Am I getting tired of beating the same drum? Not at all. Especially when I find information citing research that confirms what I’ve been saying for years.
In a new study published in the Journal of Environment Research it was found that participants (ages 18-65) who ate a diet consisting of at least 80% organic foods for one week had a staggering 89% less pesticide residue in their urine, compared with what is found when conventionally (pesticide laden) grown produce is eaten.
This is a huge result, but exactly what does it mean? One of the main components of pesticides is organophosphates. These have been found to inhibit a specific neurotransmitter essential for carrying signals between muscles and nerves. Organophosphates may also cause paralysis and children, in particular, are at greater risk from pesticides because their bodies do not detox as easily as adult bodies.
For many families purchasing organic produce is cost prohibitive. All conventionally grown produce contains a dose of toxic pesticides. According to a Natural Society report (5/6/14 – The 15 Cleanest and 12 Most Pesticide-Laden Produce of 2014):
“Today, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States alone every year, leading to numerous health and environmental consequences. Among the many negative effects of pesticides, research has found that these chemicals can lead to cancer, birth defects, infertility, kidney failure, and much more. Monsanto’s Bt toxins are killing human embryo cells, while Roundup and glyphosate are leading to a kidney disease epidemic in poor farming regions….”
While this statement relates to the United States I can safely say that the situation is not markedly different in just about every other country that has adopted large crop, mono-agricultural farming methods.
The Dirty Dozen
The items of produce that have been found to be most toxic are: 1) Apples, 2) Strawberries, 3) Grapes, 4)Celery, 5) Peaches, 6) Spinach, 7) Sweet Bell Peppers, 8) Nectarines, 9) Cucumbers, 10) Cherry Tomatoes, 11) Snap Peas (imported) and 12) Potatoes.
The Clean Fifteen
The produce items found to hold least pesticide residue and have tested low on pesticide concentration are: 1) Avocados, 2) Sweet Corn (though is likely to be GMO), 3) Pineapples, 4) Cabbage, 5) Frozen Sweet Peas, 6) Onions, 7) Asparagus, 8) Mangoes, 9) Papayas (tho likely to be GMO), 10) Kiwis, 11) Eggplant, 12) Grapefruit, 13) Canteloupe, 14) Cauliflower and 15) Sweet Potato.
If you’ve been putting off growing some of your own fruits, vegetables and herbs possibly you may reconsider your options. During the warmer months, especially, it’s a great time to begin growing some of your own food supply. If you don’t know how to, then there is an abundance of books available on all types of gardening, including growing food in small spaces, in pots as well as containing great information on making your own insect repellent sprays that are organic and non-toxic.
Another option is to frequent farmers’ markets and find produce that is grown free of chemicals, though not necessarily labelled organic. Being certified Organic is a huge expense that many farmers cannot afford.
A newly released book, Toxin Toxout – Getting Harmful Chemicals out of our Bodies and our World, by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith explains how toxins damage our bodies and environment, and best of all provides some simple strategies that can be applied to reduce the levels of pollutants and exposure to them.
Detoxing Your Body of Pesticides and Other Chemicals
Just the other day I heard a news report that the chemical toxins from car exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke (including second hand) are highly toxic to the body. There is no doubt that over time the toxins accumulate. What are the long term health implications of this? Why is it important to detox regularly?
The first time I undertook a detox was in the mid-90s. It involved preparing all meals from scratch, using only wholesome unprocessed foods. This detox process lasted six weeks. By the end of it my skin glowed, my eyes were clear, hair shone and I had a huge amount of energy – I felt better than I had for years. Since that time I’ve made it a point to ensure that my body detoxes regularly and on an ongoing basis.
As many of you know I eat a largely organic diet. Starting the day off with a freshly slow pressed vegetable juice is a great way of helping the body remain ‘clean’ on the inside. However, in recent times I’ve added a teaspoon of either spirulina or chlorella powder to my morning juice. Both these potent green powders actually help the body eliminate heavy toxic metals. There are no immediate side effects or even signs that the body is detoxing. However, every few weeks I find a subtle hint that there is a release of toxins. This release is evident in a strongly metallic taste in my mouth, it also is evident in my body’s eliminations as a strong metal smell. When perspiring, especially, the odour can be strong for a brief moment.
