the primary beneficiary. Depending on the constituents, pesticides can result in a slew of disorders – both cognitive and physical – among adults and children alike. These include upping the risk of certain types of cancers, congenital disabilities and developmental delays in children, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic nerve damage.
Fruits, grains and vegetables that are sold under the ‘organic’ label are usually free of toxic pesticides and other synthetic substances. While you can argue that externally-applied pesticides can be washed off foods, it still doesn’t guarantee safety. Importantly, organic foods score over their conventional counterparts when it comes to production techniques and farming practices.
According to this leading study by the British Journal of Nutrition, organic dairy products and meat can have as much as 50% more Omega 3 fatty acids (one of the healthier, unsaturated fats) vis-à-vis traditionally-produced foods.
An increased intake of Omega 3 can help to palliate inflammation, fight depression, improve heart health, deal with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, a condition marked by hyperactivity and a limited attention span), and alleviate the severity of Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, the same study revealed that organic milk contained lesser saturated fats (consumption of which is linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems) as opposed to non-organic milk. Experts believe that these significant upshots may stem from organic livestock being raised differently – they are typically fed a grass-based diet and allowed to spend more time outdoors.
One of the most critical arguments against conventional foods is that the livestock is often injected with antibiotics to guard against illnesses. This makes it more convenient for the average farmer to breed the animals amid unhygienic conditions. Additionally, it is a usual practice to inject animals (both dairy producing and otherwise) with synthetic hormones to promote faster growth.
According to medical experts, these antibiotics often make their way into the consumers’ systems, something that could lead to a mass antibiotic resistance. In this respect, organic produce is inherently safer. Also, organic dairy products and meat are usually free from synthetic hormones, something that has traditionally been linked to increased risks of some cancers.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry carried out a study that revealed organically-grown onions to have a 20% more antioxidant quotient as compared to the ones grown non-organically. Besides, a growing body of research has time and again indicated that organic foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains have higher levels of calcium iron, magnesium, vitamin C and chromium.
Protecting the ecosystem is crucial, and an essential reason to consider going organic. Organic farming contributes to sustainability, prevents soil erosion, and lends a helping hand to the conservation of biodiversity. When you buy organic produce, you are pledging to protect your environment and bring down the level of pollutants.
Organic produce is more costly than their conventional peers; whether you’d buy that or not is certainly your choice. However, experts advise that if you can afford to go organic, you must do it for items that you consume regularly. For instance, if you are a non-vegetarian and want to switch to organic, do that for items of regular use like meat, eggs and milk.
All in all, make sure you have a rounded diet that is packed to the brim with the right nutrients. Even if you are eating organic, you could still be loading up on unhealthy foods. When that happens, it really takes away from all the benefits of choosing organic over traditional produce.