Now that the summer seems to be finally here, we can all get excited about the lovely summery produce around – especially strawberries and other berries, tomatoes and other lovely salad ingredients.
We all tend to consume more fruit and vegetables as they are cheaper and don’t have to be flown in from far flung countries.
This is brilliant from a health point of view however, I thought I would share some info which I hope you will find interesting..
- Pesticides and heavy metals: In many non organic fruit and veg you will be consuming a high level of undesirable cadmium (a toxic heavy metal) and pesticide residues – see my video below if you have any doubt about the difference between organic and non-organic products. Also a landmark paper in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that organically grown crops contain significant higher levels of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and lower levels of heavy metals and pesticides.
- Antioxidants: Many studies show that a diet rich in antioxidants and polyphenols has a protective effect against many chronic diseases including heart disease, neurodegenerative disease like dementia and certain cancers.
Therefore, switching to organic produce is the equivalent to eating one or two additional portions of fruit and vegetables a day due to the greater nutrient and antioxidant density.
STRONG EVIDENCE: This peer reviewed scientific study from 2014 is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content of organic and non-organic foods ever undertaken. Its findings contrast strikingly with some earlier papers all of which were based on a far smaller body of evidence.
Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert who led the study says: ‘The study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.
To read the full paper as published in the BJN go to : http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF
SO PLEASE ALWAYS WASH THOROUGHLY ALL FRUIT AND VEG BEFORE CONSUMPTION IF YOU DON’T ALREADY DO SO : If you cannot afford to buy organic or are struggling to find organic fruit and veg, please ensure you are at least rinsing it thoroughly in water before consumption. The pesticides can be reduced even more if you spray the produce with white vinegar and leave for a few minutes before you rinse it off. Here is a link to more info:
Article written by Nancy Towers, CNM Dip.
Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist
Member of BANT and registered with the CNHC