Today i have decided to post a nutrition tip, because i have finally realized (or at least cared enough to start educating people) that nutrition is about 70-80 % of importance when trying to achieve a fitness goal: whether it be to lose weight, tone up, build muscle etc. I have always been a huge advocate of eating everything in moderation (and enjoying sweets) and then hitting the gym to work it off.
Now that i am in the hub of fitness in Vancouver I am paying a bit more attention to what i eat in order to become a better salesperson and role model for my personal training clients and group fitness classes. I have been vegetarian for about a year now, but switched to Vegan about two weeks ago and have never felt better! Something about dairy was causing me to always feel bloated and gross! (that something is actually a hugely debated topic that i first came across while interning at Launch Fitness in london and learning about the Cafe For Life Palaeolithic diet). I am not here to advocate that you take up Veganism, or the Paleo diet, but rather instead pay attention to foods you are eating- what are the ingredients? Do you even know what half those words mean? How do you feel after eating certain food? Have you experienced any health consequences lately and have no idea why?
SO the article today i wrote is about eating Organic (something i actually do feel strongly about, and encourage!). In another post i will list certain studies and reasons concerned with pesticides and chemicals that are sprayed and injected onto our produce.
Nutrition Tip for October: Eating Organic
This article is based on the information found in : Why Go Organic?Healthy Body, Healthy Planet By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer found on sparkpeople.com.
London has recently joined the newest health craze towards eating organically grown, locally farmed and raised fresh foods. An organic product is raised, grown, and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, antibiotics or hormones. Although there is a stigma that organic foods are more expensive, inconvenient, and limited to the season, Middlesex-London has recently put out a local food guide which lists 35 farms and markets that you can visit and purchase all your cooking and baking needs! Other options such as Lyn Dys Organic grocery store at 1016 Oxford St. E, The London Co Op at 621 Princess street (where you can purchase a membership, or volunteer to be part of this healthy community), along with numerous other small businesses.
Why should a person considering switching from conventionally grown foods to organically grown products?
• On average, organically grown food is 63 percent higher in calcium, 73 percent higher in iron and 118 percent higher in magnesium, while being 29 percent lower in mercury.
• Presticides and herbicides are known to interefere with the production of flavenoids. Flavenoids have high levels of antioxidants, which help eliminate free radicals from the body, protecting from cancer. Organic foods have been shown to have antioxidant levels about 30 percent higher in organic food than chemically-grown foods produced under the same conditions
• Some pesticides have been shown to disrupt the human endocrine system (which regulates our hormones), while others have been linked to breast cancer, uterine cancer and asthma
• A study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute shows that 40 percent of the world’s agricultural soil is seriously depleted due to erosion (a result of planting the same crop over and over again), nutrient depletion (due to the use of chemical fertilizers) and salinization (the build-up of salt in the soil due to excessive irrigation).
• The good news is that organic farming methods, such as rotating crops, using compost or manure instead of chemical fertilizers, and careful water use can reverse this damage and rebuild healthy soil.
If your own personal health aren’t reasons enough to shop organic, check out the top 7 Reasons Leanne (and numerous other medical practitioners list) for eating organic:
1) Protect the health of children. Children are exposed to four times the level of pesticides in food than adults. Pesticides affect children more profoundly due to their higher metabolisms and smaller body mass.
2) Look after your own health. Several pesticides that are banned in the U.S. and Canada are used on foreign crops and shipped here for consumers to buy.
3) Safeguard the health of farm workers. Studies have shown that conventional farmers have six times the cancer risk of non-farmers. Because fertilizers and chemicals are often distributed by air, farm workers can be exposed to large quantities of chemicals without protection.
4) Preserve the soil. Over three billion tons of topsoil are lost each year in the United States and Canada due to erosion caused by conventional farming methods.
5) Protect the water. Pesticides are known to contaminate groundwater, which affects the drinking water supply in most of the United States and Canada. If pesticide-contaminated water reaches lakes, rivers and other bodies of water, it allows the rapid growth of algae and suffocates the natural aquatic plants and animals.
6) Conserve resources. Conventional farming uses a vast amount of petroleum-based herbicides to kill weeds, while organic farming uses labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand.
7) Fight global warming. Petroleum-based fertilizers give plants the nitrogen they need for rapid growth, but these nitrogen compounds can enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
A link to Leanne’s article and others concerning eating organic can be found here:
Buying Organic Food on A Budget: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=740