Eating Organic Can Dramatically Reduce Your Cancer Risk

There are many great reasons to eat more organic food, including: reducing intake of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), ingesting fewer toxic pesticides, and organic foods just taste so much better. But, there’s another reason to eat organic, according to research. A new study found that simply by switching to organic foods you can slash your cancer risk.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, scientists reviewed the effects of eating organic foods and found some impressive results. Simply by switching to organic foods, you can cut your overall risk of developing cancer by 25 percent and a whopping 73 percent for lymphomas—cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of nodes, tubes and glands that remove waste products from the tissues throughout the body.

The study, led by Julia Baudry, an epidemiologist at Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, in France, assessed organic foods and their effects on the health of 68,946 people, the bulk of which were women in their forties. They followed up with them, on average, at the four-and-a-half-year mark. In addition to the reduced overall rate of developing cancer, and the dramatic reduced risk for developing lymphoma, the researchers also found that there was a 21 percent reduction in breast cancer.

Dr. Baudry concluded in an interview that “if the findings are confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer.” And, considering the lack of side-effects of eating more organic foods, other than the beneficial prospect of eating better tasting food that is also higher in nutritional value, this is an approach to reducing cancer risk that is worth immediately implementing, even before additional studies confirm the test results.

Previous research conducted as part of a meta-analysis and published in the British Journal of Nutrition assessed 343 studies to determine the nutritional value of organic to conventional produce. The authors of the study found statistically significant differences between organic and non-organic crops, particularly in antioxidant values.

Antioxidants are nutrients that destroy cell-damaging free radicals linked with aging and disease. In addition to higher levels of vitamins and minerals, certain other nutrients such as phenolic acids, flavanones, flavonols and anthocyanins were 19 percent, 69 percent, 50 percent and 51 percent higher in organic produce, respectively. These compounds are linked with a significantly reduced risk of suffering from many chronic diseases, including heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and some forms of cancer.

And, if that wasn’t enough reason to make the switch to organic food, animal research at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, found that chronic ingestion of cadmium causes increased blood pressure, reduced blood flow to the limbs and especially kidney disease. Cadmium is an ingredient in many pesticides and residues of the heavy metal remain on or within the food, making it potentially dangerous to health.

Many people cite higher costs for organic foods as a rationale for not buying them but the reality is that this is usually an excuse. Our health is worth more than the cost of satellite or cable television, those clothes or shoes we may have our eye on, or that costly vehicle. We need to get out of the mindset that organic produce isn’t worth the extra expense. And, frankly, with a little creativity and effort, it is possible to save money on organic food. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1)     Prioritize your organic choices if absolutely necessary. So, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy should take precedence, as should the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables.

2)     Buy directly from organic growers as much as possible. They often pass down the transportation and retailer savings to consumers.

3)     Grow more of your own food. Even in an apartment you can grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs and even tomatoes in a planter on a balcony.

It’s easier than you think to go organic, and the health benefits are worth every bit of the effort.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.

54 comments

michela c
michela c7 days ago

Thanks

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Shirley S
Shirley S10 days ago

Most of my life I was lucky to have home grown vegetables.

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Glennis W
Glennis W10 days ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W10 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W10 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W10 days ago

Very intersting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R10 days ago

How much research has/hasn't been done of the safety of "organic" pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides?

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Marija M
Marija M10 days ago

tks

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Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs10 days ago

ok.

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Sue H
Sue H11 days ago

While I totally agree, not everyone can afford to eat organic all the time.

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