You may have heard that 'going organic' is a healthy choice for the farmers, the environment, and your own health. But do you really understand why it's such a positive choice? This article explores the benefits of choosing organic.

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Plant based foods are well known for their vitality-providing properties as a result of being high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A vitamin and mineral supplement might contain twenty different vitamins and minerals, any of which could be synthetically derived.

Synthetic or natural, a supplement cannot replicate the life giving properties of foods that are found in nature. A head of broccoli, or a single apple can contain not twenty, but hundreds of nutrients that all have their own magical way of interacting and providing nourishment for our bodies.

Phytonutrients comprise a large range of important substances that help protect plants from threats such as germs, bugs and fungi, and many have been shown to have a beneficial effect on human health. Some of the more commonly known phytonutrient groups include carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols.

According to Web MD,1 more than 25,000 phytonutrients are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and tea, again reiterating the point that it is unlikely that we can replicate this complexity and interaction via a supplement pill.

Salvestrols are a class of phytonutrients that are emerging as having huge potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer. This unique class of phytonutrients in essence works by interacting with an enzyme found in cancer cells and producing a toxin that causes death of that cancer cell, whilst leaving non-cancerous cells unaffected.2

Numerous studies have linked diet and cancer and this link becomes even more probable just by recognizing that there is a higher incidence of cancer in the developed world as opposed to the underdeveloped world.3

The WHO has initiatives in place to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity levels with the aim of reducing the incidence of cancer. Layering on this with an added focus on organically grown produce would likely have significant and far reaching benefits.

Professor Gerry Potter and his Salvestrols research team analyzed thousands of fruit, vegetable and herb samples. Through this, they discovered that Salvestrols were present in very small amounts and often not at all in produce found in the local supermarket while much of the organic produce they tested had Salvestrols in abundance.4

Modern farming practices have had a huge impact on the life-giving properties of the food we consume. When we understand the links between soil health and the subsequent health of our bodies, we begin to understand the consequences of depletion of tiny but hugely important compounds such as Salvestrols.

To reiterate, Salvestrols are part of the plants protection mechanism from bugs and other pathogens. If a plant is not subject to pathogens because chemicals (e.g., pesticides) are used to keep those pathogens away, then the plants do not receive a signal to produce Salvestrols,5 thus reducing the nourishment that the plant provides for our bodies. Studies that have found higher antioxidant levels in imperfect produce (e.g. apples with scars)6,7 are likely a result of the plants innate protection mechanisms kicking into place as it works hard to fight back.

A diet abundant in organically grown fruit and vegetables will help ensure a daily intake of Salvestrols to aid the body in ridding itself of cancer cells as they arise. Those who are already at risk or who are fighting active disease may wish to explore supplementation of their organic diet with Salvestrols.

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The information in this article is not intended to replace advice given by your primary care physician.

References
  1. http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq
  2. Schaefer, Brian A. Linking Diet & Cancer: Salvestrols.Nature's defence against cancer. Clinical Intelligence Corp, 2012. page 36.
  3. http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/fact_sheets_cancer.aspx
  4. Schaefer page 39.
  5. Schaefer page 40.
  6. http://publik.tuwien.ac.at/files/PubDat_194363.pdf
  7. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10535-011-0176-6#/page-1