Over the past 100 years, the very nature of food has been transformed. It used to be that a “whole food diet” – meaning that the foods eaten have not been processed in any way – was the only option. Today, the vast majority of the foods eaten have been processed, with nutrients taken out and various additives, flavorings, colors, preservatives, texturizers, fillers and binders added.
Just as importantly, almost all of the “unprocessed foods” sold in supermarkets today have been sprayed with various types of chemicals: herbicides, pesticides, artificial fertilizers, ripening retardants or enhancers, etc. While these chemicals may make vegetables last longer on store shelves, or make fruits more brightly colored, or prevent fruit from ripening before traveling thousands of miles to a store shelf, they also take a toll on the nutritional value of foods.
Fruits and vegetables grown in soil that has not had chemicals applied to hit, and that have not had chemicals sprayed on them, now get a special label: “organic.” Now research conducted in Europe suggests that organic food may help to lose weight, to improve immune function, and to enhance sleep.
The study monitored the health and activity levels of rats fed a diet of either conventionally grown vegetables and oil (meaning that chemicals were used in growing the food), or organically grown vegetables and oil. The results showed that, even when the level of nutrients in the two types of food were equivalent, the rats fed the organic food gained less body fat while eating the same amount of fat in their diet.
Even more interesting, the conventional and organic diets were exactly the same in vitamin E content. However, the level of vitamin E actually found in the cells of the rats was significantly higher in the organically fed rats. Something about the use of chemicals in growing vegetables was inhibiting the ability to utilize the vitamin in the body of the animal.
When visiting one of the physicians at Nature Cures Clinic, a thorough assessment of an individual’s diet is a cornerstone of a comprehensive treatment plan. One component of the dietary recommendations is the suggestion to switch to organically grown fruits, vegetables and animal products whenever possible.
If you would like to know how a diet of organic foods best fits into a treatment plan specifically designed to meet your own health goals, visit our New Appointment Page to request a preferred time. Our clinic will call you to set up your visit and answer any questions you may have.
Eating organic food is not a cure-all for health problems, but it is an important first step. Here in Portland, the farmer’s markets are starting up again. This is a great time to visit them and to actually meet the people that are growing the food you eat. You not only benefit yourself, but you benefit the local economy.