One of the first steps to restoring your gut and healing chronic inflammation is to stop the influx of chemicals and pesticides that come from our routine American diet. If you are suffering from digestive issues, IBS, gas, indigestion, or skin irritations, restoring your gut is key to providing relief.
Eating organic helps us to take part in our natural eco-system while protecting our environment. In addition to reducing your exposure to harmful pesticides, eating organically may also reduce your exposure to hormones, antibiotics, and potentially harmful irradiated food. According to the Environmental Working Group, (a non-profit organization that focuses on protecting public health and the environment regarding public policy), scientists have begun to agree that even small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can have long-term health consequences that begin during fetal development and early childhood.
Claims of enhanced nutritional benefits of organic foods have caused much controversy. However, studies have been able to support this claim. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported one study showing that, on average, organic crops contain 86% more chromium, 29% more magnesium, 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron, 26% more calcium, 42% more manganese, 498% more iodine, and 372% more selenium. Significantly less nitrates were also found in the organic foods.5 Resulting from nitrogen-based fertilizers, high nitrates in food and drinking water can be converted to potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported that organically grown corn, strawberries, and marion berries have significantly higher levels of anticancer antioxidants than non-organically grown foods. Protective compounds, such as flavonoids, are produced by plants to act as their natural defense in response to stresses, such as insects or other competitive plants. The report suggested that good soil nutrition seems to increase the amount of these protective compounds, while pesticides and herbicides disturb their production. A more recent study found similar results.
Another important issue was brought to light in a 2010 review of studies that found an increased incidence of thyroid disease and diabetes with exposure to organochlorines. The Environmental Working Group continues to stay on top of these issues as they come to the forefront.
The Organic Seal of Approval guarantees the consumer that there has been no usage of genetically modified crops or sewage sludge as fertilizer, helping to reduce toxic runoff into rivers and lakes and the subsequent contamination of watersheds and drinking water.
When you eat organically grown food, you may also be supporting small, local farmers, who are able to use less energy in transporting food from the field to the table.
Organic beef, chicken, and poultry are raised on 100% organic feed and never given antibiotics or hormones; in addition, their meat is never irradiated. Organic milk and eggs come from animals not given antibiotics or hormones and fed 100% organic feed for the previous 12 months. (Free-range eggs come from hens that are allowed to roam, but they are not guaranteed to be organic.)
What foods are most important to eat organically? Organic meats and dairy are appear to be the most heavily contaminated with hormones, pesticides and herbicides. Produce can be quite variable. If you are unable to eat organic produce, it is wise to be aware of those products that are the least contaminated with pesticides.
Getting to the root of your health concerns can be a very long journey, especially when you have medical providers focusing more on the effects of your symptoms than the underlying cause. Functional Medicine is a practice that requires knowledge, skill, and proper application. Laboratory testing is offered through our team to give us the data needed to form a course of treatment that’s very specific to your condition. Labs offered include hormone panels, thyroid, saliva, stool, and comprehensive nutrition testing. Your results often pinpoint precisely where the imbalance is in your body, giving our team a clear cause and solution.
If you experience chronic pain, migraines, digestive issues, infertility, fatigue, lack of mental clarity, depression, anxiety, or suffer from inflammatory disorders such as lupus, fibromyalgia, Functional Medicine may be the best place to start your path to optimal wellness. The health and success of our patients is so important to us that you’ll have complete access to our doctor and staff when you need support or have any concern. Let us educate you on how to master your body and your health, and teach you the skills you need to live a full life.