How to Choose Healthy Organic Vegetables and Fruits?
Choosing Organic Vegetables and Fruits for Babies and During Pregnancy. For babies, a purely organic diet can be very beneficial when beginning to eat solid food. Babies have weak immune systems and need to have pure and safe foods when they begin to eat. Organic vegetables have more flavor so your little one will be able to taste the real flavors in his or her food. Eating fruit and vegetables helps you to stay healthy, but it is especially important during pregnancy. By eating organic vegetables and fruit during pregnancy you are exposing your new baby to fewer toxins.
How Big is a Vegetables and Fruits Portion?
80g (or a small handful) of vegetables (raw, cooked, fresh, or frozen but not potatoes)One apple, pear, orange, banana, or other fruit of a similar size.2 or 3 smaller fruits such as apricots or plums.A small bunch of grapes, a handful of cherries, or half a punnet of raspberries or other berries.A glass of fruit juice (although however many glasses you have it will only count once.)
Chemicals Found in Non-Organic Food. Organic food which is certified as being organic has had no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. None of the organic vegetables will have genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for which the risks are still unknown. Cox’s apples could be sprayed up to 16 times with a total of 36 different chemicals. This is according to a 1998 government report. It is said that there is no cause for concern for our health. Organic vegetables and fruits contain almost no residues so to act on the safe side, it may be best to choose organic for children. Some people still think that washing their apples before eating will remove any chemicals, but sadly this is not the case. It will remove some of the chemicals but certainly not eliminate them as much has already been absorbed into the skin. Nutrients Found in Organic Food Much research has been done to show that organic vegetables and fruits are far superior in vitamins minerals and nutrients. Organic vegetables and fruit are especially higher in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Chromium is a micronutrient that is low in the diets of Western people. Its deficiency is associated with the onset of adult diabetes and also atherosclerosis (which is the hardening of the arteries). Chromium was found to be higher in organic foods by an average of 78%.
Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient that protects from damage by environmental chemicals. It is protective against cancers and heart disease. In research, it is an average of 390% higher in organic foods.
Boron, which has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis (along with calcium), averaged 70% more.
Lithium, which is used to treat certain types of depression, was 188% higher.
Look for the USDA Organic Seal:
The first step in choosing organic produce is to look for the USDA Organic seal. This seal guarantees that the vegetables or fruits have been grown and processed according to strict organic standards. It ensures that the produce is free from synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and harmful chemicals. The USDA Organic seal is a reliable indicator of the authenticity and integrity of organic produce.
Consider Local and Seasonal Options:
Opting for local and seasonal organic vegetables and fruits can be beneficial in several ways. Locally grown produce is often fresher since it spends less time in transit, preserving its nutritional content. Seasonal produce is more likely to be picked at its peak ripeness, offering superior taste and nutrient density. Local and seasonal options also support local farmers and reduce the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation.
Assess the Quality:
When selecting organic vegetables and fruits, it’s essential to assess their quality. Look for produce that appears fresh, vibrant, and free from blemishes or signs of spoilage. Fresh organic produce typically has a firm texture and a lively color that reflects its vitality. Avoid items that are wilted, bruised, or have moldy patches, as these can indicate a decline in quality.
Consider the Source:
Understanding the source of your organic produce is crucial. If possible, inquire about the farm or supplier from which the vegetables and fruits originate. Research their farming practices, such as soil management techniques, pest control methods, and use of natural fertilizers. Farms that prioritize sustainable and regenerative farming practices contribute to the overall health of the environment and offer produce with enhanced nutritional value.
Diversify your selection by embracing a wide variety of organic vegetables and fruits. Different types of produce offer a range of nutrients and health benefits. Incorporate leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, colorful berries, citrus fruits, and other options into your diet. By embracing variety, you ensure that you receive a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for optimal health.
Take Note of Packaging:
Consider the packaging of organic produce as well. Opt for minimal packaging or choose products that use eco-friendly packaging materials. This reduces waste and contributes to a more sustainable approach to food consumption. Look for options with recyclable or compostable packaging, or consider purchasing produce from local farmers’ markets or bulk stores that promote package-free shopping.
Farmers’ Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):
Exploring farmers’ markets or participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs can be excellent ways to obtain fresh, locally-grown organic produce. These platforms often provide opportunities to directly connect with farmers, ask questions about their farming practices, and learn more about the products they offer. Supporting local farmers not only helps sustain local agriculture but also allows you to forge a deeper connection to your food.
Choosing healthy organic vegetables and fruits involves a combination of factors such as seeking the USDA Organic seal, considering local and seasonal options, assessing quality, understanding the source, embracing variety, being mindful of packaging, and exploring farmers’ markets or CSA programs. By following these guidelines, you can make informed choices that prioritize your health, support sustainable agriculture, and contribute to a greener and healthier life.