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While the benefits of these nutritional differences require further study to be established, it’s what organic foods lack that matters even more.

You might have been confused about the organic label when you first discovered it in the supermarket and then also expressed shock at the higher prices they are sold at. But with mindful eating and long-term health increasingly important to most, organic foods and diets are being chosen by more and more people. And, from what the most recent studies have to say about it, switching to organic foods is the healthy choice today.

What is organic food?

“The word organic refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat,” says Akanksha Mishra, a nutrition and wellness expert. associated with myUpchar. “What you need to know if you plan to consume organically grown food or if you want to grow your own organic food is mainly that the crop should be produced without the use of synthetic substances such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, except those approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). ”

The regulation of organic production in India is established in accordance with the National Organic Production Program (NPOP) of the FSSAI. “No prohibited substance can have been applied to the land for three years before harvest,” says Mishra of other regulations. “Soil fertility and crop nutrient management should be carried out in such a way as to improve soil conditions, minimize soil erosion and prevent contamination of crops, soil or water with elements. nutrients from plants, pathogens or heavy metals. These strict regulations are designed to provide organic food with several advantages, which the most recent studies support.

What is so special about organic?

A study published in Nutrients in January 2020 indicates that while the macronutrient values ​​of organic products – that is, the content of protein, carbohydrates, fat and dietary fiber – hardly show a variation from conventional products, the micronutrient values ​​may differ . Organic crops can have higher concentrations of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Organic dairy products have higher omega-3 fatty acids and organic meat products have improved fatty acid profiles.

While the benefits of these nutritional differences require further study to be established, it’s what organic foods lack that matters even more. The research mentioned above shows that organic foods have low levels of toxic metabolites, including toxic heavy metals like cadmium, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticide residues. It also links the consumption of organic food with reduced exposure to bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Another study in Environmental research In August 2020, four diverse families in the United States followed a normal diet for a week and an organic diet for an additional week, to assess whether their levels of toxic glyphosate were decreasing. Glyphosate (aminomethylphosphonic acid) is a non-selective herbicide that is widely used in non-organic agriculture in the United States and around the world. It is also widely used in India. The study found that in the week that families consumed a purely organic diet, their glyphosate levels dropped by 70%.

The wrong side

Switching to organic foods and a predominantly organic diet can help reduce toxicity in your body. Since antibiotic resistance, increased toxicity, and fertilizer residues can have immense negative effects on your health, it is best to reduce the consumption of foods that increase your risk for diseases that affect your immune system, long-term nervous or reproductive – or cause cancer.

But while the case for choosing organic is strong, there is also a huge downside. Organic farming focuses on improving soil and water quality, preventing pollution, and fosters the development of a self-sustaining cycle of crops and livestock – and all of this without l The use of fertilizers on crops and antibiotics on livestock is rather expensive. And as a result, organic food is more expensive whether you buy it straight from the farm or from the supermarket.

So organic food is healthier, yes, but maybe not yet affordable for everyone. If you still choose to switch to organic food, be sure to check the FSSAI approval or the India Organic brand on the label and only buy seasonal produce.

For more information, read our article on Balanced diet.

The health articles in Firstpost are written by, India’s first and largest resource for verified health information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.


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