Many people associate the term ‘organic’ with fancy, expensive food consumed by the snobs. However, the truth is that eating organic foods comes with a host of health benefits. Organic products are free of all neurotoxins present in pesticides; they are easier to metabolise and have no negative impact on the environment.
Organic food doesn’t have to be expensive either. The secret is buying seasonal fruits and veggies and meat from organic livestock farms.
If you’re the lucky owner of a bigger balcony or backyard, you can even grow organic crops yourself from early spring to late autumn in a polytunnel such as those manufactured by First Tunnels.
Let’s have a look at the top five health benefits of eating organic foods, to learn why this choice is the best choice.
1. Better Overall Health
Organic foods are produced naturally, without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers. Farmers nourish their crops with manure and compost and fight weeds, pest, and diseases through crop rotation, manual weed removal, and mulching.
The result is healthier, safer, and tastier food that can only boost your health. Organic fruits and vegetables provide better nourishment not only to people but also to animals.
Several studies have shown that reduced use of chemical herbicides and insecticides subsequently reduces the risk of developmental delays in infants, improves sperm quality in men and lowers the prevalence of behavioural disorders such as ADHD.
As highlighted by the British Journal of Nutrition, organically grown crops also contain very low levels of toxic heavy metals including cadmium, lead, and mercury.
2. Improved Heart Condition
It’s not only organic fruits and veggies that have a positive impact on your health. Eating organic meat and milk obtained from livestock fed with grass, pasture forages, and organic silages can enhance your heart condition and reduce the risk of associated diseases.
This happens because organic meat contains a higher amount of healthy fatty acids than conventionally produced meat. Natural grazing increases the concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in animal products. CLA is a fatty acid responsible for providing overall cardiovascular protection.
Organic animal products also contain a higher quantity of Omega-3 fatty acids than conventional products. Omega-3 can also improve your cardiovascular health, protecting you from heart attacks and strokes. Studies have also shown these fatty acids can promote brain health, improve eye health, and reduce the symptoms of ADHD and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, scientists have evidenced the beneficial effects of Omega-3 in fighting autoimmune syndromes.
From the standpoint of mental health, eating organic meat and fish can fight age-related mental decline and counteract the symptoms of certain mental disorders.
3. Lower Risk of Food-Borne Illnesses
Food engineering, including the use of GMO cereals and the administration of growth hormones and antibiotics to livestock, is responsible for the rising incidence of multiple food-borne illnesses. Food allergies and intolerances are the leading cause of gastrointestinal disorders, internal organ damage, and the thickening of the digestive tract, among other conditions.
Animal products coming from conventionally grown livestock can cause drug-resistant infections too.
All these conditions are a cause of stress for your body, challenging and ultimately weakening your immune system. Consuming organic foods whenever possible not only prevents food-borne illnesses but can actually boost the efficiency of your immune system.
4. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Regular consumption of conventional foods leads to an accumulation of harmful chemicals in our bodies, due to permanent and prolonged exposure to such substances. The effects are not visible immediately, but in the long run, the regular ingestion of pesticides can lead to the development of cancer.
Leukaemia, brain tumours, lymphomas, breast and prostate cancers are just some of the deadly diseases these chemicals can cause.
What many people don’t realise is that chemical build-up in our bodies happens even when you’ve washed or peeled the fruits and vegetables, and the only way to prevent it is by switching to organic foods.
The same chemicals responsible for the emergence of cancer are also responsible for numerous other health issues, including congenital disabilities.
Foetuses are the most vulnerable to pesticide exposure due to their underdeveloped bodies and immune systems. These substances pass from mum to baby through the umbilical cord and can cause developmental delays and motor dysfunctions, autism, behavioural disorders, and immune system harm.
Besides harmful chemicals, it was demonstrated that conventional food contains a higher concentration of heavy metals than organic foods. Cadmium, above all, tends to accumulate in kidneys, liver, and lungs.
At the respiratory system’s level, it may impair the lungs’ function and increase the risk of lung cancer. Cadmium is also responsible for renal dysfunctions and bone demineralisation, either through direct bone damage or as a consequence of renal dysfunction.
5. Stronger Immune System
Conventional farming focuses on enhancing production through the use of genetically modified organisms and growth hormones. The former leads to food allergies or intolerances while the latter leads to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant diseases.
The effects may not be largely visible yet, but the consequence is a significant reduction of your immune system’s strength. A weak immune system can cause acquired immunodeficiency disorders that prevent your body from fighting against unwanted invaders such as viruses and bacteria. In the long run, you’ll not only have the annoyance of fighting against perennial colds but may even have to deal with an increased risk of some cancers.
Organic foods, on the other hand, are not altered and are unlikely to provoke allergies or food-borne diseases. They also have higher vitamin and mineral contents, helping you strengthen your immune system.
Eating organic foods comes with a wealth of health benefits. This is not a passing trend as some may think, but rather a way to return to our origins. Our ancestors didn’t have all the technologies and means to engineer food back in the days, and they lived healthier lives. So, what you should actually do, is either grow your own crops or start shopping at the organic food market.