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Feel the benefits of organic

Food picked fresh from the farm, apples rosier and crunchier than ever before, and tomatoes that ooze with flavour and juiciness... Images of organic food being tastier and healthier than conventionally produced food may have some foundation.

As the nation prepares to celebrate organic produce as part of Organic September (1-30 September), it’s worth considering the nutritional benefits, which could help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

What is organic food?

Food labelled as organic refers to how the food has been grown and produced. To be officially classed as organic, the food and how it has been farmed must meet strict criteria. These high standards include the reduced use of pesticides, no use of growth stimulants, and all livestock must be free-range.

What are the benefits of eating organic food?

There may be little difference in the look and taste of organic foods, but research has shown that fresh organic produce may contain more micronutrients, such as iron and magnesium, than conventionally produced food. In fact, there’s thought to be 6% more vitamin C in organic fruit and vegetables – an essential vitamin needed to boost your immune system.

If you decide not to buy organic, it’s still worth eating non-organic produce such as fruit, vegetables, and eggs as they are still extremely beneficial to your health.

How to beat the costs

Swapping your entire weekly shop to organic could seem a little daunting, especially when it comes to the increase in cost. But there are ways to feel the benefits on a budget:

  • Local farmers’ markets are often a great way to buy organic food at a reduced price. Some smaller farms are unable to afford the cost of organic certification, but may still use the same farming methods. Alternatively, try growing your own fruit and vegetables as a guaranteed way of knowing how they’ve been produced. Eating home-grown produce is an inexpensive way of ensuring ultimately fresh, tasty, and vitamin-packed tomatoes or carrots.

It is very important to understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Our simple online health check takes just a few minutes. The Healthier You programme is free to join and you can sign up without visiting your GP. The sessions are now available with a British Sign Language Interpreter if BSL is your first or preferred language.

Use our online checker to find out if you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:

It might be the most important thing you do today.

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Gestational Diabetes: Helen Levé

I’m Helen, an educator on the National Diabetes Prevention Programme. I have been supporting people who are at risk to of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) for the past four years.