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  • Dr. Nancy

6 Tips to Clean Eating

You are likely aware of the benefits of organic foods over conventionally grown foods -- organic foods aren't allowed to be cultivated with pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, and GMOs. But, where do you start when you decide you want to clean up your diet?

In spite of the abundance of evidence that supports the organic choice, the price tags of organic items may make you wonder if it's necessary to fill your cart with only organic items.

Fresh radishes!

There are many benefits of eating more organic food, like lowering your exposure to hormone-disrupting toxins. An important goal is to decrease your toxic load and improve your body’s health and vitality. All pesticides kill bugs by poisoning their nervous systems. Those same chemicals directly affect your mitochondria, brain and nervous system, and the essential bacteria in your gut.

The costs of healthcare are more astronomical now than ever, so it makes great sense to take control of your health with a food first approach. Choose nourishing foods that don't have harmful agents in them.

Organic produce may cost slightly more than traditionally farmed produce, but the benefits far outweigh the cost. The bottom line is that you can pay now (buy organic) or you can pay later (illness and disease), but you will pay.

If going all in with organic options isn't in your budget, you can still take small steps to get safer food on your table.

Fresh is best

Many grocery stores are responding to the increased demand for organic options. Farmers markets are also a good source of local, fresh produce.

If you live in an area that does not have an abundance of options for fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, then buying frozen is the next best option. Frozen produce is usually harvested at its peak and processed within a short time. It retains more nutrients and enzymes than that of the canned variety.

Be selective

Check out the Environmental Working Group's yearly Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen list to see what items you should definitely be purchasing organic, and which items have the lowest amount of pesticides where you can skip the organic label.

Even fruits that have peels that you don't eat can absorb the pesticides they're sprayed with. It's even more critical when it comes to fruits and vegetables where you do eat the skin.

Avoid GMOs at all costs

GMO's cause a host of problems and should be avoided. Just a few years ago, GMO's weren't as widely understood as they are today. Because of this awakening, it's quite simple to find GMO-free products. Just look for the label.

Go organic on meat and dairy items

Choose only clean meat, such as wild-caught, sustainable fish; organic, free-range poultry and eggs; pasture-raised pork; grass-fed bison or beef.

If you are committed to consuming dairy, opt for grass-fed, organic dairy products. Keeping it clean will help to reduce your exposure to added hormones, antibiotics, and other toxins.

Switch your coffee

Love coffee? Make the switch to organic. Regular coffee is chemically-treated, and since those chemicals penetrate into the beans, you're brewing up a pesticide-laden beverage for yourself that can take a toll on your health over time. Since coffee is typically consumed daily by coffee drinkers, it's worth the extra money to invest in organic coffee.

Always give your kids organic

Because kids are still in a crucial period of growing, if you have to make sacrifices in your budget for organics, then opt to buy organic for your children to start with. Those pesticides and growth hormones can affect their growing bodies.

Choosing an organic lifestyle is really best option for your benefit, and especially important for your kids. Consider supporting your local farmer's market where you can be sure you're getting organically grown produce which has the added benefit of being seasonal, too. You can also join a co-op where everyone pitches in for fresh organic produce from local farms.

There are organic options to better your health that don't have to cost a fortune. Small steps taken consistently can yield big results.

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