Organically Eating Your Way to Better Health
Have you ever wondered if your diet was negatively affecting your health? If you are still eating conventional foods, then it very well could be. Organic foods are those that are minimally processed with out artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of food. Conventional foods are those that are grown with the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and synthetic herbicides. Studies conducted over the past five years have found that organic food is better for you; that conventional diets lead to a dangerous accumulation of harmful pesticides in your body; and children are affected up to four times more than adults due to their developing systems.
About four years ago I read an article on the harmful ingredients contained in conventional food. I was blown away when I read that conventional produce is contaminated with over 400 different types of Organophosphorus Pesticides (OP).
OP’s have been linked to medical problems ranging from unexplainable abdominal pain, dizziness, skin irritations, cancer, attention deficit disorder, developmental delays, autism, respiratory problems, behavior disorders, neurological deficits, and birth defects-just to name a few. It is estimated that over 77% of conventional foods contain OP pesticide residue. Organically grown fruits and vegetables show significantly higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts. This higher level of antioxidants is enough to have a sizable impact on your nutrition and overall health.
Dismayed by the fact that my toddler’s diet could be contributing to his health problems, I immediately switched our diet to 100% organic food. My son had a low apgar birth score (physical condition of infant); had been diagnosed with asthma and eczema; and suffered from frequent colds that would often develop into upper respiratory infections. So, I went the extra mile and not only removed all conventional foods from our diet, but also removed all conventional soaps, lotions, and household cleaning products.
The results were, and continue to be, remarkable. My son is no longer on steroids/rescue inhalants; is eczema free; and is literally glowing with health. He averages no more than one or two sick visits to the doctor each year. Those days of stress, doctor visits, time away from work, co pays and prescriptions, have disappeared. I am also reaping the benefits of an organic diet. I have boundless energy, am rarely sick, and have been receiving clean bills of health at each yearly exam.
Still skeptical? The University of Washington, Seattle and Emory University each conducted a study analyzing the effect of conventional diets on children. The studies showed that not only does consumption of organic fruits, vegetables, and juice reduce children’s exposure levels of OP pesticides to below the EPA’s recommended guidelines but also that an organic diet provides a “dramatic and immediate protective effect” against exposure to OP pesticides.
My son and I are walking proof that an organic diet can have “dramatic and immediate benefits” to your overall health. Choosing organic is a decision that can improve the health and quality of life of your entire family. It is never too late to start.
Allison Bynum, A. C. (2003, March 3). Organically Grown Foods Higher In Cancer Fighting Chemicals Than Conventionally Grown Foods. Retrieved November 27, 2007, from www.organicconsumers.org: http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/polyphenolics031203.cfm
Curl, C. L., Fenske, R. A., & Elgethun, K. (2003). Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure of Urban and Suburban Preschool Children With Organic and Conventional Diets. Environmental Health Perspectives , 377-383.
Ecobichon, D. (1996). Toxic Effects of Pesticide. Casarett & Doull's Toxicology, The Basic Science of Poisions. New York: MacMillian.
Lu, C. T. (2005). Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides. Environmental Health Perspective , 260-263.
N.D, W. J. (n.d.). Are Organic Foods Really Healthier For You? Retrieved November 28, 2007, from www. lookawayup.com: http://www.lookawayup.com/free/organic.htm
Owens, D. H. (n.d.). Why Eat Organic Food. Retrieved November 24, 2007, from Cyber parent: http://www.cyperparent.com