Health Tip #62

Health Tip 62

Health Tip #48

health-tip-48

Pesticides = Poor Health

It has been shown that the toxins in our food greatly increase our overall toxic burden to a point where they become a major contributing factor in human disease.  In fact, some experts have equated our modern food supply with a slow poisoning.

Pesticide use has steadily increased in modern times.  After World War II, chemical warfare companies switched over to agriculture and began using their chemicals as herbicides and pesticides on our crops.

Studies have shown long term exposure to these chemicals has resulted in infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer.  Particularly worrisome, is the toxic effect on the reproductive systems of women wanting to get pregnant, pregnant women and on young children.

Why are we eating pesticides?

A major problem is that 80% of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMO) crops are actually designed for use with these chemicals.  They go hand-in-hand.  Chemical companies own GE seed companies.  An estimated 7.7 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops each year.

Making better choices

These chemicals are sold to us under the guise of increasing yields and lowering costs but research shows otherwise.   Less toxic techniques such as IPM (integrated pest management), crop rotation and installing pest traps have shown an increase in crop yields and a decrease in pesticide use.

Consumer Report suggests that certain foods should always be organic.  These include: peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, tangerines, cranberries, carrots, green beans, hot peppers, nectarines and sweet potatoes.  Also, animals fed pesticide laden foods, will bio-accumulate these toxins so that foods that come from an animal should also be from pesticide free sources.  For more on buying organic, please see tip on choosing organic foods.

Health Tip #44

health-tip-44

Many artificial colors, artificial flavors and food preservatives commonly found in processed foods have been linked to various forms of cancer, asthma, allergic type reactions, behavioral changes, lowered IQ, hyperactivity and more.

The more additives we avoid the better.  Here is a list of just some of the additives to try to avoid:

  • Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite) found in cured meats like bacon, ham and lunch meats.
  •  BHA and BHT (Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene) found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips and vegetable oils.
  • Potassium Bromate found in baked goods to add volume.
  • TBHQ (tertiary-butyl hydroquinone) found in instant noodles, crackers and other prepared foods.
  • Sodium benzoate found in fruit juice soft drinks and salad dressings.
  • Azodicarbonamide used as a dough conditioner in baked goods.  Also found in yoga mats.
  • Artificial Flavors found in nearly all processed foods with no way of telling what “artificial flavors” actually means.
  • Food Colorings (dyes): Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6 found in candy, beverages, baked goods and pet foods.

Health Tip #22

health-tip-22

We Need Our Sleep

Sleep is not merely a waste of productive time.  Sleep is a necessary part of your overall health.  We need 8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.  Lack of proper sleep can lead to a decline in mental and physical health including:  reduced cognitive function, memory loss, weight gain, obesity, depression, headaches, anxiety, accidents, diabetes, decreased immune function, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and lack of emotional control.  A lack of sleep also exacerbates chronic illnesses already present.

While we sleep, our body goes into a detox, repair and mental and immunological integration faze.  Without sleep we miss out on all of these processes.

Sleep For Better Brain Health

Sleep makes you smarter.  While we sleep, and as we dream, our brain sews together (integrates) the pieces of our experiences into memories, discovers the rules for our lives and fosters insight.  Studies have shown that students performed better on problem solving and memory and recall tests when given a chance to sleep on it.   Our brain strategizes and figures out answers to our problems and possible paths of action and the meaning of our lives while we sleep.  A lack of this process can lead to lack of mental health including depression.

Lights Out

In order to get good sleep we need complete darkness.  Light at night disrupts our anti-cancer, melatonin production.  It is for this reason that shift work is listed as a possible carcinogen.  Blue light emitted from fluorescent and LED lights are not healthy for us during the night.  Using blue-light blockers on technology, blue light blocker glasses and incandescent lights at night will help with this.

Stay In Sync With The Sun

Ideally to synchronize our biological clocks, we should be rising with the sun, being exposed to natural sunlight during the day and darkness at night.  Spending daylight hours outdoors will help with this, especially at high noon, so taking a walk on our lunch break is a great idea.  Not only that, but spending time outdoors in nature also helps with good quality sleep.

Winding Down

Shutting off all electronics and stopping work 1 or 2 hours before bed can help with a good nights sleep.  Doing activities that help you to relax and wind down will also help you sleep.  Have a hot bath, listen to relaxation recordings, read something uplifting or write in your gratitude journal and have a good nights sleep.

Health Tip #11

health-tip-11

You know the KISS principle, Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  Life has become so fast paced and “noisy“.  Our foods have become noisy as well (caffeine, sugar and chemicals).  Noisy lives, noisy minds and noisy foods become too much for our bodies to handle effectively.

The best way to combat all of this noise is to keep it simple.   In terms of diet, this just means eating simple, old fashioned foods.  Humans around the world have thrived on a wide variety of diets.  How could humans all do well eating such divergent foods?  The answer is simplicity.  The foods that made the human race what it is today were simple, natural foods.  They were foods that were hunted and gathered.  They were foods grown and raised on small farms and eaten by the people who farmed them.  As the modern, industrialized Western food system and SAD diet (Standard north-American Diet) has spread across the globe, so have the diseases of the modern industrialized world, diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.  The more we can concentrate on simple, old-fashioned foods, the ones without a food label, the further ahead our health will be.