Eating Organically… Tips From the Nurse

This month’s patient profile discusses the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. Another thing that you can do to help with your overall health is to eat organic foods. There are several compelling reasons for eating organic foods and using them whenever you can. Eating organic foods gives an added value to a healthy and balanced diet. Often, the flavor is much better. Good, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables are juicy and full-flavored, and once you’ve experienced the sweet intensity of fresh, organic foods, non-organic food seems insipid and bland. Of course, there are no guarantees. Not every organic item will give you a burst of flavorful pleasure, but if you shop carefully, buy only the freshest foods, and seek out quality, you will not be disappointed.

One of the greatest advantages of organic foods is that pesticides are not used to produce them. Non-organic fruit and vegetables are covered in pesticides and although washing your fruits and vegetables may help to reduce the amount that you consume, it is impossible to remove all pesticides from non-organic produce. Pesticide residues turn up, not just on fruit and vegetables but in bread, baby food and other products. The government claims that there are no health risks from these pesticide traces, but would you not rather feed yourself and your family foods that are pesticide free?

Perhaps one of the prime advantages of organic food is that it is pure food. Nothing more. Nothing less. Forget hydrogenated fats, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives —none of the additives lurking in processed and fast food are permitted in organic foods. There are no residual antibiotics, growth hormones or BSE in organic meat, and no pesticides in organic milk. If you want a diet based on natural food that has not been tampered with—think organic. Organic food can be more nutritious, richer in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids than non-organic. And do not forget the feel good factor. One of the greatest advantages of organic foods is that buying and eating them is a real, guilt-free pleasure. Do not feel that you must buy organic everything. Even switching to a few organic regulars makes a difference. Try organic milk, cheese, pasta, chicken, and bananas. Take it slowly. Pick up one or two organic items every time you shop. Try different brands, and once a week, buy something new to try. You’ll soon find your favorites.