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How to Avoid Pesticide-Ridden Produce

“Eat your fruits and vegetables” is still good advice, but we’ve got a couple of caveats for you. First, when possible, opt for organic or homegrown – more nutrients and fewer pesticides with every bite.

Second, if you’re a big consumer of peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears consider peeling and slicing before slipping those sweet, succulent gifts from the gods into your mouth.

The Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables

Why you may ask? In a word: pesticides. A recent study by the USDA ranked pesticide contamination in 47 popular fruits and vegetables. Six different measures of contamination were used to arrive at a composite score.

The “dirty dozen” worst offenders were: nectarines, peaches, apples, strawberries, cherries, imported grapes, pears, celery sweet bell peppers, carrots, kale, and lettuce.  Nectarines had the highest percentage of samples test positive with a whopping 97.3%. Peaches had the most pesticides overall, with an astounding 53 pesticides found on the samples tested. And sweet bell peppers won the prize for the most pesticides tested on a single sample with 11. Yikes.

Indeed, Tess, who is only 26, recently had a nasty reaction after eating some seemingly innocent red grapes. Within 10 minutes, Tess started noticing her vision blurring, light-headedness setting in, and nausea coming on.  She did a little research and found that her symptoms were consistent with pesticide reactions. Scary stuff and she doesn’t have the decades of ingestion of pesticides that many seniors have.

That’s the bad news. Now for the good news. The USDA also found the “Clean Fifteen.”  The fruits and veggies least likely to have pesticides include:  onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, papayas, watermelon, and grapefruit.

Pesticides Wreak Havoc on the Body

In animal studies, pesticides have been shown to increase cancer, cause nervous system damage, impair reproduction, and cause skin, eye and lung irritation. Children who are still developing are especially at risk. These poisons are extra tough on your already over-taxed liver.

Let’s take a quick trip back to basic biology 101. Your liver is roughly the size of a football and is one of the largest organs in your body (your skin is the largest organ). It performs all sorts of critical functions including filtering blood, converting sugar into triglycerides, controlling blood clotting, and, of course, eliminating toxins. Lucky for you, we have several great products that support your liver’s work in detoxifying your system of nasty pesticides and other toxins.

Potent Detoxifiers for Fighting Off Pesticides

Let’s start with Milk Thistle, the supplement of choice when it comes to healing and detoxing your liver. Clinical trials have shown milk thistle to be effective in combating a range of liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver.

Add to this Alpha Lipoic Acid, the universal antioxidant that is uniquely both fat and water soluble. This, too, promotes detoxification and also protects the liver from free radical damage.

Turmeric Curcumin has also been shown to be a superb anti-inflammatory and detoxifier.

Lastly, consider SAMe, which has been shown to promote bile flow and spur on a sluggish liver.

While we’re on the subject of your liver, there are several dietary steps you can take to stay healthy and avoid toxins. The cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale), artichokes, rhubarb, apples, garlic, onions, turnips, sesame seed, sunflower oil, walnut oil, and wheat germ) all promote liver health. Just be sure you wash them first!

You’ll also want to avoid white sugar, white flour and fried foods and, obviously, keep those cocktails under control.