Is Organic Worth More Money?

Dear Reader,

Have you eaten your 60 servings of spinach today?

You’d have to eat that much in order to get the same amount of iron you would have gotten from one serving of spinach grown in 1948. And you’d have to eat 25 cups to get even the measly RDA of vitamin E.

What’s going on here?

Today, I’ll explain exactly what’s wrong with commercial produce, and show you how to boost the nutritional content of your diet to better your general health and resistance to disease.

Modern agricultural techniques are the culprits. The fruits and vegetables on today’s supermarket shelves come from nutrient-poor soil grown on chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides. Not to mention genetically modified produce, which farmers aren’t required to label.

What’s more, in order to get these foods to the store before they start to rot, commercial growers harvest fruits and vegetables before they’ve had time to ripen. (You’ve noticed how bananas in the produce aisle are green when you buy them.)

Before the onset of industrial agriculture, farmers relied on natural fertilizers to grow their produce. In order to insure freshness, grocers bought foodstuffs from local farmers, so the fruits and vegetables available to Americans decades ago had time to ripen in the sun naturally – so yesteryear’s produce contained much higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds essential to your health.

What can you do about it? One simple way to go is to buy local organically grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Not only will you avoid pesticides and other chemicals – you’ll get a lot more of Nature’s beneficial ingredients.

The science backs me up on this. A recent study published in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that organic tomatoes contain almost twice as much

of an important type of compound – called “flavonoids” – as conventionally grown tomatoes.1

Flavonoids are naturally occurring anti-oxidants found in a number of plants, including tomatoes, blueberries, grapes, and green tea. The benefits of anti-oxidants cannot be overstated. Here are just a few of the benefits linked to flavonoids:

·          Improved circulation

·          Lower cholesterol

·          Lower blood pressure

·          Reduced inflammation

·          Reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis

·          Increased bone strength

·          Reduced risk of heart disease

·          Stronger immune response

·          Faster recovery from sunburn

·          Reduced risk of many types of cancer, including lung, prostate, and skin cancer

·          Memory loss prevention

·          Higher metabolism and greater weight loss

So if you find both conventionally grown and organic tomatoes at your local grocer, the choice is a no-brainer – go organic. Even better, find a local farmer or co-op to buy from. The same rule of thumb applies to meat, eggs and milk, for the simple reason that they will contain more of the ingredients your body needs for optimum health.

Taking supplements is another effective way to compensate for today’s nutrient-poor produce. Vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid are all powerful anti-oxidants that improve heart health, slow the aging process, prevent cancer, and even boost your brainpower.

Here are my recommended daily amounts for each of these nutrients. They are the building blocks for an anti-oxidant powerhouse:

·          Vitamin E – 400 IEU

·          Vitamin C – 1,000 mg

·          Selenium – 55 micrograms

·          CoQ10 – 100 mg

·          Alpha lipoic acid – 100 mg

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Mitchell AE, et al. Ten-Year Comparison on the Content of Flavonoids in Tomatoes. The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2007; 55(15) pp 6154 – 6159.