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Healthy Tips

10 Organic Foods That Are Worth the Money

1.Apples…[amazon_link asins=’B00AXYF5EY,B007OC5X40,B0000VD4TS,B00BNZSXC8,B00F6MG2ZY,B011QIAIW4,B01EM9OHC6,B00HKLK3ZO,B001ID6MIC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8ab40d8c-620a-11e7-82a1-4dd9df606967′]
The FDA states that more pesticides are found on apples than are found on any other fruit or vegetable — a grand total of 36. One test found seven chemicals on a single apple. Sounds like a good reason to switch to pesticide-free organic produce to me.

Of course, if you do eat apples or any other fruit, use them sparingly and never consume them in the form of fruit juice, which is basically just a glass full of fructose.

No organic? Peel your apples

2.Baby Foods..[amazon_link asins=’B00FFJ3TJA,B00XCLFZLS,B00PDN097S,B01GU4MQLU,B00AO9H65Y,B001V79W96,B01H0EQ3JU,B017DC7M8U,B015E99Z7U’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b99b0a54-620a-11e7-adc0-b194c5e43c09′]
An infant’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s, and more vulnerable. Nonorganic baby foods tend to use fruits and vegetables that have been treated with chemicals.

No organic? Make your own purees by tossing organic fruits and vegetables into the blender.

3.Butter and Milk..[amazon_link asins=’B01A13AUAU,B000CC1FM8,B00FTC7DR2,B00RPSOEF2,B00VXQGY64,B00DC5ZKQE,B004RR61SM,B01D4V6WXK,B001LNPHNA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6f8997dd-620b-11e7-a4eb-296ee70b662a’] [amazon_link asins=’1603582193,B00APPF0LE,B004K69OMU,0979209528,0970118147,1508886326,B00TW8P380,B01LXML9QT,B06XD2WS8G’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’937770b7-620b-11e7-97fc-556b69bd1541′]
Dairy cows eat grains that are heavily treated with chemicals, which show up in the milk. Non-organic milk can also contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.

However, RAW milk is nearly always better than organic milk if it is purchased from a conscious farmer. In that case, it may not be certified organic, but it will essentially be organic anyway, and drinking your milk raw is KEY. The linked article should have written loads about this difference, but failed entirely to do so.

4.Cantaloupe…[amazon_link asins=’B00F6MFM3C,B01BMVHR38,B007OBE7C0,B0184G4SUE,B01BMWSKQA,B003QGW1Z2,B01EBD850I,B019ED227W,B005SWLG3K’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b9a7e636-620b-11e7-b643-6bb6c9dd542f’]
Cantaloupes often are contaminated by five of the longest-lasting chemicals. Dieldrin, a very toxic and carcinogenic insecticide, still gets taken up through the cantaloupe’s roots even though it was banned in 1974.

No organic? Thoroughly wash the outside of the melon, since a knife can drag exterior residues through the flesh as you slice it.

5.Cucumbers…[amazon_link asins=’B00YOQDWOM,B004L6DI9O,B002707WIY,B0142WMX10,B009NKS90G,B009SRTA0M,B01FN4DP2C,B01CSG6P7U,B00005NFBJ’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ec6fc6da-620b-11e7-a447-a1fefed18082′]
Cucumbers were ranked the 12th most contaminated food and the second in cancer risk due to their pesticide content.

No organic? Peel the cucumbers, since the waxes used to make the skin shiny also tend to hold chemicals.

6.Grapes….[amazon_link asins=’B007OC3734,B000RGYJI6,B007OC481E,B000P6J0SM,B001O3U7AK,B000NOCRO0,B00CI3ULTC,B005K5GQB2,B0005ZVGJO’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0fa30168-620c-11e7-883a-678a208feace’]
Grapes get treated with numerous chemicals, especially Chilean grapes, which can be sprayed with as many as 17 of them. Grapes are also, whether organic or not, especially high in fructose — you might want to consider eating the grape skins and leaving the grape itself alone.
No organic? Search out grapes grown domestically; they are treated with fewer chemicals.
7.Green Beans ..[amazon_link asins=’B00N1763A0,B0005ZVGKS,B006NKT9EO,B0040PX5T4,B01B1A7DZ2,B008KKW0W8,B008STNLI8,B0005ZVGL2,B00BIY0YS0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’42326dd3-620c-11e7-899b-8dd5d86aa5dd’]
There are over 60 pesticides that are registered for use on green beans in the U.S.

No organic? Choose fresh beans over canned or frozen. Wash them well.

8.Spinach …..[amazon_link asins=’B0005ZWVRU,B004SV5JWQ,B0044R368S,B007C7PPY0,B0047NSHBK,B00DX5D8CQ,B000FZRYE0,B0090DXWXA,B015EX7GLS’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6aa865ff-620c-11e7-978c-9feb4ff34209′]
The chemicals used to treat spinach may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production.

