5 Tips to Reduce Your Exposure

Here’s a scary statistic…according to the Cancer Research Center in the UK, one in two people will develop cancer at some point during their life.

Why the increase in cancer diagnoses? The researchers behind these new statistics believe that about two-thirds of the increase is due to longevity. The rest is due to our lifestyles…whether that means being overweight, spending too much time in the sun, drinking too much alcohol, or even consuming too many pesticides.

Many people don’t realize all the ways our bodies get exposed to pesticides on a daily basis. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and disinfectants have been in use for so long that we don’t give a second thought to the damage these poisons are causing the environment…and us! It’s not just in the food we eat but the chemicals we use in our yards and our environment.

The Link Between Pesticides and Cancer

The major danger of pesticide use is the amount of chemical residue in and on our food. Residue is left behind on the crops sold to supermarkets and food manufacturers. The chemicals kill beneficial bacterial in the digestive system and wreak havoc on our immune systems.

Fortunately, there are many ways that we can limit our exposure to pesticides and protect ourselves and our children (who are especially vulnerable to pesticides). Below are 5 tips to help you reduce your risk:

  • Buy organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables.

Restore | Gut-Brain Health | Butyrate | Root Vegetables

Yes, buying organic is a little more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the cost. Organic fruits and veggies are fresher than non-organic because they don’t contain preservatives that make them last longer. Mounting evidence also shows that food grown organically is richer in nutrients such as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, due to less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues.

Your local farmer’s market is one of the best places to buy organic produce and there’s the added benefit of supporting your local farmers. If you don’t have a good farmer’s market nearby, grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joes also carry a great variety of organic foods.

  • Know which fruits and vegetables rank high on the pesticide

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the Dirty Dozen” on more than one occasion. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of fruits and vegetables that gets published every year ranking some of the most popular produce based on pesticide contamination. If you’re going to spend the money on buying organic, these are the fruits and veggies that contain the highest levels of pesticides:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The best way to limit your exposure is to buy only organic when choosing from the Dirty Dozen.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

 

I’m as guilty as the next person of rinsing off an apple for just a few seconds under tap water and handing it to my 8-year old because I’m in a hurry. But this isn’t the best way to eliminate all of the pesticide residue.

Although there are some great over-the-counter cleaners you can use to wash your produce before eating, one of the best ways to wash away pesticides is with a homemade solution. Whip up your own using 10 percent white vinegar and 90 percent water and soak your veggies and fruits in them. Stir them around and rinse thoroughly. Just be careful with more delicate fruits like raspberries or blueberries as the solution might damage their porous outer-skin.

  • Use non-toxic methods for controlling insects inside your home and garden.

Yes, it’s easier to run out to Home Depot to buy fertilizer for the lawn or something in a can to kill those pesky bugs eating through your tomatoes, but they wreak havoc on your health!

Homemade remedies, however, are not only inexpensive but they allow you to control what’s going on your lawn and garden. Everything from red pepper flakes to salt spray to citrus oil can be used to keep garden pests at bay. A simple internet search for home remedies can help you target the specific pest you’re dealing with, often with things found in your kitchen cabinet!

 

  • Grow your own produce.

There are a number of benefits to growing your own produce:

            1) It’s a convenient way to get your family to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

            2) You’re in control of what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food.

            3) It’s actually healthier! Vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that must be picked early.

Lastly, because of our daily exposure to so many pesticides and toxins in our environment, adding RESTORE to your daily health plan helps to balance gut health, combat environmental exposures, and promote healthy immune function. It’s been shown in lab studies to strengthen tight junctions in the gut wall, our firewall against toxins!