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8 Reasons Why We Should Go for Organic Food

8 Reasons Why We Should Go for Organic Food

We are what we eat, as the old saying goes. Yet sometimes it is easy to forget that memorable adage when our senses are being constantly assaulted with a bombardment of advertizing related to food choices, many of which are not the best ones for us. How can we be more conscious then, not only of what food we put into our bodies, but also of the greater impact that food has on both our own health, as well as the health of our communities and the planet as a whole? Being informed about these choices empowers us to decide what is right for us when it comes to making conscious choices about food.

Here are eight reasons why we should go for organic food:

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1. Eating organic helps protect the supply of clean drinking water.

Since organic farmers do not use pesticides, they are not contributing to pesticide contamination of our nation’s groundwater and aquifers, which is an important issue to consider when doing your food shopping. Even if you don’t live near a farm, it is important to realize that many pesticides used on farms are carried by water to other areas. If we are what we eat, then we are also what we drink. So, supporting organic farms not only helps us avoid putting pesticides into our bodies through our food, but also lessens the level of pesticides we may be consuming through our water.

2. Eating organic may help lower the chances of neurological disorders such as autism.

Although the real cause of autism is still under debate in the scientific community, there are some findings that the ingredient Glufosinate ammonium (GLA) which exists in many herbicides causes neurological damage and may contribute to the rise of autism.

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3. Eating organic contributes to a more healthy work environment for farm workers.

One of the more shadowy effects of eating food that has been grown with pesticides is the impact that it has on those workers on farms where the crops are sprayed with pesticides. The level of harm can be twofold, both in the act of harvesting the crop as well as in the handling and spraying of the pesticides used on the crops. There are many reports that address this issue. So, the next time you buy an organic fruit or vegetable know that you are supporting a healthier and more sustainable vision not only for yourself, but also for farm workers.

4. Eating organic helps us create a more healthy environment for the world’s bee population.

Bees are the primary pollinators of the world’s crops, and yet recent scientific studies show a harmful relationship between some neonicotinoid pesticides and bee brain functions. This becomes even more exacerbated when other pesticides are added, contributing to an already major decline in the world’s bee population, as told in a study, published in March 2013 about bees and neonicotinoid pesticides.

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5. Eating organic helps us honor both the birds and the bees.

We often use the term “the birds and the bees” when it comes to human reproduction, and this term holds true as well for the negative impact of neonicotinoid pesticides. Not only do they harm the bee population but also the bird population, if not the entire food chain. According to one researcher even a corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a song bird. By eating organic, you are helping liberate the larger ecosystem from our dependance on toxic agricultural practices that are lethal to other life forms.

6. Eating organic means less exposure to pesticides linked to aggressive prostate cancer.

A report by Agricultural Health Study links exposure to certain pesticides with aggressive prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer men suffer from. So please be careful with what you eat.

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7. Eating organic helps protect our oceans by reducing nonpoint source pollution.

Much of the runoff that happens during large rainstorms eventually brings pesticides and chemical fertilizers into the world’s oceans and seas. This type of pollution is part of a larger problem called nonpoint source pollution. Since organic farming practices refrain from the use of both pesticides and chemical fertilizers, you are supporting healthier oceans when you shop organic.

8. Eating organic leads to even more people eating organic.

By eating organic you are voting with your buying power, voting for more sustainable farming practices, voting for cleaner water, voting for protecting the fabric of life that includes the birds, the bees and all living things. In the long run more organic foods will be available. As that message grows, it opens doors for more local health food stores that include organic choices, and also serves as a reminder for larger supermarkets and chain stores to do so as well. Eating organic is presently a privilege not available to all communities. Typically, the organic choices are more readily offered to those who live in more affluent neighborhoods, and can be challenging for all people to have access to. So, if you want to help others have access to organic food, send that message to the food industry by buying more organic food. Think of each purchase as a vote for all to have access to food that is safe and pesticide free.

Featured photo credit: Dale Janzen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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