Spring and summer in the Appalachians involve planting specific fruits, vegetables, and herbs such as corn, beans, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. If you have opted to grow these organically, there is good news to discover. Studies have shown that organic produce definitively contains more antioxidant power than conventionally grown produce, and that organic produce is a vital way to keep cancer at bay. Read on to discover how organic food can promote better health for you and your family, and why it is definitely a worthy time investment.
Studies on Organic Corn
Research published by the American Chemical Society showed that corn – planted in the Appalachians from April right through to June – helps fight cancer much more efficiently when it is grown organically. The study, which also focused on strawberries and marionberries as well as corn, suggested that pesticides and herbicides stop the production of phenolics – compounds found in study after study to help prevent health conditions such as cancer by enhancing the body’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Phenolics also stop the development of new blood vessels that promote tumor growth.
Studies on Organic Tomato
Tomatoes are also grown in the Appalachians between May and June, so you may currently be growing your own as you read this. A study scientists from the University of Barcelona found that organic tomatoes also have higher phenolic compound counts than their conventionally grown counterparts. Researchers explained that this phenomenon arises because when plants suffer stress (because they are not grown with nitrogenous fertilizers), they ‘defend themselves’ by producing more polyphenols. This is good news indeed for those who love nothing more than a ripe tomato or freshly made tomato sauce.
A Large-Scale Study on Organic Produce
In addition to the above-mentioned studies on specific produce, a meta study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic plant-based foods as a whole contain 20% to 40% more cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventional foods. They also contain around 48% less cadmium, a metal linked to cancer. This is good news for Appalachian growers, who plant a wide variety of vegetables and fruits – including artichokes, basil, beans, cabbage, collard greens, kale, spinach, squash, and even peanuts!
Western North Carolina – despite its mix of freezing cold and intensely hot days – is a great place to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. By adapting what you plant to the climate, season, and potential pests, you can grow beautiful organic produce that will boost your family’s ability to fight cancer. The findings mentioned above are just three of many coming to the same results. Since pesticides and chemical fertilizers don’t force produce to ‘fight’ to protect itself, antioxidant levels go down. Going organic, on the contrary, encourages produce to go whole hog in terms of immunity, producing phenolics and other compounds that can boost its strength and health benefits.
Author: Jenny Holt
Jennifer Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two, who loves nothing more than to play, “where has the cat hidden itself now.”