In my own life, the greatest benefit of organic foods has got to be the taste. The fuller flavor of grass-fed beef and dairy, the richness of cage-free eggs, the texture and sweetness of organic fruit are so much different than I realized they’d be before I started eating organic.
My palette was numb. More than three decades of chemical additives, of too much salt and sugar, of food that was assembly-line raised and churned out to market dulled my sense of taste, smell, and appreciation for food.
The first time I ate grass-fed beef, it seemed as if I’d never tasted beef. I stopped all margarine and hydrogenated oils. I switched to olive, coconut, and avocado oils along with grass-fed butter. A local farm sold the most incredible eggs I’d ever eaten in my life. I’m a lifelong fan of eggs so I can tell you the difference was extreme.
Over the course of a year, I was able to gradually alter my diet to 80% organic.
My skin (which I’ve struggled with my entire life) began to clear up. I didn’t have as many headaches. I stuck to proper portions because I felt more satisfied. I ate better but didn’t have to worry about every ounce I gained or lost. I was more “regular” than I’d ever been and I stopped getting sick all the time with little colds and flus.
The most outstanding benefit of organic food was the fact that I wasn’t tired all the time. I felt good inside and out, I was more focused, and when I slept, it was quality sleep.
I’m telling you my story because I lived the pre-organic lifestyle for most of my adult life. I bought processed foods, I ate garbage from drive-thru restaurants, I consumed late-night snacks because I’d suddenly be starving again just a few hours after dinner. My weight, my skin, and my health suffered for it.
The Science Behind Organic vs Non-Organic
I don’t expect you to take my word for how much better you’ll feel if you incorporate more organic foods in your diet. Newcastle University in the United Kingdom recently released their definitive examination of organic versus non-organic meats and dairy.
For starters, meat and dairy that’s raised certified organic contain 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than commercially-raised cattle. Our diets are shockingly low in omega-3s here in the United States and it’s a common problem around the world.Certified organic meat/dairy contain 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than commercially-raised cattle!Click To Tweet
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function,” explained Chris Seal, Food and Human Nutrition Professor at Newcastle.
In Europe, they need to double their intake of omega-3s and that’s similar to recommendations for those of us in the United States. Professor Seal added, “Getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”
Conjugated linoleic acid in organic milk (another beneficial fatty acid that we don’t get enough of) is 40% higher, as are levels of vitamin E and carotenoids. Another organic food benefit is that you can raise your nutritional intake without raising calories or saturated fat.
Lead author on the Newcastle study, Professor Carlo Leifert, elaborated on their findings. “People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. Outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals produce milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
The one drawback is less iodine in organically-raised cattle. Iodine deficiency is becoming a growing problem around the world. It’s important to eat iodine-rich foods regularly such as sea vegetables, seafood, and eggs.
Previous research confirmed that organic crops and cattle are 60% higher in key antioxidants and have less heavy metals such as cadmium.Research confirmed that organic crops and cattle are 60% higher in key antioxidants! #GoOrganicClick To Tweet
“A switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids,” said Professor Leifert. “The fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.”
Benefits of Organic Foods in Your Daily Life
If you’re concerned about overall cost of organic foods versus non-organic foods, I suggest starting slowly, incorporating key elements of your eating plan at a time.
It took me almost a year to make real progress but now, it’s second nature to buy organic. I started with meat and dairy since it’s a central theme in my own diet. I felt they would have the greatest impact and that turned out to be correct.
You’re going to love how you feel when you start enjoying the benefits of organic food. Small changes, day by day, will help you get to big changes. There’s no time to waste.Small changes, day by day, will help you get to big changes. #MotivationClick To Tweet