I’ve been talking about the importance of eating organic produce, meat, and dairy for a long time. And now — a new study found that it slashes your risk of developing a particular deadly cancer by an astounding 73 percent.
The headlines for this study were pretty hard to miss. And for a nice change of pace, they were on target and accurate!
I’ll tell you all about those exciting findings in a moment. But first, let’s back up and talk about the known benefits of eating organic (instead of conventionally grown) fruits and vegetables…
4 key benefits of clean eating
I’ve long recommended that you opt for organic produce when you can — especially produce with soft outer skins, such as strawberries and peppers. And I have some major reasons for this recommendation.
1. Organic produce is more nutritious. In fact, several years ago, scientists compared the nutritional content of organic and conventionally grown produce.
Over a two-year period, they purchased samples of both organic and conventional types of apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn in the western suburbs of Chicago. They found that on a per-weight basis, the organic produce contained many more nutrients than conventionally grown produce.
In fact, the organic produce averaged:
- 60 percent more zinc
- 63 percent more calcium
- 73 percent more iron
- 91 percent more phosphorus
- 118 percent more magnesium
- 125 percent more potassium
2. When you opt for organic produce, you’ll avoid the harmful pesticides used to grow conventional produce, including Roundup (glyphosate), which research now links to a bevy of health problems, including cancer.
3. Organic produce doesn’t come from genetically modified (GM) seeds — which is another huge bonus. We simply don’t know the long-term impact of eating GM foods. And I, for one, am not interested in us being Monsanto’s guinea pigs.
4. Organic farming is just better for the environment. As I often warn, the pesticides needed to grow GM crops kill bees, butterflies, and birds. And the genetic modifications introduce “Franken-genes” into plants. These changes could ultimately alter and destroy the ecology of the entire planet.
Now, let’s move onto the new study…
Eating organic dramatically decreases this dangerous cancer risk
For the new, large study, French researchers enrolled almost 69,000 participants and grouped them into four quartiles based on their consumption of 16 categories of organic foods. Seventy-seven percent of the participants were women with an average age of 44.
Then, the researchers followed them for five years…
During the follow-up period, 1,340 cancer cases were reported. The most common types of cancers were:
- Breast cancer (34 percent)
- Prostate cancer (13 percent)
- Malignant skin cancer (10 percent)
- Colon cancer (7 percent)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (5 percent)
Participants in the highest group of organic food intake had a 25 percent overall lower risk of cancer compared with the group that ate the least amount of organic food.
Furthermore, eating organic foods provided the strongest protection against breast cancer in postmenopausal women — which resulted in a 21 percent lower risk. And against non-Hodgkin lymphoma — which resulted in a whopping 73 percent lower risk.
The findings on lymphoma are consistent with previous studies — including those linking occupational exposures to pesticides with different cancers, most like lymphoma. Toxic chemical exposure was even shown to cause an abnormal gene in the DNA of cancer cells.
Of course, previous studies comparing diets show that switching to organic food decreases concentrations of pesticides found in urine. Which means there are fewer pesticides getting into your body in the first place!
The bottom line here is that you should opt for organic foods whenever you can. This recommendation includes fresh produce as well as organic, grass-fed, free-range meats, wild-caught seafood, and organic, full-fat dairy. (And if you’re on a budget, it’s okay to buy conventional produce with an exterior that will be discarded and not eaten. Think avocados, bananas, coconuts, kiwis, onions, pineapples, etc.)
However, there’s no need to waste your money on packaged organic foods which, in some cases, can still contain just as much sugar and junk as their conventional counterparts. Remember, when it comes to processed foods, “organic” isn’t always synonymous with “healthy.” So I recommend just sticking with fresh, naturally grown whole foods straight from Nature to get the nutrition your body really needs.
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“Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk: Findings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort Study,” JAMA Internal Medicine (jamanetwork.com) 10/22/2018