Obviously, the path to an organic diet is a much better way to a healthier lifestyle. But most people today are finding ways to justify their consumption of conventional food, which most likely has undergone multiple series of processes that remove most of the food’s nutritional benefits. So, we’ve compiled 10 health benefits of organic foods versus processed foods. Organic food is often perceived as not something you could enjoy the taste but that is quite the opposite. Health-conscious consumers are now choosing organic versus non-organic foods.
The debate about organic and conventional food has been going on for ages. Organic food is a healthier option, as it does not contain additives or artificial preservatives, and human health is the first priority when producing them. However, some people argue that eating organic produce harms the environment as more land is required to grow organic foods.
In all honesty, going against the organic production of foods may do more harm than good. Conventional food production involves multiple processes that require the use of machines, fuel, and plastics. The machinery used for processing foods releases chemicals that can be harmful to our environment. Aside from that, the plastics used to package non-organic foods takes hundred of years before deteriorating.
Now if these reasons do not convince you to switch to organic products, we have more facts to show.
Organic foods vs processed foods: what’s the difference?
Organic and processed foods may sound like they’re the same thing. But these two food types are fundamentally different in terms of how they’re made — organic foods are more natural and free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), artificial flavors, and preservatives, while processed foods have been chemically altered to improve taste, texture, appearance, and nutritional value.
Conventional and organic foods both contain nutrients but there are a number of reasons why organic may win over non-organic food. Whichever you are consuming right now, whether it’s organic or conventional, you need to be knowledgeable about what your food contains. For that, we need to understand first what is organic and non-organic food.
What is Organic Food?
Organic or natural food is grown or produced without using artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals. Some farmers produce organic products through organic farming practices, where the soil maintains fertility and health while protecting diversity and water resources.
One of the reasons why organic food is slightly more expensive than conventional food is certified organic foods went through the standard organic certification before getting an organic label. Farms need to pass the guidelines for the organic certification program. Organic foods can have different levels of organic content. Organic foods need to have at least 70% organic content before the organic label can be used. To set up an organic certification for a farm, they first need to meet the basic requirements.
Organic foods are cooked in their purest form without any additives or preservatives. It is considered healthier than conventional alternatives as they lack harmful chemicals and most of their nutrients are retained when cooked or served. The benefits of organic food consumption are definitely worth it.
What is Processed Food?
As the name implies, processed food has gone through different processes to modify, enhance or preserve its flavor, texture, or shelf life. This food comes packed, canned, or frozen. Think of cured meat or mixed vegetables in a can. Think about salted eggs or dried fruits. These foods were already processed. They could have been flavored with salt or sugar.
A lot of problems that come with processed food are health risks like weight gain. Some problems arise with the produced food with unsafe food manufacturing practices. The food loses its nutritional value and some even lead to the growth of bacteria and food poisoning.
The difference between organic and organic food lies in the content of the raw form of the food. Processed meats and canned goods have loads of extenders in them, unlike foods that are labeled as organic.
10 Health Benefits of Organic Foods versus Processed Foods
While you might think it’s hard to choose between the two, organic foods offer several significant health benefits over those labeled “processed.” Here are 10 health benefits of organic foods:
Organic Foods Does Not Contain Toxins
Organic foods are those that are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other artificial chemicals. they are as raw as harvested.
A lot of illnesses arise from toxins and chemicals found in food. Digestive problems are a few of the harmful effects when non-organic food is eaten regularly. Other illnesses one can obtain from food produced inorganically are skin allergies and chemical burns. And long-term effects of conventionally grown food are cancer or birth defects.
Food is better when harvested, prepared, and served still packed with the vitamins and minerals found in organic foods.
Organic Foods Protect the Environment
Is organic food really better for the environment? Organic foods are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, which can protect the environment. Organic farming practices also help to conserve water and promote soil health, further protecting our natural resources.
Here are what farmers use as guidelines for the organic production of food:
- Crop rotation
- Biological pest control
- Using crop residues, green and animal manures to fertilize plants
- Mechanical weed control
Another study found that organic farming practices can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is significant because climate change is a major threat to human health and the environment. Overall, there are a number of good reasons to consider the consumption of organic food. By knowing how organic fruits and vegetables are produced, food consumption feels safer.
