More Americans are choosing to buy organic produce and by now, you have probably heard someone talking about the benefits of eating organic produce. In 2016, Americans spent $47 billion on organic food. With the growing popularity of healthy eating and trends such as juicing, organic foods continue to be favoured. Influenced by these changes, America’s organic fruit sales grow by 19.6 percent and juicer sales topped $2.9 million. In pursuit of ideal health, Americans have embraced the organic way of eating, willingly paying the higher prices for produce free of said additives.
However, little has been said on how an organic diet can specifically benefit our aging population. With over 46 million American 65 years and over, educating our elderly population on healthy habits is important. Organic produce into your diet can be a great tool in maintaining your health and is easily incorporated into your diet. From going vegetarian once a week to adding blended juices into your daily diet, you can easily get benefits of organic food. From Here are three reasons to embrace an organic diet in your senior years.
Certain organic items such as organic milk and vegetables such as tomatoes have been shown to have higher levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables are great for many reasons including protecting the body from harmful molecules. When these molecules form radicals and if not combated, these radicals can cause damage to our cartilage which in turn cause joint pain and inflammation. Eating a varied organic diet can help improve your joint and bone health.
Specific antioxidants such as kaempferol have also been shown to reduce heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in elderly men and women worldwide. In 2015, one in every four deaths in America were due to heart disease. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic supported this and recommended a diet rich in antioxidants is linked to reduced cardiovascular disease.
Reduce Food Borne Illness
Scientists and agriculturists have come up with genetic modifications to our food that is marketed to yield bigger and more resistant crops. Naturally, this can be very appealing to farmers as they try to maximize their profits and minimise the loss of crops. However, studies have shown that animals that were fed modified versions of food had in fact, had lowered immunity.
As we age, our immune system does not respond as it once did in our younger years. This is because our mature lymph nodes in our secondary tissues see their function reduce along with the production of B and T cells in our bone marrow. The result? A body that takes more time and effort to respond to any issues our immune system may face. Because of this, our digestive and immune health should be a priority in our senior years. Eating organic aids this process by removing any versions of food that may further lower our immunity.
Since our digestive and immune system slows down in our senior years, techniques such as juicing where the nutrients are made easier to absorb are great for providing our bodies with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of fruits and vegetables and find the ones that work best for you and your body as you age. Our body needs changes with our progression in age and therefore so does our nutritional requirements. Using organic green leafy vegetables such as kale and berries into your juices are a great way to get those antioxidants and folic acid.
The main focus for seniors tend to be on their heart health but your kidney health sis just as vital to your overall wellbeing. Our kidney function declines as we age, with the individuals above 60 years old registering a GFR of just 60. This is half the GFR we would register in our younger age. Over 661,000 Americans are living with kidney failure and the prevalence of chronic kidney failure has increased to 14 percent.
Organic produce contains much less cadmium, a heavy metal which normally accumulates in our kidneys and it can lead to kidney failure. When our bodies accumulate these metals faster than we can get rid of them, the build up of metals can cause several health complications such as kidney and liver failure. For those seniors who have had a history of kidney issues or reduced function, this can make a huge difference.
Of course eating organic foods is just one strategy to help seniors live a full and healthy life. Many studies highlight the benefits of organic foods but it is also very important to eat a healthy and varied diet. In addition to your diet, be sure to focus on staying hydrated and incorporating suitable physical exercise into your daily routine. Regular check ups with your physician is also a great way to stay in control of your health as you age.