What Makes Something Organic? Discover the Must-Haves & Must-Nots!
Posted by Nutravita, 13th June 2021
In 2020, organic product sales almost doubled in the UK. But here are the two questions you may have wondered about:
- What makes something organic, exactly? And...
- Which organic products are the most nutritious?
Buckle up, because we’ll aim to answer these questions in today’s blog!
Only Got 30 Seconds?
🌱 Organic products are made of ingredients that have been grown naturally. They should be free from chemicals, GMOs, and other synthetic additives.
🥗 Consuming organic foods and supplements are thought to be more beneficial to your well-being, as well as being more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
Is Organic Food Better? The Benefits of Organic Produce
➡️More Nutrients and Natural Healing Properties
➡️Organic Products Have Lower Nitrate Levels
➡️Contains More Healthy Fats
What Makes Something Organic?
By definition, “organic” refers to the way products are grown or produced.
In order to qualify as being organic, products must be grown or produced in a high-quality environment without any:
What makes something organic will differ somewhat, depending on whether we’re talking about produce, animal products, or non-food products.
Here are the key differences to be aware of:
Natural fertilisers and waste should be used to grow produce organically.
Other methods include crop rotation, biological pest control, and mineral and rock additives.
The most common foods that are produced organically tend to be vegetables, fruits, plants, and grains.
To farm livestock organically requires animals to be raised without the use of growth hormones.
Also, animals are allowed to roam more freely than in non-organic environments.
This one can be simply put:
For products to be labelled as “organic,” at least 95% of their ingredients must be organically grown plants or animals.
Of course, it sounds good. But when you review the facts, is organic food better?
The organic food vs. non-organic debate has been rumbling on for several decades now…
As time goes on, there seems to be a sharp increase in organic supporters, and dwindling numbers in favour of non-organic.
Science shows that going organic and avoiding nasty chemicals can have plenty of health benefits, both physically and mentally.
Here are four reasons why choosing organic products could be worth the higher price when you next go shopping:
Organically-grown crops, vegetables, and fruits are known to be more nutritious. Why?
Well, they have more antioxidants than non-organic products.
Plus, micronutrients such as Vitamin c, Iron, and Zinc are higher in organic foods. These micronutrients support the immune system to function as it should.
Organic foods are allowed to grow in natural conditions, free from harmful chemicals.
Healthy soil is also a vital factor, since the crops can absorb more of the nutrients in the soil.
Nitrate levels are 30% lower in produce that comes from organic farming. They also remain free of pesticides that can be damaging to health.
The lower levels of nitrate and other chemicals may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Namely, kidney, colon, and stomach cancer.
In the case of organic meat and dairy products, they have been found to contain 50% more omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are the kind of healthy, unsaturated fat that your body really needs!
Experts believe organic livestock are richer in omega-3s because of how they’re raised. Being grass-fed and allowed to roam outdoors may help, as well as being free from the stress and hormones of non-organic farming.
As you may well know, organic farming has a lot of benefits for the environment.
The absence of chemicals and pesticides means there is a reduction in air pollution, which can also benefit animals and people living in the area.
Also, the use of natural fertilisers improves soil quality and fertility, and prevents soil erosion. This method also uses less crucial resources like water and energy.
Bee-killing pesticides are just one example of the wide-ranging impact of non-organic farming.
Instead, organic farming promotes the safety of animals, insects, and plants — all of which are essential for local ecosystems.
In the UK, organisations like the Soil Association must certify a product before food or nutrition brands can label them as organic.
As you can see below, we have the Soil Association Organic seal of approval.
We’d recommend that you always make sure food products or supplements have this approval, if you’re keen to choose organic.
There are many kinds of organic products available. Spices, herbs, and fungi grown in the right way can all be advantageous to your health.
Here are five of our top picks!
Turmeric is a colourful yellow spice that’s commonly included in curries and stews (watch out for the yellow-orange stains!)
You can buy turmeric on its own, although it’s also found in foods such as mustard. Delicious AND nutritious.
Benefits of Organic Turmeric:
- May fight inflammation: Studies have shown that turmeric can be more effective in reducing inflammation than medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin. Especially for osteoarthritis.
- May reduce the risk of heart disease: Turmeric helps to regulate blood pressure by improving the function of the endothelium. This is the membrane that covers the insides of the heart and blood vessels.
- May be useful for depression: Lower levels of BDNF are associated with depression. Interestingly, turmeric can be helpful for boosting BDNF levels in the body.
📙 RECOMMENDED READING: Delicious Turmeric Latte Recipe!
Organic Turmeric - 1500mg
Mainly used in Asia, this mushroom is globe-shaped and has a shaggy spine that resembles a lion’s mane!
It’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine and cooking for decades. However, it’s now becoming more popular as a healthy and convenient daily supplement.
