Category Archives: Organic Foods

Why We Should Eat More Organic Food

When people hear the words “organic food,” they either roll their eyes or smile in delight. There are critics and proponents on both sides of the organic vs conventional debate, but there are plenty of reasons to start adding more organic foods into your diet.

1. Organic Food is Grown with Natural Pesticides

Contrary to what you may have heard, organic food isn’t necessarily pesticide-free. By law, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of pesticide sprays and powders on their crops.

But what sets organic food apart from conventional produce is that the pesticides must be derived from natural sources.

Many of the pesticides used in organic farming contain natural substances, like lime sulfur, soaps and hydrogen peroxide.

The truth is that pests are going to attack plants regardless of whether it’s a conventional or organic farm. After all, these creatures need to eat, too. But with organic pesticides, these pets are kept at bay or killed using natural sources that are less harmful to the body than synthetic pesticides.

2. Organic Food is Environmentally-Friendly

organic appleOrganic farming takes a more environmentally-friendly approach to growing food than conventional factory farms.

Farmers typically use soil-building practices, like inter-cropping, crop rotations, cover crops, minimum tillage, symbiotic associations and organic fertilizers, to keep soil rich and healthy. These practices encourage soil flora and fauna, and also prevent soil erosion.

Organic farming is also environmentally-friendly at the root level. The spraying of pesticides on conventional farms pollutes the air and the groundwater, but organic farming all but eliminates this problem.

3. Organic Food Cannot be Genetically Modified

Organic standards prohibit the use of GMOs anywhere in the organic system, from growing to processing and handling.

You can rest assured that foods labeled as oganic are not genetically modified.

Scientists are still unsure of the long-term repercussions of GMOs. Their effects on the environment and on the human body are still unknown.

With conventional produce, you have no way of knowing whether the food is genetically modified.

4. Organic Food is More Nutritious

A review of 343 studies found that organic food really is more nutritious. The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that organic crops and foods containing organic crops had higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally-grown foods.

Researchers also found that conventional foods contained higher levels of cadmium and residual pesticides. Cadmium, a metal, is also found in cigarette smoke, and can damage both the kidneys and the liver.

Scientists believe that organic crops may produce more natural toxins and antioxidants to fight against environmental threats and insects.

5. Pasture-Raised Meat is Healthier

Pasture fed cowsPasture-raised meat may not technically be an “organic food,” but it’s a food that health-conscious people try to incorporate into their diets.

Generally, pasture-raised meats are more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. Most factory farm animals are kept in confined spaces and rarely see the light of day. These animals are pumped with hormones and antibiotics to fatten them up and prevent illness. To top it off, these animals are fed an unnatural diet for the sake of keeping costs low.

We all know how unhealthy humans get from not moving around enough, not getting enough sunlight and not eating an appropriate diet. Animals also become unhealthy when they adopt this type of lifestyle.

An unhealthy animal produces unhealthy meat. That’s why pasture-raised meats are more nutritious. The animals are free to roam the pasture and eat what they would in the wild.

What are your reasons for eating organic food? Let us know!

Organic Foods for People On the Go

You want to eat organic, and you want to be able to eat on-the-go. If this sounds like you, there’s good news: you can eat organic even if you’re super active and have little time to spare for yourself.

The best organic foods for people on-the-go include:

1. Berries

Berries are packed with flavor, vitamins and minerals. Some of our favorite snacks include berries, and since you can pick them up and eat them without cooking them, they’re a great healthy snack to have in your home.

But berries are also part of the dirty dozen.

What this means is that they’re riddled with pesticides and are often GMO, so you’ll always want to go with organic berries if you want to stay away from these harmful pesticides. The berries that people like most include:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

Darker hues often contain the most nutritional benefits. You’ll also find that berries are often considered a super food because they’re very high in antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage.

2. Bananas

Organic bananas are delicious. The sweet taste is accompanied by ease of digestion and a quick jolt of energy that can fuel your workout. The great thing is that bananas provide energy for up to two hours, so you’ll often find athletes eating a banana before their big game.

