Part of being an informed and conscious consumer is being aware of the foods you buy and their health benefits and drawbacks especially if you’re looking at adopting the Paleo way of eating. Buzz words float around the world of healthy eating so frequently that it’s hard to keep track of what’s what and why- and “organic” is certainly no exception. Walk into your typical, everyday grocery store and chances are you’ll stumble upon a few aisles labeled “health food aisle” or “organic aisle.” Sounds pretty good, right? The shelves are stocked with items labeled “natural,” “raw,” “sprouted,” and “organic.” The prices are a bit high but hey, that’s the price you pay for health, right?
It’s important to understand what these labels mean and if they really even mean much, at all. The term organic refers to the way in which agricultural products are grown, raised, handled, and processed. Using natural fertilizers over chemical ones, and natural insecticides over synthetic ones are both ways in which food can be grown and processed to be considered organic. Meat that is considered organic comes from animals that were given organic feed and no antibiotics, growth hormones, or medications.
Variations of “Organic” Labeling
• 100% Organic- completely organic or made of all organic ingredients
• Organic- at least 95% of organic ingredients
• Made with Organic Ingredients- 70% or higher organic ingredients
It’s important to consider the value of buying a particular item in an organic variety. Just because organic costs more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth it.
Organic.org has a list of foods they call the “dirty dozen,” which contain those that have the highest level of pesticides and therefore are best bought organic. There is also a list of a dozen foods that you can buy non-organic (“least contaminated”). This guide is a great reference for your trips to the grocery store.
Adding Organic Foods Into A Paleo Diet
Now that you understand what the term organic means, what are some reasons you should start adding organic foods into your grocery purchases if following a Paleo Diet?
• More Nutritious- Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids
• Safer- No pesticides, usually no GMO’s
• Pure- No flavor enhancers, preservatives, contaminants
While many argue that the price of organic food makes it impossible to afford, there are ways you can make it fit your budget.
• Shop at local farmers markets
• Join an organic co-op
• Buy directly from farmers
• Buy in bulk
• Grow your own
• Shop online
Those who are fans of organic foods believe it’s healthier and safer to consume than non-organic foods when following the Paleo Diet. On the other hand, some argue that there is no way to ensure that what you’re buying is truly organic, the major factor being the consumption of these foods over-processed.
Antioxidants are found naturally in our diet and are also a key feature of many a supplement. Antioxidants are something of a buzz word these days and antioxidant vitamins and minerals as well as a range of Naka Herb supplements are highly popular. What is the reason for this? And what precisely are antioxidants? Here we will look a little at how a cell works, how a cell dies, and why antioxidants are so important. Our cells are made up of various parts but all you need to know about in this instance is the cell wall and the nucleus. The cell wall, surrounded by mitochondria, is the part of the cell that of course holds everything together and gives the cell its round appearance. Meanwhile, the nucleus is the center of the cell, which is often referred to as the ‘control center’. Here is where the DNA is stored, the ‘blueprint’ that tells the cell what it looks like, how to behave, and where the other important cells go in the body.
Unfortunately though what’s also in our body is ‘free radicals’ and this is where the antioxidant vitamins and minerals and the Naka Herb supplements come in. Essentially free radicals are substances that travel around the body and damage the cells. They are a by-product of many things from simply breathing (oxygen is reactive and damages cells) to getting too much direct sunlight (the UV waves in the sunlight are radioactive and can damage our cell walls too). These free radicals then do a lot of serious damage in the body and are enough to eventually make our skin look older – because the damage though microscopic can eventually add up to be visible to the naked eye and this goes for skin cells as well.
This is why lots of exposure to the sun will make you look good and tanned in the short term but ultimately result in your skin appearing wrinkled and leathery. More seriously though, eventually these free radicals will break all the way through the cell walls, and this will mean that they reach the nucleus where the DNA is housed. If they reach this then they can cause damage to your actual genetic code and this results in a mutation that changes the expression of the cell and renders it unable to do its job.
Because cells reproduce by splitting (mitosis) this then means that when the cell splits it will copy the DNA across and you will have two fault cells. Your immune system tries to stop this and can be added if you buy herbs online, but it would be better of course if it could be prevented. Because those dead cells as they spread become cancer, and can eventually lead to the failure of whole organs. Antioxidant vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, and even supplements will help you to do this – by destroying the free radicals on impact thereby preventing them from ever causing that damage. These will then slow your visible aging and help to deter cancer – not bad!
Well, it’s all very good and well me telling you that you should be working out throughout the day, and that you should be eating perfectly, and that you should be taking long swims in freezing cold water in the morning.
Problem is, we don’t have time for that and our bodies are now so maladapted that they couldn’t handle it.
Even fixing your diet – getting rid of all that unwanted processed food, reducing the number of total calories, getting more fiber, reducing simple carbs… it’s a lo of work and can get quite complicated.
This is why the best place to start is by fixing one of the biggest issues with modern life. That is the lack of micronutrients.
Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, and other active ingredients in our food that our body uses for a wide variety of different purposes.
What many people don’t realize is that we literally are what we eat. You hear this a lot, but many people assume that it is a kind of metaphor. But no: your body takes in the nutrients that you consume and then it uses those nutrients to actually rebuild your body.
For example, your bones are made partly from calcium and magnesium. These also help to strengthen your connective tissue(tendons and ligaments), your teeth, and your nails. Connective tissues similarly benefit from the likes of collagen (found in bone broth) which also helps to improve your skin.
If only you could get more fruit and vegetables in your diet then, you would become the healthiest and most effective version of yourself. And that, in turn, might then give you the energy and willpower to do the rest.
Fruits and vegetables can even supercharge your metabolism, helping you to burn through much more fat!
As we will see in the rest of this book, fixing your intake of fruits and vegetables doesn’t need to be difficult. If you are strategic, then making just a few simple changes can transform your health and wellbeing.
This book will also outline many of the other amazing and complex ways in which fruits can improve your health and performance – some of which are absolutely transformative to the way you look and feel.
You’ll know precisely which fruits and vegetables you need to cure any of your current maladies, and you’ll know precisely how to get them.
Let’s get to it.