No organic? Vigilantly wash each leaf separately under running water.

9.Strawberries..[amazon_link asins=’B000P6J0SM,B0082WMM7C,B002B8Z98W,B004MPA8P6,B002QYK8FA,B00R7XOGYO,B000P717MI,B01AO47KWW,B00BIBO19G’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9beb2d02-620c-11e7-adad-1db21602f861′]
Strawberries are among the most contaminated of all produce. Once again, be wary of overdoing it with fructose when you eat fruit.

No organic? Choose local berries over long-distance ones (which generally involve more spraying). The package should say where they’re from, or the supermarket’s produce manager should know.

10.Winter Squash..[amazon_link asins=’B00AMO2ITK,B01M1MY4JV,B00AUUN9US,B01A3MTJ3I,B001F5XE6G,B01B1VFP8I,B00E816T2A,B00F4I2FNS,B001BM8SS2′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c4215e36-620c-11e7-9c43-a1c16ca06a25′]
Winter squash, like cantaloupe, can absorb dieldrin from the soil.

No organic? Buy Mexican. The soil in Mexico is largely uncontaminated by dieldrin.

Source: Real Simple November 2010

 
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News on Health & Science

New Definitions for Organic Meat and Milk Issued

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After a drawn-out debate, the U.S. Agriculture Department has significantly narrowed the definition of organic livestock to animals that spend a third of the year grazing on pasture.

click to see

The new rules also say that “organic” milk and meat must come from livestock grazing on pasture for at least four months of the year, and that 30 percent of their feed must come from grazing.

The old rules said only that animals must have access to pasture.

Once a niche market, the organic industry has grown exponentially in the last 20 years. Organic products are grown without pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or biotechnology.


Source:
SF Gate February 13, 2010

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Health Alert

Foods That Chronic Pain Sufferers Should Avoid

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is a pervasive issue and fibromyalgia is a very common form. It is a chronic condition whose symptoms include muscle and tissue pain, fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbances.
………………...CLICK & SEE
Recent data suggests that central sensitization, in which neurons in your spinal cord become sensitized by inflammation or cell damage, may be involved in the way fibromyalgia sufferers process pain.

Certain chemicals in the foods you eat may trigger the release of neurotransmitters that heighten this sensitivity.

Although there have been only a handful of studies on diet and fibromyalgia, the following eating rules can’t hurt, and may help, when dealing with chronic pain.

Limit Sugar as Much as Possible. Increased insulin levels will typically dramatically worsen pain. So you will want to limit all sugars and this would typically include fresh fruit juices. Whole fresh fruit is the preferred method for consuming fruit products.

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you will also want to limit grains as much as possible as they are metabolized very similarly to sugars. This would also include organic unprocessed grains. Wheat and gluten grains are the top ones to avoid.

Eat fresh foods. Eating a diet of fresh foods, devoid of preservatives and additives, may ease symptoms triggered by coexisting conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It’s also a good idea to buy organic food when possible, as it’s best to avoid pesticides and chemicals. However, fresh is best. So if you have to choose between local, fresh, non-organic and organic but wilting – go with fresh, and clean properly.

Avoid caffeine. Fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to an imbalance of brain chemicals that control mood, and it is often linked with inadequate sleep and fatigue. The temptation is to artificially and temporarily eliminate feelings of fatigue with stimulants like caffeine, but this approach does more harm than good in the long run. Though caffeine provides an initial boost of energy, it is no substitute for sleep, and is likely to keep you awake.

Try avoiding nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant may trigger arthritis and pain conditions in some people.

Be Careful with Your Fats. Animal based omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA have been touted as a heart-healthy food, and they may help with pain, as well. They can help reduce inflammation and improve brain function. At the same time, you want to eliminate all trans fat and fried foods, as these will promote inflammation.

Use yeast sparingly. Consuming yeast may also contribute to the growth of yeast fungus, which can contribute to pain.

Avoid pasteurized dairy. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have trouble digesting milk and dairy products. However, many find that raw dairy products, especially from grass fed organic sources, are well tolerated.

Cut down on carbs. About 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients have low adrenal functioning, which affects metabolism of carbohydrates and may lead to hypoglycemia.

Avoid aspartame. The artificial sweetener found in some diet sodas and many sugar-free sweets is part of a chemical group called excitotoxins, which activate neurons that can increase your sensitivity to pain.

Avoid additives. Food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) often cause trouble for pain patients. MSG is an excitatory neurotransmitter that may stimulate pain receptors; glutamate levels in spinal fluid have been shown to correlate with pain levels in fibromyalgia patients.

Stay away from junk food. Limit or eliminate fast food, candy, and vending-machine products. In addition to contributing to weight gain and the development of unhealthy eating habits, these diet-wreckers may also irritate your muscles, disrupt your sleep, and compromise your immune system.

