Juices are more than just drinks and among the best foods we have at our disposal. More than 80 percent of a plant’s nutrients makes it into the juice, and those nutrients are fully absorbed by our bodies—and our children’s bodies—within just minutes of consumption. But what about organic juice? It’s become more prevalent and emphasized due to an increased focus on organic food in our society. With that question in mind, let’s consider five health reasons why you should give your kids organic juice.
1. Chemicals Make It into Juice
If a fruit or other plant is treated with a chemical, then that chemical will make it into the juice you drink. These chemicals include fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. While the fruits are cleaned and other measures are taken to mitigate these substances, traces remain. These substances have been linked to a broad range of health issues. While we can’t state with certainty that these traces put your children at risk of these health issues, we do know that they’re more susceptible due to their lower body mass and more active metabolisms.
2. Greater Source of Nutrients
Organic foods in general have proved to be a greater source of nutrients than typical foods. These nutrients include vitamin C, phosphorous, magnesium, nitrates, iron and so on. There have been enough studies now that the findings are difficult to ignore. It’s clear that pesticides have a very real and negative effect on the plants treated. This effect may even be inadvertent. While scientists don’t know yet exactly why organic juices are higher in nutrients, a popular theory is that fruits produce additional toxins to fight insects and disease that they don’t need when chemicals are used.
3. Organic Juices Have More Antioxidants
Modern science is becoming increasingly aware of just how important antioxidants are to our health and particularly the health of young people. In fact, low levels have been linked to cancer, atherosclerosis and even vision loss. Scientists have also demonstrated that antioxidants combat free radicals, which can damage skin and hair and may play a role in the many different kinds of inflammation that wear our bodies down as we grow older. The good news is that juice is a fantastic source of these substances, such as manganese and beta-carotene, and studies have shown that organic juice tends to possess higher levels.
4. Organic Juice Lack Additives
Organic juice has little to no additives, and it’s not difficult to find brands that guarantee no additives at all. This is thanks in large part to regulations that restrict the use of additives as well as fortifying agents and processing aids. These agents include artificial sweeteners, other flavorings, colorings and monosodium glutamate. Not all additives are necessarily bad for you, but many have been linked with various health problems in children, including asthma, gastric distress, hyperactivity and rashes. It’s also about ensuring that every calorie that your child puts in his or her body is a valuable calorie.
5. Organic Foods are GMO-Free
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. An example is a fruit that’s had its genetic makeup edited in a non-natural way. Sound like science fiction? It isn’t. Consider that many non-organic fruits are combined with bacteria so that they generate their own insecticide, which is called Bt-toxin. It’s becoming increasingly clear that GMOs are bad for us and thus increasingly restricted by the government. They still abound, however, and there’s no good reason to risk a child’s health when so much is unknown about them.
Organic juice isn’t special—it’s natural. The processes created over the years to deliver you non-organic juice were created at a time when our society didn’t have the science to know any better. Eventually, our society will catch up to our science and the term organic juice will be unnecessary. In the meantime, it represents the healthiest and safest way to give your kids the high-nutrient juices they enjoy.