Organic foods have been gaining massive popularity over the past few years as more people are increasingly becoming aware of their numerous health benefits. In the US, the organic food industry realized huge profits from the sale of organic foods; with the sales rising from $1 billion in 1990 up to $26.7 billion in 2010. And according to a study conducted by the Organic Trade Association, more than 78% of American families purchase organic foods.
So, what exactly are organic foods?
Well, organic foods are simply foods grown in natural soil (soil without chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides), have no modifications, and are grown separate from conventional foods. When growing organic foods, farmers are restricted from using synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, bioengineered genes, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock should only be fed with organic feeds and must have free access to outdoor pastures. In other words, they should not be given any growth accelerating hormones, GMO feeds, antibiotics, or any animal by-products.
Now many studies have concluded that organic foods actually provide numerous health benefits to the body. They have been shown to contain higher amounts of beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as compared to non-organic foods. In fact, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition from a research conducted at the Newcastle University found that the concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were18-69% higher in organic foods.
This clearly shows just how eating organic foods can promote good health and prevent the development of food-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes as well as obesity. To get a better understanding of the importance of organic foods for your health, below are the many health benefits they provide.
1. Organic Foods are Highly Nutritious
In a review conducted by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on 41 studies comparing the nutritional value of organic and non-organic fruits, vegetables, and grains, it was found that organic foods contain higher amounts of nutrients than their counterparts. In other words, these foods contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, high-quality carbohydrates, and antioxidants. On average, organic foods provide 27% more Vitamin C, 21.1% more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, and 13.6% more phosphorous than their non-organic counterparts.
Organic meats and dairy products are also richer in various nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins compared to commercially processed animal products.
All these studies come down to one conclusion- eating organic animal products and foods will provide you with more nutrients than conventionally grown foods.
2. Reduced Exposure to Toxins
Have you ever wondered why cancer is increasingly becoming common? Well, there is only one answer to this- conventionally grown foods contribute largely to the development of various types of cancers because of they are loaded with toxic chemicals.
The pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals used to grow non-organic foods are by nature highly toxic and consuming these foods basically increases your risk of developing various chronic illnesses such as cancers, chest complications, digestive problems, as well as disorders of the nervous system. Some of these chemicals have also led to death in severe cases.
Consuming organically grown foods is the only way to prevent exposure to the dozens of harmful chemicals present in non-organic foods.
3. Organic Foods are Not By Any Means- GMO
The increase in genetically modified foods has become a major cause of health concern due to the huge health risks they pose. What’s even worse is that most of these foods are not correctly labeled which has lead to confusion when purchasing.
The dangers posed by GMOs prompted the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) to publicly declare that it’s biologically possible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.
A study conducted at the Russian Academy of Science found a 55% death rate of rats born to rats that had been fed with GM soy diet as compared to a 9% death rate of rats born to those fed with non-GM soy diet.
Considering that nearly 70% of all processed foods are packed with GM ingredients, it’s pretty clear that the only way to avoid genetically modified foods is by going organic.
4. Organic Foods are Free From Growth Hormones, Antibiotics, and Drugs in Animal Products
Commercial meats and dairy products are at a high risk of contamination by harmful substances and bacteria. Apparently, more than 90% of the pesticides and other chemicals that many Americans consume are found in the fat and tissues of meat and dairy products.
Cows, pigs, fish, and chicken are fed with animal by-products, animal parts, fish meal and grains that are heavily laden with harmful toxins and chemicals. The growth hormones, antibiotics, and drugs used in these animals are passed on to meat and dairy products.
The growth hormones used in these animals have been shown to heighten cancer risks, cause early onset of puberty, growth of tumors, and development of genetic problems. Meat and dairy products containing antibiotics have been shown to cause antibiotic resistance in many people. Furthermore, these antibiotics disrupt the gut flora, causing leaky gut and other stomach disorders.
It’s clearly evident that choosing organic foods is the only guarantee to be free from these harmful substances.
5. Organic Foods Reduce the Risks of Developing Life-Threatening Diseases
Numerous studies have linked GMOs to over 22 diseases. Very shocking, right?
Recent studies conducted on the effects of GMOs have revealed more evidence that these foods should have been banned way long before they were even approved for human consumption.
In a study published in The Journal of Organic Systems, GMO foods and their corresponding ingredients have been linked to various diseases such as urinary, bladder, and breast cancers, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, liver failure, thyroid disorders, obesity, including others. Glyphosate, a herbicide that was introduced in 1974 has especially been found to disrupt the ability of animals (including humans) to detoxify xenobiotics. The inability to detoxify xenobiotics therefore exposes the body to the chemicals in foods as well as those from the environment, thereby causing high levels of damage that could have otherwise been prevented if the body were able to detoxify them.
For these reasons, it’s important to avoid these foods at all cost and resort to organically grown foods that not only provide you with health-boosting nutrients, but also protects your body against various diseases.
6. Organic Foods Slow Down the Aging Process
As stated earlier, organic foods are packed with beneficial nutrients including high amounts of antioxidants that help slow down the aging process. Antioxidants play a crucial role in slowing down the aging process, revealing a bright, healthy, radiant, and younger skin that is free of wrinkles and fine lines.
The cocktail of chemicals in commercially grown foods will only load your body with toxins- and toxins accelerate the aging process. So, it’s highly advisable to stick to eating organic foods such as fruits and vegetables which carry most antioxidants for a youthful skin.
7. Organic Foods are Fresh and Taste Better
Organic foods simply taste better than their non-organic counterparts since they are not laden with chemicals and toxins that tend to rip off the flavor and nutrition value. Furthermore, they do not contain preservatives. They are fresh, crispy, and taste really good. Be sure to shop at your local farmer’s market to get the freshest produce from the garden.
8. Organic Foods are Great for Weight Loss
Unlike non-organic foods which are loaded with chemicals and growth hormones that cause weight gain, organic foods are practically healthy and promote weight loss.
Many early deaths occurring today are being linked to commercially grown foods. Majority of cancer cases we have today have also been linked to GMO foods. There is just so much damage being caused by these foods and it’s therefore important to switch to organically grown foods to be on the safe side.