Love Your Heart, Go Organic
Category : Blog
By Chef Lauren Cox, Closer to Your Food
It goes without saying that your heart is a vital organ in your body. The best part is, the heart instinctively works perfectly, without a break, for the rest of our lives. In fact, in the average human lifespan, your heart will beat about 2.5 billion times.Unfortunately, however, heart disease is the number one killer in the US. This accounts for 1 of every 4 deaths and costs the country nearly $1 billion a day. It is easy to see why heart disease is so prevalent. Such causes of heart disease can be having a sedentary lifestyle and eating a poor diet. Many organizations offer tips such as getting more exercise and eating a lower fat diet, but very little light is shed on the benefits of an organic diet and how that specifically benefits your heart. Here are a few reasons why you might want to switch to an organic lifestyle. As they say, “you can pay your farmer now or pay your doctor later.”
Organic fruits and veggies are more nutrient dense. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, but mostly due to better soil practices and the lack of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The collective scientific and medical communities agree that organic produce is exponentially higher in antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as flavonoids, help the body protect cells against damage from free radicals. This is important for a multitude of reasons, but is specifically important for the prevention of heart disease.
Pesticides are Fat Soluble
In short, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides can end up storing in the fatty tissues of animals, including the animals we eat, eventually ending up in our bodies. Again, there is much discord as to how much accumulation of these compounds specifically are harmful, but to me, common sense would dictate that you wouldn’t want any of it building up in your tissues. If you think about some of the common pesticides, they are designed to asphyxiate and stop an insect’s heart simultaneously. With large amounts of pesticides that could build up over time from a non-organic diet and frequent exposure to pollution, you may end up with a fatty liver that doesn’t have the means to help the body eliminate some of these compounds, in effect setting yourself up for a perfect storm of cardiovascular disease.
Here’s The Good News
Organic is becoming more affordable and more common. In most large grocery stores, you are likely going to pay a premium with retail prices, but we suggest getting crafty to get more bang for your buck. We have found that the best way to go about this is by signing up for an organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) basket from your local farm. This way, you are not only eating organic, but also seasonally and locally. Buying in bulk online is a great way to stock your pantry with dry goods as well. I recommend getting in the habit of visiting your local farmer’s market on the weekend and preparing meals for the week to ensure you are getting healthy organic food to help take care of your heart.