By: Aeon Mapa
Over the past year the our immune systems have been on the forefront of many of our minds. After all, it is our body’s first line of defense against viruses and diseases (no, masks do not count as a line of defense). The question we need to be asking is: How can I fortify my immune system so that my body can stay healthy and strong? Of course, proper sleep, a calm state of mind and regular exercise are all ways we can strengthen our natural immunity1 , but the single most effective way to developing a strong immune system is to consume healthy, diverse and organic food.
This will be the first in a series of articles to be released in the coming weeks that will highlight the ways that the immune system and the rest of our bodily processes can be strengthened with a diet of organic food. In these articles I will relay information found through careful research and interviews with professionals in order to provide you for a sound basis for decision making.
I hope that these will help you to lead healthy & happy lives!
Synthetic Chemical Free = Healthier People
Organic food is food that was grown without the use of synthetic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. This on it’s own, is the first big benefit to our immune systems. These chemicals are toxic and any residue we consume is harmful to our health. Even if it does not immediately manifest in the form of dramatic disease, as long as we are eating conventionally farmed food, our body is constantly expending energy to expel these harmful substances. We need to remember, the more your immune system is occupied with, the less efficiently it functions. The quote below illustrates how quickly our body cleanses after switching to an organic diet. 2
“For the general population, pesticide residues in food constitute the main source of exposure for the general population. This has been illustrated in intervention studies where the urinary excretion of pesticides was markedly reduced after 1 week of limiting consumption to organic food”
Agricultural chemical companies frequently speak of the “acceptable amounts of contaminants” which make it into our food. Here they refer to the fact that as consumers, we never have enough of the toxic substance in our body at any one time to cause severe effects. This does not take into account the chronic stress it puts on our body. Again, the more energy the body has the healthier it is! We should be eating food that gives our body energy, not more work.
When examining our health we must always remember that everything is connected. Our overall immunity is a product of many factors. The environment is one such factor. As our world becomes progressively more polluted, health risks related to the environment increase. It is no secret that the production and use of synthetic agricultural chemicals play a factor in this.
As we choose to eat organic food, we take away some of the demand from the conventional systems and support the sustainable ones. This has an effect on the environment and thus our immune systems. The less toxins in our atmosphere, the less stress one has to deal with. This includes reading about (or surviving ) natural disasters.3
The choice to consume and support organic produce has far-reaching effects which all come back to affect us in one way or another. These are just two of the most apparent ways in which an organic diet can protect our immune systems from stress which would reduce its effectiveness. In the coming days we will examine more closely the multitudes of advantages organic food can offer. 4
- Mie A, Andersen HR, Gunnarsson S, et al. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. Environ Health. 2017;16(1):111. Published 2017 Oct 27. doi:10.1186/s12940-017-0315-4