Would you like cadmium with that?

I’m asked quite often whether eating organic is worth the extra money considering what the media tends to say about it not being any different in nutrient levels.

My reply is a simple yes.

Nutrient levels aside which in most pieces of research carried out shows that the nutrient levels tend to be higher. There is an argument for how these foods tend to have higher levels of other molecules such as flavonoids which are often not talked about.

But I want to focus on the pesticides that are sprayed on the fruits and vegetables. There was a time when I would screen someone and know they were a smoker because I would see cadmium coming up in the test when someone smoked. Now I see it far more regularly in the environmental screening with people who have never smoked, and our time of being in a smoky environments is no longer happening in pubs. So it has to be from other sources, such as pesticides, and industrial waste. Cadmium is a heavy metal which can accumulate in the body’s tissues and is classified as a carcinogen, so it’s important to avoid it as much as you we can. Cadmium is shown to decrease the mitochondrial potential and increase oxidative stress. Reducing your exposure will help to minimise the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s

As one study shows “Several countries identified cereals and cereal products and root and tuber vegetables as the main contributors to the dietary intake of cadmium.” As someone recently said in a talk it’s hard to eat healthily now even when you are eating healthily, and she’s right, there are issues everywhere you start to turn. Research is showing that there is a synergistic effect between the layering of pesticides, chemicals and heavy metals, nothing works in isolation so why would we think these would be the same? This aspect of heavy metal contamination isn’t researched enough, research tends to only happen on one item at a time. But this isn’t how it’s happening in our environment, so it’s not a true reflection of how it’s affecting our health and there is a concern about how these are impacting on us synergistically.

There is a cumulative affect that happens over time, repeated exposure is causing oxidative stress, and ironically it’s the foods that are sprayed, the fruits and vegetables that we need the most to mop this up. But some of our foods are travelling more miles to get to us than we personally travel in a year, leaving some of these foods nutritionally deficient to the amount of time it takes from harvesting to our plate.

We are mostly taking in pesticides and heavy metals via our foods, via the digestive tract, wash your hands to prevent any more than necessary entering and remember to take time to wash your vegetables and fruits. Heavy metals affect your organ systems, and is found to trigger norepinephrine in hypothalamus, this is triggering a stressor response, and this is your food that is causing it, not your emails, work or your mother! It’s shown to change body weight, alter your immune system as you can imagine, but if it’s affecting mitochondrial function it’s affecting your energy production. Only tonight someone started to discuss fibromyalgia a multifaceted illness so difficult to resolve for people, but when we consider the hidden toxicity people are taking in without realising it, should we really be surprised that so many of us have this type of illness?

So hopefully I’ve just highlighted this week why you might want to choose to move over to organic and embrace those supermarkets and growers that are growing in this way, because it’s the only route to good health.




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