Why Organic Food Makes Sense.
These days, the demand for healthy food has increased greatly. The Covid-19 pandemic is bringing various changes in the behavior pattern of every individual. The way we consume food has also transformed considerably. People are aware of the role that food plays in our daily life and its corresponding impact on our health. Therefore, it has compelled us to re-think about the most important component of our life, which is ‘food’. There are numerous products and options available for people to choose from. Organically grown food is often at the top of the list when it comes to consuming safe, nutritious, and healthy food. Let us take a quick look at various reasons why organic food products should be a part of your diet. Moreover, discover how organic food can provide a path to improved health.
Organic Farming and the Sustainability of Agricultural Systems.
Conventional farming involves the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and monoculture. All these methods reduce soil biodiversity and lead to land degradation. Moreover, the resulting widespread chemical pollution has negative economic and social impacts. Conversely, organic farming methods aim to protect the soil biodiversity and maintain the various nutrient cycles (e.g., nitrogen cycle) found in healthy soil. Soil microbes should also be present and healthy, as biologically active soil is important in avoiding soil erosion and maintaining a healthy agricultural system. In addition, organic compost made from manure, which is used to fertilize the soil, and crop rotation enhance the soil’s bioavailability. As a result, these techniques yield safer, better, and healthier crops.
Research has shown that organic farms use 45 percent less energy, release 40 percent less carbon emissions, and foster 30 percent more biodiversity compared to conventional farming. These farming methods play an especially important role in the sustainability of our farmland, and ultimately our planet.
Antioxidant Rich Organic Fruits and Vegetables.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry examined the anthocyanins that occur naturally in blueberries and other plant materials. Anthocyanins belong to a group of chemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are responsible for many of the bright colors of fruits and vegetables, such as red, purple, and orange.
The review found that anthocyanins may help prevent high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad ‘cholesterol’. As a result, lowering the risk of heart disease and decreasing a person’s blood pressure.
Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits studied. Apples, grapes, and bananas ran a close second, and dried fruits were also leading contenders. Peaches, mangos, and melons, while scoring lower than berries, still contain high levels of antioxidants as well as other nutrients.
However, there is a caveat: Even though some fruits and vegetables have a high antioxidant content, the body does not absorb all of it. The is called ‘bioavailability’. Bioavailability is a measure of the rate and fraction of the initial level of a substance that successfully reaches either; the site of action or the bodily fluid domain from which the substance’s intended pathway has unimpeded access. In short, bioavailability is systemic process of absorption or metabolism in the digestive system. The mechanical structure of different antioxidants in food determines what and how much can be absorbed.
Antioxidants are nature’s Superfoods.
Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources. These include red fruits, yellow and red vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and cocoa.
Utilizing Antioxidants in Food.
The importance of antioxidants cannot be overstated. Therefore, one must understand how cooking and heating can destroy these fragile chemicals. In addition, the bioavailability of antioxidants can be adversely affected by consuming them with other foods. For example, eating highly processed foods will reduce antioxidant absorption. Conversely, eating foods rich in mineral content, such as zinc and magnesium, will increase antioxidant absorption.
Antioxidants like phytates and polyphenols are reduced in the processing or treatment of foods, such as soaking or cooking foods like beans to reduce polyphenols. While antioxidants are important dietary components, consider balancing consumption of both raw and cooked foods to ensure maximum micronutrient absorption. Therefore, consume foods that work together to increase absorption of certain micronutrients. Eating citrus foods or foods high in vitamin C with foods high in iron increases the absorption of both heme and non-heme iron. This also prevents minerals from binding with phytate or polyphenols in the gastrointestinal tract.
In conclusion, eat a varied and balanced diet. This is the best way to balance the positives and negatives of nutrient absorption. Introduce variety at each meal by choosing from fish and lean meats, whole-grain cereal products, low-fat dairy foods, and a wide range of vegetables and fruits. Diversity is the key.
Organic Food Tastes better.
The process of cultivating food organically often leaves it with a better tasting product, as compared to the conventionally grown food. Several studies have reported that organic produce stores better and has longer shelf life than conventional produce due to the lower nitrate levels in organic produce. Organic mangoes and apples are generally firmer and have superior storage properties. Organic yams and potatoes contain more vitamin C. Many studies have found that lower yields, better taste, more vitamin C and higher antioxidant levels in organic fruits and vegetables are correlated with lower levels of readily available nitrogen.
A Stronger Immune System.
To improve the yield of fruits and vegetables cultivated and grown, no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used. Organic foods prepared with this kind of yield are beneficial in improving our body’s immune system. Various studies conducted on this topic concluded that boosted immunity proved especially beneficial for pregnant women and the elderly.
How does organic food help in boosting your immune system? Consuming organic food increases your body’s ability to fight diseases. When humans consume organic food products, they directly eliminate the antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals and vaccines which weaken the immune system. This results in a related to systemic overdose of these chemicals. This may alter the immune system thereby rendering humans unable to defend themselves against diseases.
Organic Products are Inherently Environmentally Friendly.
When a product is good for the environment, it is good for everyone. Organic farming creates a positive effect on our agricultural ecosystem so that the foods we consume have a good effect on our body. Organic farming is largely based on a double formula. First, it helps in maintaining soil fertility, nutrient bioavailability, and a sustainable agriculture model. Second, it is useful for the prevention of pests and crop diseases. With the help of organic farming, we not only grow healthy foods but also eliminate environmental problems like water pollution and topsoil degradation.