Resources:
Health.com 2008
Health.com 2007
National Fibromyalgia Association

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Positive thinking

Quality Vs. Quantity

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We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage….CLICK & SEE

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts.

Sources: Daily Om

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News on Health & Science

Weighing the Value of Organic Foods

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Food produced without most conventional pesticides or fertilizers are perceived to be more healthful, but scientists have yet to offer proof.

With the recession breathing down our necks, many people are looking for ways to cut the household budget without seriously compromising family well-being. So here’s a suggestion: If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, consider switching to less pricey non-organic produce instead.

Hold the e-mails and hear me out: There really is no proof that organic food, which costs about a third more, is better than the conventionally grown stuff.

It may seem, intuitively, that crops grown without pesticides should be better for us and that food grown the old-fashioned way, by rotating crops and nurturing the soil naturally, would be superior to food that is mass-produced and chemically saturated.

Many people feel that way. Annual sales of organic food and beverages grew from $1 billion in 1990 to well over $20 billion in 2007, according to the Organic Trade Assn., an industry group.

But the truth is that, from a hard-nosed science point of view, it’s still unclear how much better — if at all — organic food is for one’s health than non-organically grown food.

“Organic” means food grown without most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website (usda.gov). To carry the “organic” seal, a product must be certified as having been produced according to federal regulations. Small farmers are exempt.

Prepared food made with organic ingredients also tends to be processed more gently, with fewer chemical additives, said Charles Benbrook, an agricultural economist who is chief scientist at the Organic Center. The nonprofit research group is based in Boulder, Colo., and is supported by the organic food industry.

But the word “organic” has not been designated as an official health claim by the government. Such a designation is used only when there is evidence of significant health benefits — and so far, that evidence is lacking for organic food.

It’s clear, however, that conventionally grown food has remnants of pesticides on it. A 2002 study in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants showed that there were more pesticide residues on conventional than organically grown food, even after the food was washed and prepared. There’s also clear evidence that pesticides can enter the body in other ways, a major reason that Environmental Protection Agency regulations exist to keep farm workers from entering recently sprayed fields.

A study by Emory University researchers and others published in 2006 in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institutes of Health, showed that when children were fed a conventional diet, their urine contained metabolic evidence of pesticide exposure, but that when they were switched to an organic diet, those signs of exposure disappeared.

All of which raises the question: How much harm do pesticides cause?

A number of studies suggest that, at high doses, organophosphate chemicals used in pesticides can cause acute poisoning and that even at somewhat lower doses, they may impair nervous system development in children and animals. But at the amounts allowed by the government in the American food supply? That’s where many nutritionists and environmental scientists seem to part company.

“We don’t have any good proof that there is any harm from fruits and vegetables grown with the pesticides currently used,” said Dr. George Blackburn, a nutritionist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. The real issue is to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, whether they’re grown conventionally or organically, he added.

“Keeping herbicide and pesticide levels as low as possible does make sense, although there is no clear evidence that these increase health risks at the levels consumed currently in the U.S.,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

What is of concern, he said, is the meat industry’s increasing use of growth hormones in animals. (The “organic” label on beef means, among other things, that the cattle it came from were raised without antibiotics and hormones. Some non-organic beef is also raised without hormones or antibiotics, as noted on its label.)

Even if we don’t yet have all the evidence that organic produce might be desirable, Benbrook of the Organic Center said it’s time to change the notion that there’s nothing wrong with a little pesticide for breakfast. Over the last two years, he said, “nearly every issue of Environmental Health Perspectives has had at least one new research report” on how pesticides can harm a child’s neurological growth, particularly on brain architecture, learning ability and markers for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. While this falls short of incontrovertible proof that properly washed conventional produce can harm people, it does raise red flags, environmentalists say.

Weighing the value of organic foods also means looking at nutrition, not just the dangers of pesticides — and there is disagreement over whether organic food supplies more nutrients.

Researchers at UC Davis did a 10-year study, published last year, in which a particular strain of tomatoes was grown with pesticides on conventional soil right next to the same strain grown on soil that had been certified organic. All plants were subject to the same weather, irrigation and harvesting conditions.

The conclusion? Organic tomatoes had more vitamin C and health-promoting antioxidants, specifically flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol — although researchers noted that year-to-year nutrient content can vary in both conventional and organic plants.

Other research has also shown nutritional advantages for organic food, according to the Organic Center, which reviewed 97 studies on comparative nutrition. Benbrook, the center’s chief scientist, says that although conventionally grown food tends to have more protein, organic food is about 25% higher in vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Yet a recent Danish study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed no vitamin and mineral advantage to organic food.

So, what to eat? ………… Side with the nutritionists who urge people to eat more fruits and vegetables, regardless of how they’re grown. Common sense, though not necessarily science, would seem to favor organics, if you can afford them. But if you want, split the difference — buy organic for fruits and vegetables that are thin-skinned or hard to wash or peel, and go conventional for those, such as bananas, that peel easily.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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