Sunday, 29 July 2007

Worthy Wisdom: Clean eating may fight off cancer

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Are we living in a toxic environment? The experts at Canyon Ranch ask us to consider these facts:
  • The EPA estimates that 4.7 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment annually.
  • It's likely that 25 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some level of heavy metal poisoning.
  • Fourteen pounds of food colorings, additives, preservatives, emulsifiers, and flavorings are consumed per person each year.
Toxic? Maybe. At minimum, though, we are living in a world filled with chemicals, pesticides, additives, preservatives, antibiotic and hormone residues, and heavy metals. Whether consumed, inhaled, or absorbed, our bodies soak this stuff up. In order to reduce the load, and the toll it takes it takes on our health, there's something we can do. We can eat clean. Here's how:

Choose organic foods

It's difficult to craft a diet consisting of 100 percent organic produce, dairy, grains, and protein. Try, though, and you'll avoid synthetic ingredients and genetically-modified foods.

Buy local for cleaner produce

Click here and here for listings of farmer's markets all over the country.

Wash produce properly

Even organic items must be washed -- they can contain dangerous microbes and bacteria that can be washed off. Try one teaspoon mild soap in one gallon of water or purchase a prepared vegetable wash solution such as VegiWash or Fit Fruit. Use a vegetable brush on produce with skin you plan to eat, peel any wax-coated non-organic produce, and discard the outer leaves of cabbage and lettuce.

Know what you're putting in your body

Educate yourself about what you're eating. Did you know herbicides and pesticides cover much of the produce you eat? Or that antibiotic residues are used to routinely treat poultry and eggs? How about mercury and the carcinogens PCP, DDT, and dioxins that contaminate some fish varieties?

Understand food labels

For safety sake, shop for 100 percent organic items, free farmed poultry, beef, and pork, Food Alliance beef and pork, pasture or grass-fed beef, lamb, and eggs, and rBGH free milk and yogurt. Pay no attention to terms like natural, made without antibiotics, free range, and cage free. They are meaningless and are not regulated or verified by any agency.

Thanks, Canyon Ranch, for raising our awareness!

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