7 Reasons to grow your own organic vegetable garden

During the last decades there has been a change towards mechanization and homogenization of farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques. All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals (bird’s flu being the most recent one).

The World Health Organization produces reports to show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are actually a threat for our health.

If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Today I’m presenting you with seven reasons for doing this:

1. You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.

2. There will be no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. These chemical products are applied to obtain crops all the time regardless plagues or weather conditions, and affect the quality of the vegetables. Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.

3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GM). Antibiotics, drugs and hormones are used on vegetables to grow more and larger ones. One of the consequences of this practice are vegetables which look all the same and are usually tasteless. Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with the potential risks for our health.

4. Eating your own organic vegetables will be much more healthy for you. They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket. Your health will not be at risk because you will then know that nothing has been added to your vegetables.

5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty. The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them. With organic vegetables, your cooking will be enhanced as their flavour will show fully.

6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment. Because you won’t use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.

7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet. Small communities have been founded where members exchange products that they grow naturally, thus contributing to create a friendly and better place for us all.

In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have. As you can guess, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food. To better care for your health, grown your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need.

Why Low Glycemic Foods?

Some currently popular eating plans like The Perricone Prescription, A Week in the Zone and The Protein Power Lifeplan recommend low glycemic foods.

The theory is that sugar and high glycemic carbs that rapidly convert to sugar trigger a release of insulin to control the level of sugar in the bloodstream. Excess sugar in the bloodstream is inflammatory and causes a cascade of free radical damage.

To explain how dangerous this is, Dr, Perricone points out that diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar age one third faster than nondiabetics and are prone to kidney failure, blindness, heart attack and stroke.

So insulin comes to the rescue to clear the excess sugar from the bloodstream. And what do you suppose the insulin does with all this sugar? It stores it as fat. And worse yet, until the insulin sweeps up the excess sugar, it runs rampant throughout the body causing glycation and cross-linking of the body’s collagen.

The effect is visible on the skin, which becomes leathery and inflexible as we age. Though it can’t be seen, the same damage is taking place inside the body where it affects other vital organs including the kidneys, lungs and brain.

So far, so good. Nutritionists have recommended that people cut their consumption of sugar for decades. The surprise when one ranks sugars and carbs by their glycemic index, is that some foods we normally think of as healthy show up as being bad for you.

The glycemic index is a ranking from 1 to 100, with 100 indicating the increase in blood sugar from eating table sugar (or white bread in one scale). Whichever scale is used, the important thing is a rank ordering of a food’s effect on blood sugar.

The low glycemic food diets mentioned above have different cut off points. For example, Dr. Perricone’s 28-day program prohibits any foods that score above 50 on the glycemic scale. That leaves out such things as bananas, bagels, carrots, corn, potatoes, rice and watermelon.

You can read more about the glycemic index (GI) and view the whole table http://www.mendosa.com/gi.htm here. This site is authored by David Mendoza, a freelance medical writer and consultant specializing in diabetes. The site is a gold mine of information.

Mr. Mendoza points out that a food’s glycemic index tells you how rapidly a particular carb turns into sugar, but not how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving. In other words, it’s not just the quality of the carb, but also the quantity, that counts.
The version of glycemic index on his site (courtesy of Professor Jennie-Brand Miller of the University of Sydney) includes a column called glycemic load (GL) as well as a column of serving size in grams. A glycemic load of 20 or more is considered high; 11 to 19 is medium; and 10 or less is low.

Looking at this bigger picture, some of the “bad” carbs in low-glycemic food diets turn out to be not so bad. A 120g serving of watermelon has a horrible GI of 74 but a very low GL of 4. A medium banana (129g) has a bad GI of 51 but a medium GL of 13. An 80g serving of carrots has a borderline GI of 47 but a low GL of only 3. The same amount of corn has a GI of 47 but a low GL of 7.

On the other hand, some carb foods look bad whether you go by the GI or the GL. A 70g bagel has a high GI (72) as well as a high GL (25). A 150g serving of boiled white rice has a GI of 56 and a GL of 24. A medium baked potato (159g) has a high GI (60) and a marginal GL (18).

If you decide to concentrate on low-glycemic foods, I recommend you focus on a food’s glycemic load. Just be careful to adhere to the indicated serving sizes (or adjust the calculation accordingly), GL is a better measure of how much sugar in total is being poured into the bloodstream and the amount of sugar that will be stored as fat.

This article is for informational purposes only. It does not purport to offer medical advice.