My patients all know how strongly I advocate eating whole foods that they prepare for themselves, avoiding the poisonous industrial crap the "food" industry fills the middles of stores with. I believe in eating a good autoimmune-oriented, individualized diet that will reduce inflammation in your body and brain, provide vital nutrients, and avoid many substances that gum up or poison your system in various ways. Good mental health starts with a healthy diet and and healthy body. (A terrific place to start learning about such diets is Loren Cordain's classic book, The Paleo Answer. ) That said, sometimes it is difficult to avoid toxins in our modern world, including the ubiquitous pesticides and herbicides that are spread all over our farms. I recently found a great article
on the prevalence of such toxic chemicals -- even on organic produce! It turns out that if a chemical is derived from "natural sources", it is deemed usable on organic farms without nixing the label "organic". A problem: you betcha!
We know we need healthy vegetables and fruits to get all the nutrients our systems require but we don't want to poison ourselves in the bargain. Every year the Environmental Working Group compiles a list of the most ("Dirty Dozen") and least ("Clean Fifteen") contaminated produce items. These are foods that we definitely want some of in our diets (DD, e.g., strawberries, apples, cherries, tomatoes). How do we ensure they are clean as possible of poisons? This great article compares several ways of washing produce and shows that using a bit of baking soda in water and briefly soaking them and washing them off removes the most of offensive chemicals. Good to know, good to do.
These poisons have been shown to disrupt hormones, cause neurodegenerative diseases, and to proportionately affect children the most, causing IQ drops, learning disabilities, behavioral problems like ADHD; most are potent neurotoxins.
Check this article out and start using the simple procedure to protect you and your loved ones. Just need to do it a few times til it becomes reflexive habit.
About The Author
I am a lifelong learner who has undergrad math, physics, and psychology degrees, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from U of M. I have spent the last decade learning about nutrition, sleep, inflammation, exercise physiology, neurofeedback, psychological assessment, and Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy.