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Organic Food Improve Your Intake of Antioxidant, New Study
- Updated: July 12, 2014
Studies at the Newcastle University, UK, have shown that eating organic food could not only help you to avoid consumption of pesticides but also improve your intake of antioxidant compounds, like flavonoids and carotenoids. The study also shown that organic foods are also significantly lower in toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and cadmium. That paper, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reviewed more than 200 studies of organic and conventional food “Our results are highly relevant and significant and will help both scientists and consumers sort through the often conflicting information currently available on the nutrient density of organic and conventional plant-based foods,” Professor Charles Benbrook, one of the authors of the study and a agricultural sustainability scientist based at Washington State University, said.
The study is largest study to date on the health of organic food, and it shows organic fruits, vegetables and grains contain: up to 69% higher antioxidants than non-organic, fewer pesticides and half the toxic heavy metal cadmium.
Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals,” he says. “This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”
However, according to the study, organic and conventional vegetables offer similar levels of many nutrients, including minerals, vitamin C and vitamin E. Moreover, conventional crops are higher in protein. “The bottom line is that how you grow food, how it’s fertilized, impacts the nutritional quality of it,” Benbrook said. However, if you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains — whether they’re organic or conventional — you’ll get plenty of antioxidants.