A lot of research and development has been taking place in the health sector and one term that keeps popping up is “organic food”. Health conscious people are going for a serious pantry change and stocking up their kitchens with organic produce. The market is witnessing the emergence of organic food stores, both online and offline. If you have ever wondered what the craze is all about, here are some facts regarding organic food.
Organic food refers to produce that is grown without the use of any kind of chemicals. Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, etc. are forbidden. Farm animals are also not allowed to be injected with hormones or antibiotics. Processed foods that use inorganic ingredients during processing are not considered organic. In other words, food that is grown using natural methods and substances is called organic food.
What are the benefits of organic food? Is it a wonder cure for all our health problems? Research seems to suggest that there is no significant leap in the nutrition value of organic produce when compared to conventional produce. However, there is indeed the absence of harmful chemicals and hormones in organic food, which reduces the negative impact on our health. Again, there are studies that claim that the amount of chemicals present in conventionally grown food is so low that there are practically no negative effects. The ultimate review of studies does not reveal anything concrete except of course, for the fact that the organic method of farming is more environmentally friendly.
When it comes to body weight, does organic food play an important role? The 2014 research conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic food has higher amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help get rid of toxins in the body that would otherwise cause cancer, atherosclerosis, premature aging, cell damage, etc. Other studies conducted by the Environmental Health Perspective and PLOS One have shown that the pesticides on conventional produce may increase the BMI of young children. Organic fruits and vegetables have been found to contain 12% more healthy plant compounds such as resveratrol and flavonol, which control appetite and promote the feeling of fullness. This prevents overeating, thereby, not allowing those additional calories add to the body weight.
Once again, there is a catch here. The higher amount of antioxidants in organic produce is attributed not to any specific nutritional characteristic, but to their smaller size. Conventionally grown crops tend to be over-fertilized with nitrogen, increasing their size while the nutritional properties stay the same. Thus, the ratio of calories to antioxidants is high. This does not happen with organic produce. Their nutritional value is proportionate to their size, thus increasing our intake of antioxidants (and other nutrients) per serving.
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