Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My last post covered the importance of eating healthier, avoiding refined/processed foods while consuming more whole grains, nuts/seeds fruits and vegetables. Choosing organic products for all or most of what you eat is another important factor in not only being healthier but feeling better!
An organ in your body that will truly appreciate organic foods and products is your liver. Weighing about 4 lbs. it is the largest gland in your body and the only one capable of regenerating itself if partly damaged. Among its many functions is detoxifying the body of harmful substances including insecticide and chemical fertilizer residues, drugs, alcohol and other harmful chemicals. We are subject daily to numerous toxins in foods we eat/drink, drugs taken, alcohol, products for skin/hair, household cleaners, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Our liver works hard to remove the toxins we may have in our body from all those sources so it makes good sense to try and eliminate whatever harmful substances we can to reduce the stress on it. 
If you are taking medications, especially on a daily basis, and/or enjoying an alcoholic beverage try to lessen the amount of toxins in the food you eat.
Although I am not taking any medication or drinking alcohol, i started changing over to as many organic products as possible when I made the switch to a healthier way of eating. It just makes good sense.
Eliminating refined flour, sugar and rice/grains is a good start because of the chemicals and processing used to obtain those results. When you purchase the organic brand of a product that may have more than one ingredient, everything listed is organic. So even if you didn't make it from scratch, you are still eating something much better for you. There won't be any residues from chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers and chemical preservatives, artificial colorings, seasonings, sweeteners, etc. are also eliminated.
When shopping for fresh, frozen or canned produce, purchase as many organically grown as possible. Buying seasonal produce helps keep the cost down. Sometimes you may need a fruit or vegetable and the organic alternative isn't available. It isn't a big problem if most of what fills your grocery cart is organic. A good information source to become familiar with is the yearly published, "dirty dozen" of fruits and vegetables. Produce from the previous year is analyzed to determine the amounts of pesticide and chemical fertilizer residues found and which are at the top of the list to avoid. This year's list includes: apples, strawberries/blueberries, peaches, grapes, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, hot peppers, lettuce/spinach, kale, and potatoes.
I always purchase organic dairy and eggs. The cows and chickens are fed organic grains and grass and are also free of hormones and antibiotics. The same is true when eating organic poultry and beef. A good quote I once heard, "you are what you eat, eats" really helps put in perspective the importance of knowing the source of your food, how it was grown/raised and what happens to it before it gets to your mouth. When purchasing fish I make sure it is wild caught, preferably from the North Atlantic, vs. farm raised. Fish that are farm raised, aren't in the best environment before becoming food. There are some exceptions and this depends on the country/area where they are raised. You need to do your homework on this one. I do purchase canned tuna that we eat 3 or 4 times a month and try to always get Wild Planet Sustainably Caught Wild Albacore Tuna. Not only is it better for you, but also so delicious! It is pricy, so look for sales to pick up a few cans.
I buy organic olive oil to use as a finishing touch on salads, dips, etc. and cook with regular, cold pressed olive oil. Condiments, canned beans, pasta, maple syrup, nut butters, jams, flours, most herbs/spices, coffee and tea are all organic in our kitchen. The skin and hair care products I use have natural ingredients and many are organically based. All my household cleaning and laundry products are natural, phosphate free, biodegradable and without harmful chemicals except for the occasional cleanser or floor stripper. 
Often times I will hear someone say that it is too expensive to shop and eat organic. That might have been true 10 years ago. But today, stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have competitive prices and very reasonable organic store brands too. Many of the large food chains are offering more and more organic products at affordable prices. It will take a little time to learn where to shop in your area to get the best prices, but it will be well worth the effort. When eating more nutritious, good quality food, the difference in taste will be obvious and your body will be processing less toxins. Choosing healthy, organic products is choosing a healthy way to live.

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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions.

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