Sunday, August 31, 2008

Organic: Is it Good or Bad

Organic Farming was created as a way to preserve a crop's life cycle. In conventional farming the farmers apply chemicals to promote plant growth, spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease and use herbicides to manage the weeds. On the other side of the spectrum organic farming is all natural. Farming use natural fertilizers like manure and compost to feed plants, they use beneficial insects and birds, reproductive disruption or traps to reduce pests, and they rotate crops, turn the soil, hand pick weeds or put down mulch to prevent pesky weeds.

So, why should we eat organic? According to a report by "The Organic Center" organic fruits and vegetables deliver more nutrients per average serving than conventional crops. They contain more protective phytonutrients such as polyphenols and antioxidants pigments. The pesticides that are on most conventional crops linger on the produce in the market but they too small to cause known health problems, yet the effects over extended periods of time have not been studied. Children, infants, pregnant woman, and elderly people may be more vulnerable to these pesticides.

If you're "going green" organic foods can greatly decrease your carbon footprint. Organic farming is both environmentally friendly (reduces the amount of water and soil needed) and it reduces the pollution put into the atmosphere (most pollution that comes from farming comes from the pesticides). Because most organic foods are grown locally, there is less pollution from transport trains and trucks.

Many people complain about the cost of organic foods but in reality there is more work that goes into the food. The growing process is mostly done by hand which means there needs to be more workers ergo higher prices. To keep from damaging you checkbook buy crops when they are in season and try comparison shopping. Organic foods that are in season will have the most nutrients and be of the highest quality. When crops are in season try freezing the extras to that you can enjoy your favorite fruits and veggies all year long.

Make sure to get what you want when you are shopping. Products that are certified as at least 95% organic may display the USDA green and white organic seal. When a product says it is 100% organic there is no synthetic ingredients in it. If something says it is "made with organic ingredients" it has at least 70% organic ingredients and will never have the USDA seal. If the food contains less than 70% organic ingredients it cannot say the word organic on it. Products that have natural ingredients are not the same as products with organic ingredients. Natural means that they were processed not grown with the least amount of chemicals possible.

Remember to always wash your produce before consumption and enjoy your fruits and vegetables.

Sponsored by "The Best of Nature and the Best of Science". One of our specialties is nutritional products all organic Vitamins, Supplements, and Food products.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Improving Health with Functional Foods

Functional foods have unique elements that improve the natural health functioning in your body. You may already eat functional foods if you spread cholesterol reducing margarine on your toast, drink calcium-fortified orange juice, scramble DHA-enhanced eggs, eat cold-water fish, eat whole fruit, or eat vegetables.

Mom use to always say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. She may not have known about functional food but she was headed down the right path.

Natural occurring Functional Foods are separated into: carotenoids, fatty acids, flavonoids, probiotics, phytoestrogens, and soy protein.

Carotenoids: Carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potato all neutralize free radicals that attack cells, and boosts antioxidant defenses. Spinach, kale, collards and eggs it is believed contribute to healthy eyes. Tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit may help with maintaining a healthy prostate.

Fatty Acids: Walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel may help keep the heart, brain and eyes healthy.

Flavonoids: Green tea, chocolate, apples, grapes and onions may keep your heart healthy while it boosts your antioxidant defenses.

Probiotics: Some yogurts and other cultured dairy products may improve your healthy gut and your immune system

Phytoestrogens: Soy beans and soy based foods may help keep bones healthy and may contribute to a healthy menopause.

Soy Protein: soy beans and soy based food may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Sponsored by The “Best of Nature and the Best of Science”. One of our specialties is nutritional products all organic Vitamins, Supplements and Food products.