Organic foods have gained popularity because of their dual advantages for our health and the environment. So, what sets organic foods apart? They are cultivated using sustainable practices that prioritise reduced chemical usage, yielding natural, nutrient-rich produce with numerous health advantages.
Keep reading to explore how organic foods can improve your overall health and to identify which specific foods we suggest buying organically to maximise their health-boosting benefits.
1.Reduced Exposure to Chemicals
Organic farming techniques restrict the use of synthetic chemicals, resulting in fewer residues in organic foods. Consequently, choosing organic options reduces the intake of toxins, such as pesticides and antibiotics, that our bodies might otherwise ingest.
2. Boosted Nutrient Content
Some studies show that organic foods can be richer in nutrients, containing elevated levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This is a result of using healthier soil and farming methods associated with organic cultivation, which refrains from using chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are typically employed in non-organic farming and can degrade nutritional content. Overall, whilst there isn’t a meaningful difference in the nutritional value of organic and non-organic fruit and vegetables the overall quality of the produce is improved.
3. Free From GMOs
Organic food is notoriously GMO-free, which means that produce grown organically has not been genetically modified in any way. Consumption of GMOs come with a whole host of health disadvantages due to their toxicity and potential to instigate allergic reactions, hence they are better avoided.
4. Lowered Consumption of Synthetic Additives
To be considered completely organic, a food item must not contain any artificial additives, including sweeteners, preservatives, colouring, flavouring, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Steering clear of these synthetic additives is advantageous as they may be associated with various health issues.
5. Better Environmental Impact
Organic farming offers several advantages for both the climate and biodiversity. Some of these benefits include reducing emissions and energy consumption, minimising the risk of soil and water pollution, and effectively capturing and storing more carbon.
The 2023 Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen
The Dirty Dozen comprises 12 fruits and vegetables known for retaining substantial pesticide residues even after washing or peeling. Conversely, The Clean Fifteen includes 15 fruits and vegetables recognised for having minimal pesticide residues.
The 2023 Dirty Dozen
- Kale, collard and mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
- Green beans
The 2023 Clean Fifteen
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melon
- Sweet Potatoes
Overall, organic food may reduce your exposure to pesticides but non-organic produce is just as nutritious for the most part. If you want to incorporate more organic produce into your lifestyle you can begin by making small changes, such as replacing the fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list with their organic counterparts. If buying organic isn’t feasible for you, focus on staying motivated and prioritise consuming a variety of conventional produce over avoiding fresh produce altogether, just wash your plants well before consuming.
Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley
DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC
Email: [email protected]