Ok, I get peppered with questions all the time especially from individuals pushing products telling me all natural is just as good as organic, so what’s the actual difference between organic and all natural? Isn’t “natural food” just as safe and healthy as organic food? No, no its not, and here’s why.
Unfortunately, natural does not mean organic and comes with no guarantees. “Natural foods” are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed and do not contain any hormones, antibiotics or artificial flavors. In the United States, however, neither the FDA nor the USDA has rules or regulations for products labeled “natural.” As a result, food manufacturers often place a “natural” label on foods that still contain heavily processed ingredients.
So how about organic? Organic is the most heavily regulated food system. Only organic guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers are used in production, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to animals.
Organic producers and processors also are subject to rigorous announced (and unannounced) certification inspections by third-party inspectors to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products in a manner you and your family can trust. As you can see there is quite the difference from “all natural”.
Regulation of Organic vs. All Natural:
According to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), “natural” foods are minimally processed and free of artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and additives like hydrogenated oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers. But there is no certification or inspection system to ensure that the label is accurate.
Also, the term “natural” does not usually relate to growing methods or the use of preservatives, whereas organically-grown foods have strict regulations in these areas. The National Organic Program, part of the United States Department of Agriculture, holds the food industry to strict standards in the production and sale of organic foods.
I fielded a great question the other day asking me about the importance of polyphenols and why they are so important. Well simply stated, polyphenols are phytochemicals, found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have a tremendous amount of antioxidant properties.
There are roughly over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in items such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, just to name a few, but as antioxidants, polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your overall health and wellness. Antioxidants in general help protect the cells in your body from the damage of free radicals, which can help with the rate at which you age. How can you add these amazing little gems to your daily living regimen? Lets take a closer look!
The Health Benefits Of Polyphenols:
There are four groups of polyphenols: phenolic acid, flavonoids, lignans and stilbenes and there are some crazy health benefits when it comes to consuming them on a regular basis. So what are they? Well, polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds that give plants color and protect them from disease and other environmental threats and help them recover from injury. These phytochemicals are found in plant foods such as spices, fruits and vegetables, seeds as well as legumes.
When you consume polyphenols on a regular basis, you become healthier in a number of ways as they eliminate free radicals in your body and drastically improve your overall health. You may even see a boost in your energy, so lets take a look at some of the primary benefits including for us diabetics!
- Anti-Inflammatory: Most polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties. This is good news for anyone who suffers from arthritis or any other condition where inflammation is a problem.
- Heart Health: Consuming these types of foods can have great benefits on the cardiovascular system, and can actually help to improve heart health.
- Prevent Cancer: Many studies have shown that polyphenols contain anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic properties. This is great news for anyone who may be genetically predisposed to the “C” word.
- Prevent Heart Disease: Studies have shown that polyphenols found in cocoa have been shown to reduce cardiovascular stress through by reducing LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol. Polyphenols also increase the dilation of blood vessels to promote circulation. Also, if your into red wine, there have been several studies that show the polyphenols in red wine can help to keep heart disease at bay.
- Anti-Aging: The science is still out, but many experts believe that polyphenols, even applied topically, can reduce the effects of aging as they cut down on free radicals floating around in the body.
- Protect Against Diabetes Related Side Effects: This one really peaked my interest for obvious reasons. As we are all aware by now, exposure to prolonged high blood sugars puts us at risk of developing some severe negative side effects such as retinopathy, neuropathy or even things such as sexual dysfunction just to name a few. Studies have show that polyphenols can help protect your body against some of these negative side effects. You can read about the study by clicking here.
One of major components that we’ve switched out in our household is what we cook with – After researching several alternatives there was one that kept popping up, coconut and coconut oil and here’s why.
Lauric acid is representative of a class of biological molecules called fatty acids. It is a white or colorless organic solid with needle-like crystals. Coconut and palm kernel are the major sources of lauric acid. It exhibits strong antimicrobial activity and thus is used by pharmaceutical companies that prepare antimicrobial drugs. Lauric acid tends to irritate the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract. Consult your physician to determine if lauric acid-based medications are safe for you.
Lauric Acid And Cooking:
Both palm oils and coconut oil, excellent sources of lauric acid, are acceptable for use in cooking. The first type is widely used in commercial food production, because it is relatively inexpensive. The second is prized for its sweet flavor and is often preferred for making particular types of seafood. The use of these options varies by region. In the United States and much of North America, for example, people rely more on vegetable oil, but many tropical countries still predominantly use coconut and palm versions.
Researching some supplements the other days, I came across a little know powerhouse call chlorella. Chlorella, a blue-green algae, is one of the most nutritionally dense green foods on the planet. While it is debatable, many experts think chlorella offers just about every nutrient required by the human body, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, chlorophyll and a full spectrum of phytochemicals.
Detox And Chlorella:
These days, toxins come at us from every possible angle: food, air, water, beauty products, cleaning supplies and even clothing. It’s important to give the body what it needs to detox from all the harmful substances it encounters each day. Chlorella has an amazing ability to bind with toxins like chemicals and heavy metals, and move them swiftly out of the body. These benefits are powerful and can have a definite positive impact on
Weight Loss Benefits?
Chlorella’s unique properties may also have the ability to lower overall body fat. One 2008 Japanese study showed chlorella can reduce body fat percentages. This may be due to its ability to aid fat metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Plus, when we replace nutritionally empty foods with powerful superfoods like chlorella, the body tends to crave less junk food because it feels more nourished.
GMOs have been all over the news lately, the good, the bad and the ugly. But are GMOs really that unsafe for you? Lets take a look! GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” also know as plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Types Of Genetically Modified Food:
GMOs exist with certain crops such as alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, rice, soybean, sugar beet, summer squash, and tobacco. Currently, 95% of U.S. soybean and 85% of U.S. corn is genetically modified. The two most common traits genetically engineered into plants are herbicide tolerance (glyphosate or glufosinate ammonium herbicide) and insect resistance (i.e. to insects such as European corn borer, corn root-worm black cutworm and fall armyworm), although work on developing other traits such as drought tolerance have received equivalent emphasis in recent years.
GMOs Effects On The Body:
Sufficient long-term studies have not been conducted to prove how GMOs in food affect human beings. However, GMOs present a danger for people who have allergies. Because GMOs are not always labeled, a person who is highly allergic to peanuts, for example, could accidentally and unknowingly eat a peanut gene hidden in another food, which could be enough to cause a reaction. There have also been cases when people had severe reactions to specific types of GMOs found in rice and soy beans.