Organic Foods are Rich in Antioxidants
Organic foods are rich in antioxidants, which have been linked to lower risks of some chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants may also help reduce the risk of other chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis.
You can find antioxidants in many fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits and vegetables are grown organically. And unlike inorganic food, organically grown fruits and vegetables are often richer in antioxidation properties. This is because harmful chemicals are not present in foods labeled organic. These properties help in fighting free radicals that damage the cells and result in cancer.
Indeed, choosing organic foods is safer or healthier than conventional foods.
Organic Foods Reduce your Exposure to Hormones and Antibiotics
Meat can also be produced organically. If you want to include meat in your organic diet, you have to find organic chickens or cows that were raised within an environment that aids them to live with their natural instincts. These organic meat are livestock that was not administered with drugs. antibiotics, or hormones.
These traditional farming methods which involve the use of antibiotics in cattle are concerning since overuse of this kind of medicine is bad. The health risk posed by doing this in conventional farms creates bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Studies found organic foods safer or healthier because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are found at higher levels in conventional meat products.
Some of these hormones or antibiotics can be harmful. Find meats that were fed organic feeds. This way you minimize your exposure to bacteria and harmful drugs fed onto livestock.
Going Organic Improves Your Cardio Health
One of the health benefits of eating organic food is boosting cardiovascular health. Try buying organic crops that contain higher levels of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds. Adding organic food to the diet can protect against heart disease, while pesticide residues in conventional produce are classified as endocrine disruptors. When we talk about the safety of organic foods, it also means safe for the heart.
Organic food may help one lose weight and lead a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
Organic Foods Support Local Farmers
Go to your nearest farmer’s market and buy tons of local foods! The more locally-grown food people eat, the better the quality and nutritional value of their diets. This enhances their health, contributes to better overall public health, and may reduce costs, giving them more money to spend on even more organic food. In short, eating locally is great for consumers, farmers, and the environment.
Organic Food Reduces Possible Hazards of GMO Exposure
Continuous intake of organic foods means reducing your exposure to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.
Organic Food Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Organic Food Lowers the Risk of Cancer is a lesser-known fact. Organic farmers typically use more low-tillage and high-residue methods to preserve soil health and reduce erosion, as well as lessen water use which also means less runoff that could contaminate local water sources.
When you eat only organic foods often, it lessens the chemical residue your body may absorb. Organic foods can lead to increase chances of lowering cancer risk.
Organic Food Has Better Flavor and Appearance
Gorgeous, delicious, and healthy food is the result of organic farming. Organic food tastes better and is good for your health helping you feel good inside and out. The better taste of organic versus conventional food is a result of it being cultivated in nutrient-rich soil, producing a much-defined taste.
Food grown organically is brighter and more vibrant. And you can even smell the natural aroma produced by esters in organic food, within its natural composition.
Eating organic is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family.
Organic Diet Improves Overall Health
A lot of people these days are interested in consuming organic food for various reasons. Some people believe that organic food is more nutritious, while others think that it is better for the environment. There is actually a fair amount of evidence to support both of these claims.
Eating organic is so much better for your overall health than eating non-organic food. In fact, studies have shown that eating organic foods can improve your health in several ways including lowering cancer risk and reducing allergies.
What’s Next to This?
There may be more benefits that we might not have tackled but the health outcomes associated with organic food consumption are good ones. There is a current increase in the demand for organic food production, and more consumers might prefer organic over conventional foods. Organic food sales might shoot up in 2023 and the coming years after that.
What you eat on a daily basis is a reflection of your lifestyle. Finding organic food within your budget is easier if you start with the basic organic ingredients you can find in the whole foods section of your local grocery store. Slowly add organic food to your diet, like organic eggs or organic milk, building up levels of organic consumption or wherever you’re comfortable.
Being a vegetarian or a vegan can make you start your own garden to produce your own organic food. So you should read more about sustainable gardening ideas to start your home gardening journey! Either you want a growing microgreen indoors, or an indoor herb garden for your future vegan recipes!
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