There may be times when ignorance is bliss but when it comes to our health, knowledge is power.
As a society, we are seeing health issues because of chronic disease skyrocket. Diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and, in addition, autoimmune, respiratory, neurological and reproductive challenges are everywhere. It feels like we are in a health crisis.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why? There are many potential contributing factors when it comes to determining the root cause of these types of disorders. However, one of my questions is, what is in our environment that may exacerbate these conditions and where can we take control and make more conscious choices in order to live a healthier life?
I have gone down the rabbit hole and do believe that many of our health issues can be turned around by our diet. What we put in our bodies is huge. Our gut health is key to our overall health in a multitude of ways.
Educating ourselves about the difference between eating a diet full of nutrient dense, clean whole foods versus eating a diet full of ultraprocessed foods and/or produce heavily sprayed by pesticides and how that impacts our health, is important. It is information we need to have to make an informed decision.
I do realize there are many factors that influence how and what we choose to eat. Time and ease are a big piece as well as cost and what is affordable. Eating healthy and as clean as possible is not always time efficient, and it can also be expensive. However, if we have the right knowledge, we can determine the what, when, why and how’s around what our priorities are and what is manageable for us.
Therefore, I would like for you to be aware of what fruits and vegetables to preferably purchase organic, and what ones you don’t need to worry about as much. I will also provide you with a research site and a few podcasts I enjoy listening to so if you would like to become more knowledgeable about the growing trends of health, you have a starting place.
Every year the Environmental Working Group sends out a list of what produce is the most highly sprayed and recommends that, if possible, should be purchased organic. It also sends a list of produce you don’t need to worry as much about. It calls these lists the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.
It just released these lists for 2023 and they are as follows:
- The Dirty Dozen: 1. strawberries, 2. spinach, 3. kale, collard and mustard greens, 4. peaches, 5. pears, 6. nectarines, 7. apples, 8. grapes, 9. bell and hot peppers, 10. cherries, 11. blueberries and 12. green beans.
- The Clean 15: 1. avocados, 2. sweet corn, 3. pineapple, 4. onions, 5. papaya, 6. sweet peas, 7. asparagus, 8. honeydew melons, 9. kiwi, 10. cabbage, 11. mushrooms, 12. mangos, 13. sweet potatoes, 14. watermelon and 15. carrots.
* According to the EWG, if you would like to avoid genetically modified produce, be aware that a small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to buy these items organic.
When choosing what foods to feed yourself and your family, fresh fruits and vegetables over ultraprocessed foods should always be a priority whether they are organic or not. Always, always, always make sure to wash all produce thoroughly as the cleaner, the better.
If you would like to learn more, PubMed is a wonderful site that contains tons of scientifically backed research about anything you can imagine when it comes to our health. I would encourage you to check it out.
Here are some podcasts that may be worth listening to:
- The Model Health Show with Shawn Stephenson.
- The Doctor’s Pharmacy with Dr. Mark Hyman.
- Health Theory with Tom Bilyeu.
- The Energy Blueprint with Ari Whitten.
Remember, in order to make the most conscious choices for ourselves and for our families, knowledge is power.
Jennifer Roe is a master level Red Hat Qigong practitioner, an integrative nutritional health and wellness coach, a facilitator of women’s circles, programs and more. For more information, visit www.thehealingroe.com.