Organic Food Nutrition
May 27th, 2014 by

Organic Food Nutrition

 

As Americans become more and more savvy about natural ways to boost health and wellness, the organic food industry is enjoying unprecedented growth.

 

According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation there are more than 11,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. today compared to 2500 in 1999. 

 

About 70 percent of Americans buy organic food occasionally and nearly one quarter buy it every week, according to a recent survey conducted by the Hartman Group. 

 

While some buy organic to support its environmentally friendly practices, most are trying to cut their exposure to chemicals in the foods they eat.

 

Studies have linked pesticides in our food to a host of health problems including headaches, miscarriage, birth defects, nervous system disorders and asthma.

 

According to the National Academy of Sciences, chemical pesticides have the potential to cause an additional 1.4 million cases of cancer in this generation of Americans.

 

Who knows how much that will cost in tears and suffering, notwithstanding the potential bill to the nation's taxpayers under Obamacare?

 

Organic Nutritional Advantages

 A study conducted at Rutgers University concluded that, on average, organically grown foods have an 87 percent higher concentration of magnesium, potassium, iron and copper. Organic tomatoes were found to yield 500 percent more calcium than conventionally produced tomatoes.

 

To classify a food as organic, it must have been grown without the use of harmful synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers and must be produced on a farmland that has been free of such chemicals for at least three years.

 

Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has been proven to increase the nutrients in produce, resulting in foods with higher levels of vitamins and minerals.

 

 

Higher Costs Explained

 Organic foods generally cost more but they can be well worth the extra money, considering the higher nutritional values they deliver.

 

Another cost factor: Organic farmers don't receive federal subsidies like traditional farmers; therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true costs of growing and delivering.

 

Organic farms also tend to be smaller and more labor intensive. (Bear in mind that the price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups that we pay for through our tax dollars.)

 

 

Tasting the Organic Difference

 Locally grown organic food is said to be superior in terms of taste and freshness by enthusiastically loyal consumers who disdain the commercially grown crops in the markets.

 

Considering that most U.S. grown produce is picked up four to seven days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped from an average distance of 1500 miles before being sold, certainly the quality of taste can suffer.

 

And since much of the produce available in supermarket chains is imported from Mexico, Asia, Canada, South America and other countries, the time from harvest to market is greatly extended even longer, costing nutritional value as well as taste.

 

 

The Bigger Cause

 In addition to providing superior nutritional benefits to humans, organic foods are also better for the health of Mother Nature. 

 

Organic foods promote sustainability by establishing an ecological balance to prevent problems with soil fertility such as those prevalent in most soil used by mega farms.

 

Additionally, from a long term perspective, organic farms actually conserve energy and further protect the environment by maintaining ecological harmony in a truly local sense of the word.

 

 

Support Your Local Grower

 You are encouraged to do some research to find out where you can find locally grown produce in your area. It makes good table sense to eat seasonably and by doing so, supporting your local organic farmers market on a year-round basis. 

 

Buying from your local farmers market, produce or fruit stand also has the added benefit of contributing much-needed dollars to the local economy, as well as providing you and your family an opportunity to make new friends.

 

While today's down economy is putting a damper on organic food sales growth, it only serves us better to know that local farmers markets and independent growers provide us with a thrifty and healthy alternative to the commercial organics currently sold in supermarkets.

 

And considering the fact these fresh local products can cost you so much less, you best be putting local organic farmers and growers on your grocery to-do list today!

 

David Flores is a natural health researcher for Institute for Vibrant Living, a leading source for all-natural supplements, vitamins, and minerals for many health and nutrition challenges.  To learn more about the products offered by the Institute for Vibrant Living visit http://www.ivlproducts.com

 

If you found this helpful you might like to visit http://www.theivl.org where you'll find more free healthy living articles to help improve your health today.

 

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Will Fasting Hurt My Weight Loss Efforts
Apr 24th, 2014 by

Will Fasting Hurt My Weight Loss Efforts
Today's question comes from a reader who has started on the road to fitness, by employing a number of different strategies to make it happen. So far, he is down 12 pounds, which is a fine start.

He is exercising a minimum of five days a week and tries to do something every day. This is perfectly fine, so long as you don't do something strenuous every day. Many people walk every day, for instance, and don't even really consider that part of their exercise program. They count what they do, other than walking, as exercise, like lifting weights, doing bodyweight exercises and so on.

He also has made significant changes in what he eats, eliminating almost all packaged food and going with protein, fruit and vegetables. He still eats a couple of Snickers bars and a bag of pork rinds a week, which isn't good for you, but let's remember that he has lost twelve pounds in five weeks.

He heard about what is called "intermittent fasting," and wanted to know if it's helpful, or harmful.

Now, before I tell you what I think, let me tell you that this is a very controversial idea in the fitness community, where the sentiment runs heavily against the idea. All the trainers, diet experts and nutritionists are heavily invested in regular meals, on some kind of schedule, and they have a whole laundry list of reasons why this approach won't work, or is harmful...and won't work.

They will tell you that you'll lose muscle tone, strength, energy... and that your body will go on the fritz quickly, which can only be remedied by eating the way they tell you.

By the way..."intermittent fasting" means that you abstain from food for one or two days a week. (So this definitely is not for everyone.)

So let's boil it down for Bubba.

Will it hurt you, or help you?

It certainly won't hurt you...provided that you're in pretty good shape...with no serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on. You could probably do it, even with those problems, but you definitely need to see your doctor first and get the okay. (This is common sense, but....)

Will it help?

Last week, I talked about the first rule of weight loss, which simply put is: In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you are taking in at present. I used the 3000 calories a day figure, dropping the number to 2500, and multiplying out the number over a year.

So lets apply this to fasting, using one day a week. Let's assume you have already dropped your 3000 calories a day to 2500 calories a day and you've been doing this for a while...with no ill effects... and you're losing weight. Your net drop in calories is 3500 calories a week. Now with a fast (for 24 hours), you are dropping another 2500. That's upping the ante to 6000 calories a week. This certainly should speed up your weight loss, provided that you do not overcompensate when you break your fast (ie.,eating over 2500 calories).

Will you lose muscle tone? Will your energy level go down?

No. Tests have shown that none of the things the fitness community claims will happen...actually do happen. It's just another in the long list of "Gym myths," which are too numerous to count.

Dr. Bill is an orthopaedic surgeon and author. He recommends this pharmaceutical grade fish oil for more energy, reduced joint pain and increased heart health.

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