Why are organic products higher in antioxidants?
“Selecting organic produce and organic processed fruits and vegetables will increase antioxidant levels by about 30 percent, compared to produce grown on otherwise similar conventional farms.”
There are two reasons why organic fruits and vegetables are higher in antioxidant compounds. The first reason is linked to what is called “pest pressure.” Plants under stress from pests have to engage their natural defense mechanisms, called secondary plant metabolites or SPMs. Most SPMs tend to be antioxidants and they’re also responsible for giving plants their bright colors and distinctive flavors. When organically grown plants have to engage their defense mechanisms, they yield fruits and vegetables that are higher in SPMs and therefore higher in antioxidants. This also explains why you can actually taste the difference between organic and conventionally grown produce. Organic produce tends to have a much richer and fuller flavor in part because of those antioxidant rich SPMs.
The second reason has to do with using the natural growing methods on organic farms. Conventional farms speed up plant growth by heavily fertilizing plants and spraying pesticides to get plants to grow as quickly as possible. This actually shortens the growth cycle for plants and yields fruits and vegetables that are lower in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Organic farms, on the other hand, rely on slower/natural growth cycle to allow fruits and vegetables to mature naturally. This leads to better tasting and far more nutritious produce.
Obviously this is good and good for you!
Foods with the most antioxidants per serving:
|Maqui berries||Acai berries|
|Sweet cherries||Cooked artichoke|
Elderberries are also high in antioxidants and are related to blueberries and cranberries. Studies have also shown elderberries can be effective in boosting the immune system and helping reduce your risk of colds, flu and coughs. For more on elderberries and the benefits of elderberry juice in boosting your immune system naturally, click here.
But remember, a person can not live on just one fruit alone! Variety is the spice of life, and that’s why it’s so great we have all these wonderful organic products to choose from. Click here to see more great antioxidant rich fruit and berry products.