However, the body only releases heavy metals at a very slow rate and not a great deal is released at a time, which is why it pays dividends to continue taking chlorella and/or spirulina regularly. I use powder, mixed into juice, as the rate of absorbability in the body (from liquids) is up to about 98%, whereas taking these potent greens in tablet form results in an absorption rate of only about 50%.
Exercise and Sweating Important
An article at www.mercola.com entitled Niacin, Exercise, and Sauna – A Simple and Effective Detox Program That Can Significantly Improve Your Health cites significant research findings on the health benefits of detoxing.
Research is cited in the article, demonstrating clearly that the body stores toxins in fat and other fatty organs such as the brain. When weight is lost toxic chemicals gradually move out from the body’s fat stores.
Exercise is a key to elimination, as pesticides and other toxic chemicals are safely released via the skin, the body’s largest organ. The article cites the work of Dr Yu, who stresses the importance of taking niacin to “mobilize toxic substances from your fat cells”. His study focuses on mobilizing toxins from both the skin and the GI tract. Dr Yo recommends using niacin in conjunction with both exercise and sauna therapy.
Not everyone has access to a sauna. However, I’m finding that hiking up and down the trails in the mountains two to three times a week (regardless of the season) is ideal for building up a sweat, as well as providing an aerobic workout. Dr Mercola and other fitness experts recommend high intensity interval training, as a means of stimulating the human growth hormone in adults – and which, I assure you, generates lots of sweating!
I have never taken niacin as a supplement on its own. It may be something you feel is appropriate to explore and learn more about.
Toxins in the Breast Tissue
With breast cancer being one of the scourges of our time there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of succumbing to this insidious disease. The breasts consist of tissue and fat cells – a great place for toxins to reside. The lymph glands, located close to the breasts, are also an area where cancer cells locate. This is why regular exercise (with sweating) is important. The lymph moves the toxins, via the lymph, to the liver which then detoxify slowly.
It has also been found that the sweat glands under the arms are able to eliminate the stored toxins. I’ve found a wonderful product, Detox Deodorant – for night time detox use – to be brilliant for helping remove stored toxins from the breast tissue. This product is applied like a deodorant, but at night time, and washed off in the morning shower. The developer of this product has undertaken years of research, and the use of thermal imaging to map the reduction of toxins in the body as a result of regular application of this product. For more information on this product (which happens to be totally synthetic chemical and petroleum free) go to www.herbalixrestoratives.com
Hydration is Important
It’s easy to overlook the importance of hydration in this process. Drinking purified water – and plenty of it – helps the liver, sweat glands and fat cells eliminate toxic chemicals from the body. My personal preference is to have a water filter that filters out fluoride and chlorine, and other chemicals. A water purifier doesn’t have to be overly expensive to be of a high quality. Do your research and find the purifier system that suits your body, one that ‘feels right’.
While detoxing your body from chemicals limit your intake of coffee, sodas and other flavored liquids as much as possible. Prepare meals from scratch using wholesome, natural foods and avoid consuming pre-packaged, processed foods.
One Day at a Time
If you have never undertaken a detox program the first thing to remember is – don’t feel overwhelmed! Take it one day at a time. Make the changes slowly. Adjust to the changes before taking the next step. This way you will begin to identify what works, notice the minor changes and improvements in wellbeing.
If your body contains a lot of toxic chemicals there is a possibility that you may actually feel sick, have headaches and generally feel out of sorts for up to a week or two! If so, just take it slowly and ensure you persist with the process as your body may be going through a similar process as someone who’s giving up cigarette smoking or alcohol. I’ve experienced this type of healing crisis response in my body numerous times (for various reasons) and it’s never comfortable. The final result, however, is well worth the discomfort.