The Dirty Dozen refers to this list of 12 foods that you should aim to buy organic because their pesticide load is very high.🌿🍃
Organic food is void of synthetic chemicals and pesticides that are linked to certain types of cancers and may affect a child's developing body and brain. The term organic means it's grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or radiation. And meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy has not been treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. 🍃🌿
Organic food has the same vitamins and minerals as non organic but has higher antioxidant levels. 🌿🍃
Switching to an organic diet for children significantly reduces their exposure to organophosphates ( a class of pesticides that affect the nervous system )
Their unique susceptibility to the potential toxicity of synthetic chemicals makes organic food a very important choice.
Studies of toddlers who consume organic foods have been found to have 6-9x less pesticides in their blood compared to those eating non organic foods.
No food is 100% residue-free but organic has significantly lower pesticide levels than conventional food. 🌿🍃
Counteract the added expense of organic food by
1) Cooking whole foods from scratch
2) Planning meals carefully
3) Doing home gardening if possible
4) Doing home preserving as much as possible. •••
For our health and the health of the planet it's better to buy all organic but that's not always within budget so remember what foods are the most contaminated and choose organic for them.
Photo EWG.org •••
WHY are we still reaching for plastic water bottles knowing how bad they are for the environment and for our health?? And with the many alternatives available these days there's really no excuse. 🌊
Other plastic debris along with billions of water bottles are clogging our oceans and killing marine life. •••
Synthetic chemicals like bisphenol A and phthalates that are in plastic are polluting not just the environment, but our bodies. 🌊
20 years ago I heard an oncologist speaking on the radio about the dangers of plastic water bottles. He said that males who drink the water from just 2 of these bottles a day have consumed the equivalent of one birth control pill,,, the estrogenic effect of those plastic chemicals is that powerful. Here we are so many years later and that message has been buried!!
A very disturbing consequence of the chemical revolution of the past 100 years is the disruption of testosterone that results in damaging the sexual development of male children. This chemical threat to boys may be a threat to survival of our species. 😮
Think twice before you reach for liquids that come in plastic bottles. All liquids ,, salad dressings, juices, soda, etc.
It is possible to reduce plastic in your everyday life. If not now, then when???
••• The global population is estimated to reach up to 11 billion by the year 2050 with small and medium sized cities expanding more than megacities. More greenery in all cities is crucial for many reasons. •••
Health Benefits of Urban Greenery: 🌿
Increasing greenery in the form of parks, trees, rooftop gardens, backyard gardens, and even flowers along sidewalks is critical to people's health and well being. 🌿🍃 1) Greenery can filter out significant amounts of city pollution and dust. 🌷
2) Help to limit the heat-trapping effects of carbon dioxide emissions, thereby reducing city temperatures and saving on the cost of air conditioning. 🌻
3) Local trees can help reduce asthma and allergic reactions for children living nearby. 🌹
4) Cities are now home to an assortment of plants and animals. More greenery will provide more protection. 🍁
5) Even small urban gardens provide habitat for bees to pollinate. 🐝
Do your part where possible. Plant shrubs, small trees, flowers, gardens ( balcony or backyard ). It all helps. 🌷
Swiss Chard 🌿
Organic seeds ( which means they haven't been irradiated and can germinate easily) have been soaked overnight, drained and patted dry ready for my balcony garden. 🌿 ( if deciding to consume seedlings it's good to know they have 40x the amount of nutrients as the mature vegetable 😳). •••
Swiss Chard identified and cultivated in Switzerland, hence the name, is closely related to beets ( while beets are cultivated for the roots, Swiss chard is grown for its leaves ). 🌱 •••
Here's what makes this green vegetable so valuable as a dietary staple. •• Contains: 🌿🍃 Biotin: linked to healthy hair.
Beta-Carotene: aids eye health and reduces macular degeneration.
Iron and Copper: essential components of red blood cells which increases oxygenation of vital organs.
Potassium and Vit K: essential for boosting cognitive function, and along with the calcium content, these minerals help decrease blood pressure
Calcium: the significant amount of calcium in Swiss chard, as well as magnesium and Vit K, helps stimulate bone growth and development.
