Why organic food plays a fundamental role in naturopathy
By Nutritional Therapist Tegan Philp for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).
A fundamental naturopathic principle is that of the innate healing power of nature. Eating organic food is a way of eating as close to nature as possible. Making the choice to eat organic produce may not always be easy, but here are four reasons why at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, we teach our students that eating organic is worth it in the long run:
1. Nutritional value
It’s official – several reports show that eating fresh, organic, unprocessed food delivers superior nutritional value. Understanding nutrition as the cornerstone of health, and the therapeutic power of whole and organic foods, is a fundamental step on the path to increasing wellness and vitality. Dramatic health turn-arounds are possible when nutritional needs are met, and irritants are reduced. Eating organic food can help decrease the burden on our livers, which are made to work harder to reduce our toxic load when we consume pesticides and other potentially harmful substances that may be found in non-organic produce. See this report published by Newcastle University in 2014.
2. It’s what we evolved eating
Our bodies evolved using natural foods to sustain and nourish us and to boost our immunity. Our intestinal microflora is a complex ecosystem, vital for the correct functioning of our digestion and immune system. Pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modification may have the potential to disrupt the delicate balance within our digestive system. There are some studies which suggest links between the health of our intestinal microflora with various cancers, autoimmune conditions and even dementia. Research into causes is always controversial and risks to consumers may not be considered or disclosed when massive profits are at stake. It is safe to say that our gut health affects everything from our mood to our weight, so it pays to take care of it.
3. Freshness and quality
With a shorter trip from ‘farm to plate’, organic produce is one way to protect not only the vitamin and mineral content of our food, but the flavour too. The moment produce is picked or cut, its enzymes begin decomposing and feeding on precious nutrients. Eating fresher produce not only gives a higher nutritional value to our meals, but it tastes better too!
4. A healthy planet
A naturopathic approach to health is based on giving our bodies the best chance of thriving or healing by harnessing the power of nature. This goes beyond food to encompass everything from the water we drink to the air we breathe. A healthy environment is key, so we keenly support lower levels of toxins in our environment, sustainable management of land, and the ecological diversity which organic farming can deliver.