Last updated June 3, 2019 by Lisa Richards, CNC

Organic Food: More Nutrients, Fewer Pesticides

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New research has found that organic produce contains fewer pesticides and has higher levels of many antioxidants and nutrients. The British Journal of Nutrition, one of the most respected food science journals, has published results showing that organic produce contains up to 17% more nutrients than conventionally produced foods, and significantly less pesticide residue.

What does this mean for our health? Maintaining a strong and healthy immune system is an important part of recovering your vitality. Conditions like Candida tend to occur in those experiencing some kind of imbalance that impacts the immune system, whether that imbalance results from antibiotics, stress, diet or any other factor. By eating foods that are loaded with healthy nutrients and free from pesticides, we give our bodies the very best chance to fight off infections.

Proof That Organic Food Is Healthier

The head researcher, Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University in the UK, told the New York Times that his team’s research proved that the way we grow our food can have a dramatic impact on nutrition. This is in stark contrast to research published just two years ago from scientists at Stanford, which showed that there was a marginal difference in the nutrition provided by organic produce, leading some experts to claim that organic food was no better for the body than non-organic produce.

In more good news, Professor Leifert’s research shows that organic food contains far fewer pesticides. This backs up recent research from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which recently found that after just a single week of an organic diet, participants in their study had a 90% lower pesticide reading than those who did not consume organic fruits and vegetables.

The Australian research studied two groups for two weeks. One group had an 80% organic diet plan, while the other group had an 80% “conventional” food plan – that is, foods which were not produced in an organic environment. Dr Liza Oates, who led the team from the RMIT, said that human food production often uses organophosphate pesticides, which can cause severe damage to the central nervous system. These pesticides were designed to produce crops that are more resistant to insects, and they are widespread. In fact, organophosphates are classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as harmful to wildlife, bees, and humans.

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Urine samples were taken at the end of the first and second weeks from each participant, measuring the concentration of dialkylphosphates present in the urine. Dialkylphosphates are formed by the body when organophosphates are metabolized. The study found that those eating organic food had an 89% reduction in the level of dialkylphosphate.

Dr Oates said that her study, which was published in the Environmental Research journal, proves that a diet consisting of largely organic components can help us to reduce exposure to harmful pesticides. Studies have found that exposure to organophosphates can cause fetal development issues, psychological problems, weakened immunity, and more. If you’re following a Candida-safe eating plan, pesticides can make the difference between a strong immune system and vulnerability to pathogens like Candida.

Fewer Pesticides Mean Better Nutrition

Food which is labeled as organic in the United States is subject to strict regulations, including a restriction on using any hormones, non-natural fertilizers or pesticides, and no antibiotics. Scientists believe that these strict limitations force the plants to produce more nutrients, so that they are stronger and more readily able to defend against predators such as insects.

Although the studies mentioned above show that organic produce has a significant impact on our exposure to pesticides, some scientists have questioned the claim, arguing that up to 25% of organic produce has been contaminated by artificial pesticides and other non-organic materials by the time it arrives on our shelves.

There is some truth to this, but the fact remains that organic foods contain significantly lower pesticide levels. The message is clear: a mainly organic diet does have an impact on the levels of pesticides the body is exposed to, which in turn is beneficial for our long-term health. Switching to organic food, along with the other interventions included in my Candida treatment plan, will give your body the very best chance of fighting off chronic conditions like Candida.

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