Hi, friends! I hope you are having a great weekend enjoying soaking up some Vitamin D, spending extra time with friends or if you are working making some extra moohlah. Today is a short post continuing on with our Healthy Habits series!
Why Buy Organic?
This is a tricky area of concern and an even harder area to quantify and study. Unless you had identical twins living their whole lives in a laboratory setting, one eating organic and the other eating only conventional produce, we will never really know what the true effects of pesticides are. We can only speculate associations between levels of known pesticides found in the urine or blood and certain conditions. Therefore the data will always be unreliable and difficult to truly build a clear health message out of.
That being said, here are the concerns being researched, despite the limitations:
- hormone disruption
- cancers – however, it is unclear what level of exposure is necessary to increase risk. Right now research focuses on those exposed to it in the work environment. ith
- brain and nervous system toxicity, especially in children
- skin, eye and lung irritation
In addition, non-organic foods may be washed or processed with chemicals that may cause ill health effects in certain people. For instance, I recently found out that conventional grapes are sometimes rinsed with a sulfate solution as an anti-fungal. Sulfates trigger symptoms such as asthma in some people. For myself, I always wondered why sometimes wine made my stomach hurt and gave me unpleasant symptoms (for those and those around me), but only sometimes. At first, I thought it was a red versus white wine thing, but I’ve since discovered it’s actually organic versus non-organic wine. I have zero symptoms when I drink organic wine and let the bottle breath for at least 45 minutes before drinking it.
Lastly, as we learned last week, excess chemicals must be broken down and detoxified from the body by the liver. I’m a firm believer that a “sluggish liver” is a real thing and can lead to a number of problems including weight loss resistance, lack of energy, and metabolic dysfunction. You may not think the liver is as important as your lungs or heart, but without it, you will survive just as long as you would without your heart. The liver produces bile to help you break down fat, proteins that help transport nutrients, and immune factors for resisting infection. Along with the muscles, it stores and releases glucose as needed. Luckily, you don’t need a cleanse to get things running efficiently and moving. You can simply decrease the toxin load you take in, placing less stress on it and letting it “catch up with itself.”
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) updates a list called the “Dirty Dozen” which ranks the pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables. The list is well known and respected by health professionals. Simply by purchasing the top 12 most contaminated produce items organic, you can drastically reduce your intake of pesticides.
Similarly, the EWG updates a list called the clean 15 which ranks the produce with the lowest pesticide contamination. So, if you don’t want to or it isn’t feasible to buy everything organic, these are the best foods to buy conventional.
Skin/No Skin Rule
If you don’t have the dirty dozen/clean 15 lists with (definitely download the app) or are in a hurry you can go by the skin rule. If you are going to eat the skin on it, you may want to consider purchasing it organic. Foods that you don’t typically eat the skin on such as onions, avocado, pineapples and grapefruit are more likely to be found on the clean 15 list. The rule isn’t perfect, the clean 15 list includes cauliflower which you definitely don’t peel. However, in a pinch, it is an easy thing to consider.
Is Organic Worth It?
Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you, that includes your health AND your budget. If you have children, history of endocrine (hormone) issues, or cancer I would probably urge you to prioritize buying organic produce. Regardless of whether you want to or can afford it, the most important thing is that you are actually consuming at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit per day. Most professional health societies recommend 7-9 for optimal health and cancer prevention. Remember, a serving is the size of your fist!
52 HEALTHY HABITS IN 52 WEEKS SERIES:
The 52 Healthy Habits Series is about ditching the diet mindset and making small changes to improve health overall naturally leading to a healthy body composition, increased energy and improved health. Please follow along and check out the past weeks!
- Week 35: Read the Ingredient List!
- Week 34: Focus.
- Week 33: Chew Your Food!
- Week 32: Meditation
- Week 31: Gratitude Journaling
- Week 30: Plan & Revamp Dessert- 20 Healthy Ideas
- Week 29: Two fistfuls of veggies per meal
- Week 28: Get In Veggies At Breakfast
- Week 27: Healthy Veggie Snacks
- Week 26: Nourishing Fats for the Gut (Healthy Digestion Part 4)
- Week 25: Keeping Regular – The Other Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 3)
- Week 24: Feed The Probiotics With Prebiotic Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 2)
- Week 23: Amazing Health Benefits of Probiotics (Healthy Digestion Part 1)
- Week 22: Check In
- Week 21: What You Will Learn From Recording Your Meals (Intuitive Eating Series Part 4)
- Week 20: Eat Until 80% Full (Hara Hachi Bu) (Intuitive Eating Series Part 3)
- Week 19: Limit Distractions While Eating (Intuitive Eating Series Part 2)
- Week 18: Gaging Your Hunger Cues (Intuitive Eating Series Part 1)
- Week 17: 10,000 Steps Per Day
- Week 16: Assess Your Caffeine Intake
- Week 15: Decrease Sugar Intake
- Week 14: Healthy Coffee Creamers (upgrade yours)
- Week 13: 3 Month Check In
- Week 12: Sleep Enough & Sleep Better
- Week 11: Schedule Your Workouts
- Week 10: Pack A Healthy Lunch (5 Ways to Create Endless Combinations)
- Week 9: Prioritizing Protein
- Week 8: How and What to Meal Prep
- Week 7: Create & Stick To Your Healthy Meal Plan
- Week 6: Get Enough Omega-3’s (Fight Inflammation)
- Week 5: What Is A Healthy Fat & How To Get Enough (Include Healthy Fats)
- Week 4: How to Spot A Healthy Carbohydrate (Upgrade Your Carbs)
- Week 3: Tips to Increase Veggie Intake (Eat Veggies)
- Week 2: 15 Healthy On the Go Breakfast Ideas (Eat BF Challenge)
- Week 1: Tips to Drink More Water