When you are trying to conceive - or are pregnant and breast feeding - choosing to eat organic food has some definite advantages, but it can get expensive. Studies show that if you simply avoid eating the 'dirty dozen' - the top twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables - you could avoid 80% or more of pesticide residues in your food.
The 'dirty dozen' is published yearly at the Environmental Working Group's website and the foods on the list do change from year to year so it is a good idea to stay up-to-date. The list is available as an iPhone app for extra convenience. This year - 2010 - the dirty dozen list contains the following foods listed with the most contaminated at the top:
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale and Collard Greens
You can check out the whole list of tested foods at the link below. At the other end of this list is the 'clean 15', the group of fruits and vegetables which consistently have the least number of pesticide residues which you can buy non-organic without worry. The clean fifteen list is as follows with the cleanest foods at the top:
So, why should you eat organic? Firstly, it could be one of the first kind acts you can do for your baby-to-be. Studies on babies cord-blood show that babies are exposed to over 200 different toxic chemicals and pesticides when they are in the womb and throughout breast-feeding!
Many pesticides are known to be carcinogenic, and are associated with birth defects and neurological damage. Some are untested, and others have safety limits which are suspected of being far to high for adults never mind developing embryos who are exquisitely sensitive to the cocktail of chemicals in our diet and environment.
Babies are exposed to a whole range of contaminants. From the BPA in plastics that you ingest (re-think those microwave dinners in their plastic containers and canned foods), pthalates and other toxins from your personal care products, cosmetics, hair sprays and the cleaning products used in your home we are awash with environmental toxins. Lawn chemicals - which can build up in your home - are another source of toxicity that your baby will appreciate you steering clear of.
Pesticides may increase the risks of infertility, lengthen the time it takes to conceive and increase miscarriage rates. Avoiding these toxic chemicals as much as possible may be helpful when you want to increase your fertility potential.
Numerous pesticides have been proven to cause reproductive harm, specifically birth defects and neurological damage, and many are suspected of causing infertility, lengthening the time that it takes to conceive. Simply choosing to eat organic can have a big impact on the level of pesticides in your body - and your baby - it's well worth the effort to make the change.
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