What Are the Benefits of an Organic Diet?

More and more people are now switching to organic living https://easylivingmom.com/ultimate-guide-to-organic-living/, and you’re probably wondering what good will it do to you if you make the same choice. The organic food industry is a booming business, and it keeps on growing. While some consumers buy organic because they are concerned about the environment, most people do so for health-related reasons.

What Does Organic Diet Mean?

The term “organic” refers to how agricultural products like produce and livestock are grown and processed. Regulations about what “organic” means can vary from country to country, but organic crops must be grown without using synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or bioengineered genes (GMOs) in the US. These apply to fruits, vegetables, and grains. Meanwhile, organic livestock raised for their meat, milk, and eggs must be raised in natural living conditions where they can graze on pasture and be fed organic grass and feed. Organic livestock shouldn’t be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or other animal by-products.

Having an organic diet means eating organic foods with ingredients made from organic products. Organic foods are known to have more beneficial nutrients than conventionally grown counterparts.

Benefits of an Organic Diet

Organic foods cost more because the lack of pesticides means growing crops is more labor-intensive, and the yield is not always good. Going organic might mean spending a bit more on food, but what exactly are its benefits? Here are some of them:

1. More nutrients

When you’re eating organic food, you’re taking in more nutrients than usual. According to studies, organic produce has a small to moderate increase in some nutrients than conventional counterparts. The best evidence of a significant increase is in some types of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.

A 2016 study has shown that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were more than 50% higher in organic milk and meat than in conventionally-raised versions. The feeding requirements for organic livestock farming can result in generally higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat type that’s beneficial for the heart. Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids are found in organic meats, eggs, and dairy.

2. Fewer exposure to pesticides and artificial fertilizers

Two red tomatoes freshly harvested

Chemicals used in farming, such as artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, are widely used in conventional agriculture, including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. These leave residues on and in the food that we eat.

Fruits, veggies, and grains labeled “organic” are grown without the use of most synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers. While the USDA’s National Organic Standard Board does allow some synthetic substances to be used for organic farming, they are very few compared to conventional farming.

Chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers are deemed safe in quantities used in conventional farming, but health experts warn about the potential harms of repeated exposure to residues found in food. For example, the commonly-used herbicide Roundup has been found to be a probable human carcinogen, and the insecticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to developmental delays in infants. Some studies have also suggested that pesticide residues can contribute to ADHD prevalence in kids and reduced sperm quality in men. You can avoid all these risks by choosing organic produce.

3. No antibiotics and synthetic hormones

Conventional livestock is fed with antibiotics to protect against diseases, making it easier for farmers to raise their animals in crowded or unsanitary conditions and keep them alive. Also, these livestock can be injected with synthetic growth hormones so they would gain weight faster or produce more milk.

While all these are beneficial for the farmers and for increasing food supply, traces of antibiotics and synthetic hormones can make their way into the consumers. Experts believe that drug residue in foods contributes to widespread antibiotic resistance, and organic foods that are produced without antibiotics are a safer choice in this respect. Also, synthetic hormones in livestock have been linked to an increased risk of cancer in humans.

The use of antibiotics can also create antibiotic resistance, causing conventionally produced meat to have higher bacteria. Meanwhile, organically-raised livestock tends to be given more space to move around to keep them healthy overall, lessening the need to give them antibiotics.

If you switch to organic, you will be less exposed to antibiotics and hormones that can wreak havoc on your health in the long run. Find out why organic meat is worth the extra cost https://easylivingmom.com/why-organic-meat-is-worth-the-extra-cost/.

4. Lesser ingestion of toxic metals

Organic farming doesn’t use agrichemicals for producing crops, which means less consumption of toxic chemicals for us humans. Cadmium is a toxic chemical naturally found in soils and is absorbed by plants. Studies have shown significantly lower levels of cadmium in organic grains, but not fruits and vegetables when compared with conventional crops.

5. GMO-free

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that don’t naturally occur or through traditional crossbreeding. Scientists employ genetic engineering to gain desirable characteristics, like being resistant to pests or being able to tolerate herbicides.

There’s a lot of debate and concern in the food industry concerning genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products that are made from such, but the consensus about it is that it might be bad for the health. While there’s a lack of evidence for its dangers, food safety advocates are concerned that long-term research has not been conducted to confirm their safety to the health of humans.

Food safety advocates believe that GMOs can pose health risks to humans like allergic reactions, immunosuppression, antibiotic resistance, cancer, and loss of nutrition.

6. Safer for the environment

Organic farming practices pose minimal interference to the environment, which helps reduce pollution, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, conserve water, and use less energy. Since harmful chemicals are not utilized in organic farming, there is less pollution in the air, soil, and water. Farming without synthetic pesticides is also better for birds and animals and humans who live close to the farms.

7. Fresher food

Organic produce stand

Organic foods are fresher because it doesn’t contain chemical preservatives that give it longer shelf life. Most organic food products are produced on farms near where it is sold, ensuring its freshness when you eat it on your dining table.

8. Better taste

Lastly, organic foods are tastier because they are given more time to develop and mature. Organic farming allows nature to take its course in producing fruit, and it ensures better-tasting food by keeping the natural mineral and sugar structures of the produce. It’s commonly reported that organic fruits and vegetables taste better than those that are conventionally grown. If you’re looking for organic recipes, you might want to look here https://easylivingmom.com/jazz-up-your-meal-times-with-these-organic-recipes/.