Benefits of organic Lion’s Mane:
- A link between Lion’s Mane and mental health? Although human studies are limited, based on studies with mice, the anti-inflammatory effects from Lion’s Mane may reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- May protect against dementia: Mental functions decrease as people grow older because the brain’s ability to create new connections declines. Lion’s Mane is thought to contain compounds that can stimulate brain cells' growth.
- May protect against ulcers: Lion’s Mane extracts can prevent the growth of the bacteria that damage the digestive tract and cause ulcers.
- May assist in managing diabetes symptoms: Taking Lion’s Mane can lower blood sugar levels and help control diabetes symptoms, including reducing nerve pain in the hands and feet
Organic Lion’s Mane with Organic Black Pepper
Found in India, the Middle East, and some parts of Africa, this shrub has been used in medicine for hundreds of years.
Also known as the “Indian ginseng,” this root has been traditionally used to boost energy.
It’s classified as an adaptogen because it has properties that can help with managing stress and anxiety, aside from other benefits including:
Benefits of ashwagandha:
- May reduce stress levels: Ashwagandha reduces the levels of cortisol, the hormones released during times of stress or low blood sugar levels.
- May relieve arthritis pain: Taking ashwagandha may prevent pain signals from moving across the nervous system. It’s been shown to be effective for rheumatoid arthritis.
- May lower cholesterol levels: A study of chronically stressed people who took ashwagandha for 60 days experienced a decrease in LDL (“bad” cholesterol), as well as triglycerides.
- May help symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease: Studies have shown how the herb’s ability to slow brain function loss may have a role to play in neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s.
Organic Ashwagandha - 500mg
This single-celled organism is often called blue-green algae. It’s a type of cyanobacteria and is found in both fresh or saltwater and it’s a nutrient-packed algae that was once popular with the ancient Aztecs.
Benefits of spirulina:
- High in nutrients: Spirulina contains protein, vitamins B1, B2, B3, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium. By the gram, it’s considered one of the most nutritious foods on Earth!
- May aid in weight loss: Low in calories but nutrient-dense, spirulina can help to keep you satiated for longer and has been shown to reduce appetite.
- Good source of antioxidants: Spirulina contains phycocyanin, an antioxidant that fights against free radicals.
- May help with allergic rhinitis: This occurs when the nasal passages are inflamed due to environmental triggers. Because of spirulina’s strong anti-inflammatory properties, it may be able to reduce these allergic symptoms.
Moringa is a tree that’s native to India and Nepal, but now grows in Africa and South America. It’s also known as the “Tree of Life'' because of its numerous health benefits.
Consumed in powder form, this superfood is abundant in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
A Conversation on The Tree of Life - Moringa Oleifera
Benefits of moringa:
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: Moringa is a super source of calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and riboflavin. It also contains vitamin A, E, and magnesium.
- May protect and nourish skin and hair: The seed oil from moringa can protect hair from free radicals. It’s also high in protein that protects skin cells from damage.
- May help with balancing hormones: Moringa can decrease oxidative stress, regulate blood glucose, and increase haemoglobin levels, all of which contribute to hormone balance.
- May battle against harmful bacteria: The antibacterial properties found in moringa may help to fight infections caused by bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
- Improves digestion: Moringa has 30% fibre, which is essential for good digestive health and the prevention of digestive issues.
Organic Moringa - 3000mg
Note: Please consult with your GP if you have any of the conditions or symptoms listed above. The information in this article does not replace medical advice from healthcare professionals.
There are plenty of options for non-food, organic products, including:
Organic products are healthier to consume because they contain more nutrients and are free from:
The organic farming process is also more environmentally-friendly, as it causes less air and soil pollution than non-organic methods.
Four of the most popular organic product types are:
The benefits of organic food far outweigh the disadvantages. But, there is a downside — cost. Organic products tend to be more expensive as it takes longer to grow crops and farm livestock using natural methods.
Plus, organic food doesn’t usually last as long, because there are fewer preservatives and sprays used in the farming process.
Many thanks for stopping by!
After reading the sections above, we hope you feel more sure of what makes something organic and the most nutritious products to research.
Feel like flicking through another article?
Here’s what we recommend from the Nutravita knowledge bank!
📙 READ NEXT: What is Turmeric Good For?
To healthier days, Nutravita
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Co-written by Declan Davey
Declan is a Health & Wellness Copywriter with a professional background as an NHS therapist. His previous roles include work with mental health services and disability charities in London, UK.
**Disclaimer: Nutravita’s blog content is for informational purposes only. It should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical advice or guidance. If you are worried about your health, we recommend that you contact your doctor. Please do not ignore your doctor’s advice because of any information on https://www.nutravita.co.uk/.
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