As the pandemic continues, Americans are turning their attention to health more than ever. Here at Only Organic, we provide solutions to help our community stay healthy throughout the year.
Our focus this year has been on skipping the more than 700 chemicals used in conventional food production by just choosing organic. Significant research shows organic foods, body care products, and textiles are healthier than their conventional counterparts.
(You can read some of the food studies that highlight that research here.)
Some highlights from those studies are:
- Eating organic fruits and vegetables could increase your antioxidant intake by 20 to 40 percent.
- Organic strawberries have more nutrients and antioxidants than their conventional counterparts do.
- Organic tomatoes are 50 percent higher in vitamin C than conventional tomatoes.
During the winter, choosing organic will ensure that your family has the best chance of enjoying the full spectrum of nutrients found in winter produce – with the fewest pesticides. Cold-weather seasonal produce helps farmers through their leanest time of year, and there’s a bonus in it for you: Fresh vegetables from your own community are tastier and higher in antioxidants. If fresh produce is not an option locally, frozen organic produce is a close second. (Learn more here about the best organic winter crops to source locally.)
Dry and cold weather can be challenging on your body, so it’s important to stay warm and hydrated. We recommend swapping sugary meals for warm dishes, like soups made of local root crops. We’ve gathered our favorite delicious organic soup recipes from our partner brands; they’ll satisfy your hunger and help you detox from the holiday season’s indulgences. Herbal teas – like those from our partner brands Traditional Medicinals and Organic India – will also help keep you warm and can help keep you healthy.
Along with healthy local produce, consider adding healthy fats to your diet. Fish such as salmon and cod as well as milk, eggs, and cheese are great sources of vitamin B12, which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system as well as to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
For these sources of fat, we recommend using organic dairy products, which, along with organic meat, contains about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids, according to research from 2016 based on data pooled from more than 200 studies. The increase is the result of animals foraging on grasses rich in omega-3s, which then end up in dairy and meats. Research in the U.S. has pointed to similar benefits.
If you’re new to eating organic meat and dairy products, we’ve come up with some options from our brand partners. Get organic dairy products from Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Horizon, and Alden’s and organic eggs from Egg Innovations, Handsome Brook Farms, and Pete & Gerry’s. Applegate carries several organic meat options that readily available across the U.S., and Patagonia offers wild smoked salmon through their provisions program.
In addition to focusing on organic foods and drinks, you can add organic supplements to your daily regimen of staying healthy. Increase your intake of herbs, adaptogens, antioxidants and vitamins D, C, and B-12 using our recommended organic supplements from Megafoods and Garden of Eden. Many of our supporting brands, like Uncle Matt’s, are also adding herbs and supplements to their product lines to increase access to immune-building compounds. (Learn more about these new offerings here.)
There are lots of reasons to choose to eat organic – in fact, we came up with our top 15 here. One of the most compelling is that organic farmers don’t use toxic persistent pesticides, and that’s better for all of us. A pesticide is any kind of substance used to keep pests away, but not all pesticides are created equal. Toxic persistent pesticides aren’t allowed in organic farming, because they can be harmful to our health and the environment and they break down very slowly, remaining in our soil, water, and air. Some can continue to cause damage for decades after they’re first used.
When you skip the chemicals and eat organic seasonal foods, you’re guaranteeing a healthy start to the winter. Learn more about what your vote for organic at the register does to ensure a healthy food future for us all.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but we hope these tips help you ensure you have a healthy winter and holiday season!