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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Nutrition » Article

Tips to Avoid Toxic Foods

By Dr. James P Urban

Pesticide Here, Emulsifier There,
Here a Toxin, There a Toxin, Everywhere Toxin

Several years ago I attended a Chiropractic convention in New Jersey. There were several vendors set up outside our conference room. A small vendor, easily overlooked by most, was selling nutritional items and products. He caught my attention, probably because I was getting hungry and he was providing snacks!
As I approached his booth, I noticed a package of cover the children's' eyes Twinkies sitting benignly on the shelf in his booth. "Why would a vendor selling organic health food products have a package of Twinkies on display?" I asked myself. So, being the curious soul I am, I asked, "What's with the Twinkies". The man grabbed the package, tossed it down in front of me and said, "I've been doing these conventions for the past five years and I have taken this package of Twinkies with me to every one to show people that over five years nothing nothing in this package has changed! Does this look like it sat on the shelf for five years? And feel it. Does this feel like it's five years old?" he asked.

I just stood there in amazement.

Understand, I've had my share of Twinkies and fast food in my lifetime. Growing up, we ate what tasted and made us feel good, never giving a thought to the possible health effects later in life. But, I've now done the research. I've spent years learning and, more importantly, understanding what we're doing to ourselves.
Consider this. Food today isn't what it was to our grandparents. Over the last 50-plus years our food industry has changed dramatically.

Many of the foods we put into our bodies contain artificial preservatives to increase their shelf life coloring agents to improve their appearance enhancers to heighten their taste processing agents to manage the food during production emulsifiers and thickening agents to affect their appearance fortifiers to control their nutritional values. I am sure there are some consumer benefits to these substances but at what risk to our bodies? Will we ever know?

The use of these chemicals in our food supply is incredibly widespread. Worse, we may never know the threats they pose to, and ultimate toll they might take on, our bodies. Use of these chemicals is only now being questioned and not likely to decline any time soon.

My point is this. Not enough time, effort and money are being directed to investigating the affects of these chemicals on humans. What does that mean? It's up to us; you and me! We can minimize our exposure to these chemicals. We can even help support our body's defenses by aiding the body with the detoxification and elimination of these chemical agents, many of which are or will become toxic:

A periodic fast will help flush out the toxins. This can be followed up with a colonic treatment to help flush out the debris.

Supplementing our diets with digestive enzymes will help with proper digestion, which helps our natural detox systems do a better job of eliminating waste build-up.

And something else: pesticides and herbicides that are sprayed on our foods. Does simple washing with plain water really eliminate them and the possible harm they do over time? And what about the genetically modified foods that are grown in the labs? Are these yet another source of long-term contamination? The truth is, we just don't know because science hasn't provided enough data on long-term effects. More about pesticides, herbicides and GMF in future articles.

How We Can Minimize Our Exposure to Food Additives

The simple answer? Don't eat processed foods. Believe it or not, avoiding processed foods is easier than it sounds and, once a person gets in the "avoidance" habit, it gets easier and easier.

Today, convenience and comfort too often determine our food choices. Little effort is spent searching for the foods that are best for our bodies. Consider this:

Nearly 70% of food advertising is for convenience foods, candy and snacks, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and desserts. Just 2.2% is for fruits, vegetables, grains or beans (Marion Nestle, "Food Politics," pg. 22).

Fast food restaurants are growing in popularity because of people's busy lives. They don't (think they) have time to sit down and plan, then prepare a meal. Meal planning is way down on their lists.
So, here are some very simple and solid choices that we can make to avoid exposure to food-based toxins and contaminants:

Choose organic foods and organic farming. More expensive? Probably, but how much are you worth?

Shop at food coops or join a food coop that supplies organic meats and produce. Also, be cautious! Just because a store has an organic section or bins marked "Organic" does not mean that everything is 100% safe. Read up and get smart about what "organic" really means. You'll feel better literally and figuratively.

Prepare your meals ahead of time, before you leave for the day. Weekends are the perfect time to plan, shop for and prepare many of the week's meals. That way, they'll be ready when you are.

Check labels read what's in the can or box. And know that there are many additives the FDA does not require manufacturers to list on labels.

Do your homework check the foods that you already have in your house and research some of the ingredients to determine what you do not want to continue putting in your body. Recognize the chemicals that are harmful. There are volumes of free information on the Internet.

Create a support group in your area to bring about more awareness in your community. You'll be surrounded with consumers who share your values and concerns. This way, the benefits of healthy eating will be both physical and social.

Always buy food that is fresh and in season.

When in doubt, always bless your food. Don't ever forget the power of "intention". Intention involves the "willing" of an outcome backed by emotion and feeling to create a pattern of energy that further facilitates the desire.

FYI: The Body and Stored Toxins

People, regardless of urban or rural living, have always been exposed to toxic chemicals and pollutants that take up residence in our bodies. Think of the living conditions in the Middle Ages. Think of what people inhaled during the early industrial revolution. Think about smog in our cities and toxic chemicals in the air we breathe, no matter where we live. Fortunately, our bodies provide us with a complex detoxification system that, for the most part, quickly defends us from most of these toxic pollutants.

That said, given the typical modern diet and the increase in new synthetic chemicals entering our bodies an estimated 50,000 different chemicals: food additives, pesticides, herbicides, drugs and household and industrial chemicals (Source: Robert Buist, Ph.D., "Food Chemical Sensitivity") our detoxification systems are simply overwhelmed. They are unable to keep up with the demand that we put on them. The body can handle synthetic chemicals in very small amounts but not at the rate at which they are being introduced into the Standard American Diet (SAD diet). What's even more sad is that research is linking cancer, behavioral problems in kids and chemical hypersensitivity to many of these synthetic chemicals.

So ... ... . ?

Let's go back to the Twinkies well, food additives and all potential toxins. Knowing that our bodies are being exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis (does anybody really eat Twinkies on a daily basis?), how can you improve your situation by lessening the effects of chemical toxicity? Here's a start, and it is only that.

1. Many of the vitamins and minerals that we consume every day play a very important role in the detoxification processes of our bodies.

2. Nutrients, such as Vitamin's A and E, along with the trace minerals copper, zinc, manganese and selenium are known to play an important part in the body's chemical defense system. Without these nutrients our bodies are subject to vast destruction and damage.

3. Unless our diet consists of entirely "raw foods," which contain active enzymes that aid in digestion, an enzyme supplement is recommended at the beginning of a meal to help with the breakdown of the food you eat.

And a final note: you can help digestion by keeping cooking times brief (ie. 30 sec. - 1 min. for stir fry).
About the Author
James P. Urban DC is the president of Natural Healing Tools Inc., a company providing health and wellness tools and current up-to-date information geared towards a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Urban has been teaching seminars on health, fitness and wellness solutions for the last 10 years.

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