People tend to look for certified “organic” and “pesticide-free” labels on the packaging of fresh produce before tossing them into their carts, and for good reason.
Organic foods are reported to contain higher levels of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds than their commercial counterparts. It’s also safe to assume that organic foods contain little to no chemicals from pesticides and artificial fertilizers, as previously noted. Here Skye Anderson, Food.news, reflects on why eating raw organic produce is good for your health:
“The debate over which type of produce — whether organic or conventional — is healthier has been going on for years. While some claim there’s no difference between the two, others say organic produce are cleaner and more nutritious.
Now a study has emerged explaining why eating organically grown foods — fruits, in particular — are better for our health than eating conventionally grown foods.
Researchers at the Graz University of Technology in Austria found that organic apples contain a more diverse and balanced population of good and bad bacteria than conventional apples.
Although how these apples were grown did not affect the number of bacteria they contained, the researchers observed that conventionally grown apples contained more bad bacteria than good ones. These bad bacteria belonged to the orders Burkholderiales and Enterobacteriales, both of which include some of the most common disease-causing pathogens known to humans.
Bacteria from food: The importance of the gut microbiota
According to Birgit Wasserman, the lead author of the study, plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables represent the most important source for a diverse microbial community — an important factor for maintaining healthy gut microbiota and immune system.
Our bodies play host to a diverse community of microorganisms, and the largest population can be found in our gut. Studies show that the human gut microbiota is composed of more than 100 trillion microorganisms. While the composition of the gut microbiota is unique to each individual, the same bacterial groups contribute to good health in humans.
For instance, the four dominant phyla found in the human gut are Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Firmicutes are generally considered “bad” bacteria because of their negative influence on glucose and fat metabolism. Meanwhile, Bacteroidetes are considered to be “good” bacteria because they produce beneficial compounds like short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
SCFAs (e.g., acetate, butyrate, propionate and lactate) have been found to reduce inflammation, control the appetite, nourish colon cells and regulate the immune system, among other things. The good bacteria that produce them — for example, Lactobacilli, Bacteroides and Bifidobacteria — also serve other functions, such as increasing intestinal functionality and stability. They do this by keeping bad gut bacteria from growing out of control and causing infections.
According to studies, bacteria from the genus Bacteroides alone constitute about 30 percent of all the bacteria found in our gut, suggesting that these microbes are particularly important for the healthy functioning of the digestive system. Diet, however, influences gut microbial composition. Depending on the nutrients and microbial communities they contain, the foods that we eat can either increase or decrease the number of good bacteria in our gut.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2020-09-15-eating-raw-organic-produce-good-for-health.html
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