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For the body:
By eating organic and natural foods you limit your exposure and thereby reduce the Artificial Impact these may have on your body:
- Synthetic and man-made insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides used in mainstream crop production.
- Growth hormones and antibiotics used in mainstream livestock and dairy production.
- Genetically modified foods (animal, plant, and hybrid) used throughout.
Organic and Natural food is food the way it was meant to be: free of artificial chemicals and tampering – cared for by Mother Nature!
For the planet and environment:
Without question organic and natural farming is better for the environment. It helps provide a safer, healthier environment for everyone by:
- Keeping groundwater, rivers, lakes, and oceans free of pesticide and chemical fertilizer pollution.
Reducing soil erosion.
- Improving soil quality.
- Increasing the diversity of wildlife on and near farms.
- Providing safer working conditions for farm labourers (via no exposure to dangerous pesticides).
OMEGA – 3 FATTY ACID
Omega – 3 Fatty Acid is a healthy, poly-unsaturated, essential fatty acid. There are 3 types: ALA (α-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (decosahexanoic acid). EPA and DHA are both most prevalently found in fish oil, while ALA is found in plant sources such as flax seed.
Research has shown that a diet high in n-3 Fatty Acids has many significant health benefits. Studies have shown that diets containing n-3 Fatty Acids may significantly decrease risk of Cardiovascular Disease, decrease risk of Heart Attack and Stroke, decrease blood pressure and decrease blood triglyceride levels. They have also been found to be beneficial in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There is currently no RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) for Omega-3. Canada’s Food Guide does, however recommend eating a meal with fish twice a week (and limiting exposure to mercury from certain types of fish –see http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/chem-chim/mercur/index_e.html ), using unsaturated oils when cooking and limiting intake of foods with trans and saturated fats.
Diets high in fibre have been found to tote many health benefits. Fibre is widely known as a digestive aid which increases stool movement and eliminations and helps to relieve the discomfort of constipation. Studies have unanimously shown high fibre diets to have an effect in lessening the risk of heart disease, contributing to lower cholesterol levels and decreasing risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, there is increasing evidence that a high fibre diet has the ability to help control blood sugar. This effect in particular has proven to be very helpful for those living with Diabetes.
Dietary fibre exists in two forms; insoluble and soluble. Both forms have proven health benefits. Insoluble fibre is found in wheat bran and whole grains, the skins of many fruits and vegetables and seeds. Unlike soluble fibre, the insoluble form is a poor absorber of cholesterol, but has an important function as a stool softener because it is able to absorb many times its weight in water.
Soluble fibre is found in foods such as oats, legumes, fruits, barley, brown rice and some green vegetables. Soluble fibre works by breaking down as it passes through the digestive tract and forming a gel that acts to trap substances that are related to high cholesterol. Bound in this gel-like substance, these compounds are no longer able to be absorbed by the body, and are thus carried out of the body through the intestinal tract. Studies have found that people on high fibre diets have lower total cholesterol levels than those who are not.
It is suggested that a healthy adult should consume 26 – 35g of fibre daily (The Canadian Diabetes Association). It is important to include a wide variety of both soluble and insoluble fibres in your diet to incur the maximum benefits.
Calcium is an essential mineral for living organisms. In humans, it is essential for the maintenance of strong and healthy bones and teeth. It also plays a vital role in the function of our musculoskeletal and nervous system. Additionally, calcium helps to manage weight and blood pressure. Vitamin D is useful in aiding in the absorption of calcium.
For the daily calcium requirement please visit Osteoporosis Canada (http://www.osteoporosis.ca/english/About%20Osteoporosis/Nutrition/Calcium%20Requirements/default.asp?s=1) for a table of these values.
Calcium is found in a wide variety of foods. Dairy foods are an excellent source of calcium as in these forms it is easily absorbed by the body. Dairy foods are also often supplemented with vitamin D to help maximize this absorption. Other sources of calcium include vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, meat alternatives such as beans and lentils, boney fish such as salmon and sardines and calcium fortified drinks such as soy beverages and fortified orange juice.
Iron is a mineral that is found in your bloodstream as part of the haemoglobin molecule and is important for good health. People with low iron often easily become tired and/or sick.
The amount of iron recommended in your diet is dependent upon age and gender. For a table of these values please go to http://www.bchealthguide.org/healthfiles/hfile68c.stm. Some people may require more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance; vegetarians, pregnant women, frequent blood donors, endurance athletes and women in post-menopause who take hormone replacement therapy and continue to menstruate.
There are many dietary forms of iron from which to choose. Animal forms of iron (heme iron) offer the most bioavailability, but plant forms (non-heme iron) should not be disregarded, as they too can be a vital source of dietary iron for your body’s needs. Additionally, non-heme forms of iron are better absorbed when eaten along with heme iron.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient and plays a vital role in vision and bone growth, in addition to being a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin A can be found in a wide variety of plant and animal sources. In plants with high amounts of this vitamin it is responsible for their yellow-orange colour. The plant form of vitamin A is referred to as Beta-Carotene, and it is converted into Vitamin A once absorbed into the body.