Filled with potassium, bananas will also work to fight off those dreaded muscle cramps you hate so much.

If you plan on going for a run or engage in rigorous rowing sessions like we do, a banana is a great treat that can be brought with you on-the-go.

3. Chia Seeds

chia seedsI’m not a huge advocate of most seeds because they leave me hungrier than if I didn’t eat them. Although tasty, most seeds don’t make it into my daily routine. But, Chia seeds are different. This seed is filled with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals.

Athletes benefit from eating chia seeds because they absorb 12 times their weight in water.

Since the seeds absorb so much water, they allow an athlete to remain hydrated even after a long session on the field. If you’re not a fan of eating the seeds raw, you have the option of grinding them up and placing them in water.

You have no reason to skip your daily dose of chia seeds if you mix it into your water.

4. Fruits

Fruits of all kinds can be brought with you on-the-go and eaten at your leisure. A few fruits that are easy to eat and stay fresh in a bag or on their own include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Mangos
  • Papaya

If you can pick it up, rinse it off and bite into it, it’s a good fruit for on-the-go eating. Just remember that you have a lot of options at your disposal.

The goal of on-the-go eating as an active and healthy person is picking foods that can be picked up and eaten as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If a lot of effort needs to go into your food, it’s not a good choice if you have a hectic schedule.

The Benefits of Eating Kale

Kale tops the list when it comes to nutritious greens, but for decades, this vegetable was used primarily for decoration in buffets and restaurants. In fact, there are still many chefs who say kale is only good for making other food look pretty.

But this hardy green vegetable packs a ton of nutrtion into a tiny package.

If you’ve yet to include this vegetable in your diet, you’re missing out on essential nutrients that can improve your health.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating kale:

1. Kale is a Natural Detoxifier

Like other leafy green vegetables, kale has natural detoxification properties thanks to its high levels of sulfur and fiber. Both of these nutrients support liver function, your body’s natural detox system.

A good-functioning liver will keep your metabolism running smoothly and filter out toxins.

2. Kale Helps Boost the Immune System

Kale contains high levels of vitamin C, which helps support and strengthen the immune system. Along with vitamin C, this vegetable contains sulforaphane, which nourishes the immune system.

Sulforaphane also helps control your body’s metabolism and hydration while improving your complexion.

3. Kale is High in Vitamin K

Vitamin K is considered a cancer-fighter, but it also helps keep the bones strong. This essential vitamin plays an integral role in the blood clotting process, so lack of it may prevent clotting and can lead to death.

4. Kale Helps Strengthen Bones

Along with vitamin K, kale also contains a fair amount of calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth.

In fact, kale has more calcium in it than milk.

kale smoothie

5. Kale Boosts Heart Health

Like many other green vegetables, kale helps support heart function and the entire cardiovascular system.

This leafy green helps lower bad cholesterol levels and is rich in potassium, which may help prevent heart disease.

6. Kale is Rich in Fiber and Fat-Free

We all could benefit from more fiber in our diets, and kale delivers on that need without adding any extra fat to your meal. While healthy fats are still an essential component of optimal health, kale prevents you from overdoing it.

7. Kale is Anti-Inflammatory

Most health experts will tell you that the biggest benefit to eating kale is that it contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Kale has slightly more omega-3s than omega-6s, which helps reduce inflammation.

8. Kale Boost Infant Brain Development in the Womb

Consuming a diet rich in kale can help improve an infant’s brain development while in the womb, and that’s thanks to its high levels of folate.

Kale can help ensure that the baby is born at a healthy weight, that the face and heart are properly developed, and healthy neural tube formation occurs.

9. Kale May Help Prevent Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, the glucosinolates in kale can help prevent cancer. Glucosinolates contain sulfur compounds that help prevent cancer cell growth after they’re broken down during digestion.

These compounds are known as thlocyanates, Indoles and Isothiocyanates.

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and known as one of the top superfoods available. If you haven’t already, start adding this leafy green to your diet to improve your health.