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Benefits of organic food

Benefits of organic food

In today’s era of processed and packaged food, every health-conscious person is well aware of what organic food is and how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

And, for all those who still haven’t heard, foods that are grown pesticide- and chemical-free to certain standards can be labelled as organic food. Food made using organic ingredients can also fall into this category. That’s the layman’s explanation, though it’s a pretty deep topic.

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Now that you know the definition of organic food, understanding its benefits can’t be that hard. People are returning to all-natural products and foods, because conventionally-grown food is thought to be the reason for the many health issues we experience today.

How can I tell whether a food is organic?

If you are buying packaged organic food, then it will say on the packaging that it is “organic” or “100% organic.” These are labels overseen by the USDA. Producers are allowed to use those labels so long as they adhere to the rules and regulations of that governing body.

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Even if you are buying fruits and vegetables from the produce section of a grocery store, the foods that are organic should be labelled as such. You can also tell by verifying the PLU sticker on the produce.

What are the benefits of organic food?

There are so many benefits of producing, raising and consuming organic food, some of which are:

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  • Organic farming is better for the environment, as it does not cause contamination with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilisers
  • Packaged organic food and organic produce are sometimes more locally produced, because they contain no synthetic preservatives and may not keep on the shelves as long.
  • Animals raised organically are not given antibiotics, which makes them far healthier sources of protein.
  • Organic food is free from any genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the US, buying organic is the only easy way to know that your food does not contain GMOs, as there are no labelling standards for GMOs here.

Is organic food affordable?

Well, to be honest, if you are planning to switch to organic food, then be prepared to spend money. Organic food is expensive not because it is trendy or healthy but because it is expensive to grow.

Organic farms are often small, and the cost of maintaining them and producing food is expensive. This is especially true of organically-raised meats. However, there are ways to be a savvy shopper and get the best deals on organic foods.

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What are the easiest ways to purchase organic food?

  • The best and easiest way will be if you have any organic farm in your immediate area, and you almost certainly do. If you have local organic farms nearby, then you can go and purchase the items yourself at the farm or at a farmer’s market. You’ll usually get more affordable prices that way because the supermarket’s profit is removed from the equation.
  • The second way to purchase is to look for local markets where you can buy organic food. You can easily locate stores that offer organic food items, as more and more people are opting for organic choices, and they are getting more popular. This, in turn, is slowly driving down prices as well.
  • The third way is to use online shopping sites like Thrive Market that specialise in organic packaged foods. You can buy organic food items online very easily and get them delivered to your doorstep. These sites offer a large variety to choose from, including items that may not be available elsewhere.
  • You can usually find the best deals at online sites as well. It makes comparison shopping easy. Read this detailed review of Thrive Market and competing sites to see if this is for you.

The reason why organic food is getting more popular is that as people are realising that the fewer chemicals used in producing a food, the better it is for your health.

Also, environmentally friendly practices are sorely needed these days, and organic producers are more sensitive to those issues. So, by making this switch, you can eat healthy, live healthy and keep the environment healthy!

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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