How Does Eating Organic Benefit You?
You’ve definitely heard it before. Whether from a well-meaning relative, a close friend or an article on the internet — organic food is one of the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly ways to eat.
Organic refers to the way the product or produce is grown and processed. Typically, organic crops are grown without the use of chemicals like man-made pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or the use of genetically-modified seeds. Organic livestock, on the other hand, are raised in better living conditions and fed natural food without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
But how do all these practices really benefit you? What about organic food makes it so good for your body?
1. Less Exposure to Potentially Toxic Pesticides and Heavy Metals
Organic farming practices use natural fertilizers like compost, rotate crops to prevent disease cycles and use insect traps or natural pesticides to control pests. On the other hand, conventional farming practices make use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to maximise yield. These synthetic fertilizers and pesticides contain potentially harmful chemicals that can stay on crops and damage your health over a prolonged period of exposure.
In 2014, The British Journal of Nutrition conducted an analysis of 343 peer-reviewed publications which compared the differences between organic and non-organic foods. They found that organic crops had a lower incidence of pesticide residue and cadmium concentrations1 (a toxic heavy metal that can damage our livers and kidneys).
2. Less Chance of Consuming Substances Related to Antibiotics or Growth Hormones
In conventional farming, livestock are often given antibiotics to protect against diseases that comes about from being raised in crowded and unsanitary conditions. At the same time, these animals are also fed growth hormones or feed that is designed to encourage faster growth so they can reach market size more quickly.
Although such livestock has to go through checks by the relevant food authorities before they are considered safe for public consumption, traces of these antibiotics can potentially make their way onto shelves and into your bodies. Why should you be concerned? Because the overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria that evolve and become resistant to the drug. (the “SuperBug” phenomena).
Not only that, the antibiotics used in these animals can potentially kill good friendly bacteria in the gut (an important part of our immune system), rendering one weakened and more susceptible to infection.
While some may not feel these effects immediately, others with an already weakened immunity may suffer from these effects very quickly and succumb to infection.
3. Organic Foods are Richer in Nutrients
Scientists have long been trying to find out if there are any nutritional differences between organic foods and their non-organic counterparts.
A study in 2016 conduced by Newcastle University found that organic milk and meat contained 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and higher concentrations of essential miners as well as antioxidants than conventionally produced products2.
Another six-year study also found that onions grown with organic practices contained higher antioxidants compared to those grown under conventional methods3.
Besides antioxidants, UK university researchers confirmed much larger amounts of natural plant chemicals secreted by the organically grown plants in response to pests and fungi that attack them. These plant chemicals have now been confirmed to have many health-giving benefits, including anti-cancer etc.
Although the scientific community is still debating on whether organic food can be considered more nutritious than non-organic, more studies are showing that there are real health benefits to choosing organic.
Nature’s Glory is the no.1 organic store in Singapore. Formed in 1991, our range of products are certified by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) to Australian and International standards. We take great care to ensure our supply chains meet stringent organic auditing standards. Visit our online organic store to discover organic products to better your health and protect our environment.