Antioxidants: free radicals, which are a byproduct of cellular metabolism and can cause healthy cells to become cancerous, are neutralized by the large amount of antioxidants in Swiss chard.
Flavonoids: powerful phytonutrients responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.
Vit C, E, zinc, lutein, and beta-carotene are all anticancer.
Alpha-lipoid: a noteworthy antioxidant found in Swiss chard which lowers blood glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative-stress changes.
Nitrates: the nitrates in Swiss chard have vascular benefits by decreasing blood pressure, decreasing the clotting factor and improving endothelial dysfunction.
Side note: look for firm, deep green, small leaves ( the smaller leaves are more tender and milder)
Also: if on blood thinners then suddenly increasing your intake of Vit K high foods is not advised.
Butternut Squash: 🌿🍃 Why does it stand ahead of the other bright orange vegetables?
High in beta-carotene like other bright orange vegetables but is one of the highest food sources of the rarer antioxidants beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene. •••
Beta- cryptoxanthin : regular consumption of this antioxidant can reduce the risk of developing arthritis by 50% and lung cancer by more than 30%! 🍃
Alpha-carotene has been shown to have significantly better anti cancer activity than beta-carotene. ••• Butternut squash contains 2 other powerful antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are concentrated in the macular region of the eyes where it provides protection from UV rays and blue light radiation. The more this squash is consumed the lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 🌿
Also Contains: ••
Vitamins C, E, K, B Vitamins - [thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and pyridine]
Magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Not hard to see why this squash should be eaten regularly!! ✅
Note: Consume with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, or seeds to ensure optimum absorption of the fat soluble vitamins E, and K. •••
•• Quinoa has been classified by the Untied Nations as a Super-Crop that has been cultivated continuously for 5,000 years. It's native to the Andes and helped to sustain the ancient Incas. •••
Quinoa is the seed of a leafy plant that is distantly related to spinach. Unlike wheat or rice, it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This means it doesn't need to be paired with legumes to achieve a balanced protein source.
It's one of the richest natural grain sources of lysine. 1/2 cup = 651 mg. Buckwheat and Amaranth are the other 2 "non-true" grains that are also good sources of lysine. ••
Why is LYSINE so important?🌱
1) Required for bone growth and development in children, assists in calcium absorption, helps in maintenance of skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage.
2) Needed to produce antibodies, hormones, enzymes, collagen formation, as well as tissue repair.
3) Helps maintain healthy blood vessels and also seems to assist in fighting herpes and cold sores. •••
Quinoa's other health properties: 🍃
1) Contains more iron than other grains
2) Has high levels of potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, B6
3) Is a good source of zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and some folate
4) VERY high protein content
5) Is gluten free and easy to digest ••
Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered as a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long duration manned space flights. 👍🌿
Part 3 of why meat does not belong in this image. 🌿🍃
The Heart Disease Connection: 🌿🍃
Children as young as 10 years of age are showing signs of coronary artery disease! 😳 That in itself seems a dietary form of child abuse!
Not all countries have high rates of heart disease,,, just the ones consuming a high intake of meat, other animal products, and processed foods. 🌿🍃
What is it about meat that causes heart disease??
Saturated Fats: 🍃
During WW11 restrictions of meat supplies in Europe lead to a dramatic drop in heart disease. Once supplies returned so did rates of heart disease. Not hard to see meat and saturated fat as the villains here. LDL ( the bad cholesterol) is increased when these animal products are consumed.
Within hours a single high fat animal meal increases the lipids circulating in the bloodstream contributing to more plaque buildup ( atherosclerosis) on the lining of arteries until the occlusion is so severe it causes a heart attack. Sometimes a fatal cardiac arrest is the first and only warning that heart disease is even present. •••
Not just the fat by itself that causes problems. Endotoxins, bacterial toxins, are part of the bacteria that meat harbours but are not destroyed by cooking, stomach acid, or digestive enzymes. These endotoxins can trigger inflammation when they are absorbed by the saturated fat and ferried across the gut wall into the bloodstream where they cause an inflammatory reaction in the arteries. Again leading to more plaque buildup.
