With organic food sales in North America exceeding $32 billion per year, it’s more important than ever to understand the benefits of consuming organically grown and produced food. Taking a look at the latest research can help to increase our understanding of how organic food enhances our health.
The Basics of Organic Produce
We all know that organic produce is better for us on one level – the reduction of the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides to grow healthy food. But for many years organic proponents have told us that, pound for pound, organic produce is healthier than conventionally grown products. But how much better, and in what way are organic products better for us?
The leader of recent research, Carlo Leifert (professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England) found that organic produce not only has lower levels of pesticide, but also has significantly higher levels of antioxidants. How much is the difference? When compared to conventional crops, the study found that organic crops are between 18% and 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants. In fact, they found that a switch to eating organic fruits and vegetables would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The full report in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals the findings of the study, but refrains from making health claims about organic produce – as the study was primarily focused on measuring nutrients and antioxidants, rather than measuring their effect. However, the authors of the study note that there are many other studies that suggest antioxidants can be linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
Heavy Metals are Lower in Organic Food
Any heavy metal ingested or absorbed into the body is not a good thing, as they are accumulated in our cells and can cause long-term health issues, including certain cancers. The study showed that restrictions on chemical fertilizers used in organic farming led to a reduction in toxic heavy metals, with cadmium, showing significantly lower levels – almost 50% less. Meanwhile, levels of nitrogen, nitrate, and nitrite are also lower.
So what’s the bottom line? Organic produce is better for you and better for the environment. Whether from your local farmer’s market, your favorite store or grown in your own backyard, switching to organic food can be better choice for your family.
22 Days Nutrition is 100% Organic
At 22 Days Nutrition, we are committed to providing you with nutrition-packed plant-based options that provide optimum wellness. Based on this study and others that highlight the health benefits of organic produce, we promise to always have 100% organic ingredients in our bars, protein powders and the meals in our Vegan Meal Delivery.