At our hospital near Phoenix, patients reap the benefits of having an organic farm right in their backyard. The Hope Springs Organic Farm provides patients and staff with produce fresh from a 25-acre organic farm that will soon expand another 44 acres. Our culinary chefs use the daily harvest to prepare delicious, nutrient-rich meals to ensure they eat the freshest foods year-round.
"Having farm-to-hospital access to produce picked at its peak allows us to provide the highest level of nutrients for our patients,” says Sharon Day, Director of Nutrition. “It’s also an opportunity for our patients to learn more about how to select and prepare fresh produce. We are supporting their healing and wellness while empowering them with tools they can take back home for their own survivorship, and for their family’s wellness."
Antioxidants play a key part in cancer prevention, as they are the chemicals that block free radicals, which may cause cellular damage that leads to cancer. Although some antioxidants are made naturally in the body, you can also consume antioxidants by way of a healthy diet comprised of fruits and vegetables.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows there are significant dietary benefits to choosing produce from organic farms. The study found that organic crops produce higher antioxidants than non-organic crops, as well as lower levels of cadmium and nitrates. Organic crops also contain fewer pesticides.
If eating all organic isn’t in your budget, a good place to start is choosing to buy organic for the foods included on the “dirty dozen” list. These foods contain more pesticides per serving than other types of produce:
- Domestic blueberries
- Sweet bell peppers
- Spinach, kale and collard greens
- Imported grapes
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Learn more about Hope Springs Organic Farm