These reactions happen at every meat meal ,,, inflammatory response which starts to settle down then along comes the next meat-meal which once more creates an inflammatory response fostering a state of chronic low-grade inflammation. And ON and ON it goes developing heart disease bit by bit. 🍃
Evidence based studies have shown for years that plant based eating can not only halt heart disease but actually REVERSE it. Not only does a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans help clean the arteries of plaque but it also improves artery function. Win win. 👏
Why meat doesn't belong in this image ,,, The cancer connection Part 2 🌿🍃
••• Heme Iron:
Animal foods are the only source of heme iron and evidence has linked over consumption of this form of iron ( as opposed to non-heme iron found in plants) to various cancers, including colorectal cancer. 🌿🍃
Heterocyclic amines, which is a formaldehyde-like substance that forms when cooking at high temperatures or over an open flame. 🔥
Eating grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat is associated with an increased risk of prostate and breast cancers. 🌱🍃
Eating more fruits and vegetables helps to mitigate the effects of HCAs and heme iron but doesn't negate them. •••
Acidosis occurs when arterial blood pH falls below 7.35 ( the normal pH is between 7.35 and 7.45). Cellular metabolic activity is affected by, and affects, the pH of body fluids.
A heavy intake of animal products creates acidosis in the body and evidence is suggesting that chronic acidosis may act in ways that promote cancer. 🌱🍃
••• Chicken intake has spiked over the last few years as has rates of lymphoma. For lymphatic cancers, including leukaemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma a vegetarian or vegan diet is highly protective. 🍃🌱
What about organic, grass-fed, hormone free meat? No free pass since the IGF1, HCAs, acidosis, etc are all still present to promote cancer, which it does! 🌱🌿
And lastly a word on telomeres.
Telomeres are caps found on the ends of chromosomes which serve a protective purpose by keeping them from unraveling. In humans, the average telomere length declines from about 11 kilo bases at birth to less than 4 in old age, with decline rates greater in men than women. Preventing the degradation of telomeres can prevent aging. In studies where participants were placed on a vegan diet for 3 months their telomeres lengthened by 29% ,,, a huge difference just by changing their diet to remove all animal products. Pretty hard to argue with that kind of success!!! 😳✅ •••
Which image does NOT belong in this group and why not??🌿🍃
The one product that has been injected with synthetic chemicals to keep it looking 'just slaughtered, red-colour fresh' would be the easy, right answer.
But what else makes meat such an unhealthy choice??🌿🍃
Several Factors: Part 1
Let's explore the Cancer Connection today. •
1) IGF1 - A growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 circulates in our bodies at all times to create new cells and destroy cells that are damaged, precancerous, cancerous, or just worn out. This is a crucial hormone that regulates cell growth, synthesizes new DNA, and keeps the number of cells we have in balance. Levels are higher during periods of growth then diminish once we become adults. ••
Consumption of animal protein stimulates IGF-1 production - whether it's meat protein, egg-white protein, or milk protein. Milk cows are routinely given growth hormones ( even hormone-free ORGANIC milk contains high IGF-1 amounts since it was intended by nature to feed a baby calf), as well milk's high protein content also increases IGF-1 levels in humans. 🌿•••
The more animal protein eaten the more IGF1 is produced and that can accelerate cancer growth and inhibit the death of cancer cells.
2) IGF-1 "binding protein" is a protein released by the liver to mop up any excess IGF-1 that's in the bloodstream and take it out of circulation. Animal protein consumption can lower levels of this important protein allowing even more IGF-1 to circulate thereby increasing cancer risk. 🌿••
Eating a plant-based diet can increase the binding protein by 50%!!
Only those who limit their intake of all animal protein can see a significant drop in levels of cancer-promoting IGF1 and increase levels of protective binding proteins.
Vegetarians consuming eggs and milk don't achieve the same drop in IGF1 as vegans.
Side Note: Vegan men have higher testosterone levels than vegetarians or meat eaters. ✅