Is there really any difference in nutritional content between conventional fruits and vegetables and organic foods? In short, “yes”. Though early studies comparing nutrient content found little difference between conventional and organic foods, more recent reveals that in most head to head comparisons between conventional and organic foods that organic foods have higher nutrient values. So says a scientific review “New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods”. So here’s what you need to know about organic anti aging nutrition.
This review revealed that in 61% of the matched pairs studied that organic foods were nutritionally superior in nutrient content, while in 37% of the matched pairs conventional foods were superior. There was no difference in 2% of the matched pairs.
Since 2000 the number of studies comparing conventional and organic foods has doubled. Earlier studies simply focused on mineral and vitamin content, but more recent studies include measures for minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and antioxidant capacity. In addition, earlier studies suffered from poor study design.
Differences in Nitrogen
One of the reasons for the differences between conventional and organic foods is the type of nitrogen used in the farming methods. Conventional farms use synthetic nitrogen, which is rapidly absorbed by the plants, while organic farming uses a complex nitrogen matrix, which is more slowly absorbed by plants. This difference in absorption rates influences how fast plants grow and the nutrients produced and passed onto their fruit.
The difference between the 2 types of nitrogen products used is similar to the difference in sugar from a candy bar and sugar from a piece of fruit. Sugar from candy gets rapidly absorbed causing a spike in insulin levels (not desirable), while sugar from a piece of fruit is slowly absorbed as it takes time to digest the fruit. Sugar from candy causes quick energy, but it is short-lived. Sugar from fruit provides a more steady supply of energy better meeting the energy needs of the individual.
Excess Vegetative Growth with Conventional Farming
Something similar happens between synthetic nitrogen and a complex nitrogen complex. Synthetic nitrogen used in conventional farming causes a spike in vegetative growth. What happens is that conventionally grown plants receive too much nitrogen which disrupts the normal balance of nutrients leading plants to produce more sugar, fats, and sometimes protein. Conventional foods are also high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are derived from sugars. But, all of this comes as the expense of the other nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C helps plants fight pests and climate extremes. With conventional foods these nutrient deficiencies are then passed on to fruit when the plant transitions from vegetative growth to reproductive (fruit) growth.
In a sense food grown conventionally almost grows too fast with excessive vegetative growth limiting nutrients available for reproductive or fruit growth. And, that’s not good for your health.
Pesticides are used by conventional growers which places a load on the human body to metabolize and eliminate from the body. Though the pesticide residues on most products do not exceed government regulations, the accumulative effects of these residues are not healthy. Organically grown food contains fewer pesticide residues.
Taste is subjective, but many people feel that organic foods are tastier than conventionally grown foods.
Cost and other Considerations
Organic anti aging foods cost more because farming practices are more expensive, crop yields are lower and more stringent government regulation. Organic foods may spoil faster since they are not treated with preservative or waxes. A few inconveniences to most who value their health.
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