It is a well known fact that in the 21st century childhood obesity is the number one public health issue we face. We now live in the time of busy life styles and always being on the run that it's suffering our way of life, with poor diets and a vast promotion by junk food advertising.

But what can we do about it. The answer is simple: by replacing take away meals, over processed and junk foods with fresh organic foods and produce, and adopt a change in life style that encourages everyone to keep moving.

Organic foods are a great way to help you balance your diet. Eating organic foods means that your body will receive up to 50% more nutrients, minerals and vitamins. This is even higher if your vegetables are steam.

Pesticides and chemical have been linked to many diseases including:

  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Alzheimer's
  • Some birth defects

Chemicals, such as pesticides, dyes, pigments, perfumes and flavorings all of which we are exposed on a daily basis may alter metabolic functions. As we all know conventional food contains many of these chemicals. On average fruits and veggies contain up to and even more than 20 different pesticides and your body has the fun challenge to dispose of them in order to avoid poisoning your system. This is the livers reasonability, the very key organ that can make or break your weight loss attempts.

When we cleanse the liver and then eat the right foods, liver metabolism will improve and we start burning fat. As liver function improves, so does energy. With more energy, fitness improves, so we have to be kind to our liver by making sure you are eating enough fibre and limit the intake of toxic chemicals both in the form of food and alcohol.

Dietary fibre is mainly needed to keep the digestive system healthy. It consists of indigestible matter that passes out of your body. This essential function carries with it many of the toxins and waste products from your body that you need to get rid of daily, especially the intake of soluble fibre. So the fact is fibre will help the digestive system quickly process our waste products and will give them less of a chance to be stored as fatty deposits.

If you eat too much foods containing fat, additives, chemicals and pesticides, then you don't give your body much of a chance to dispose of them, causing them to build up in your system and then being stored as fat, for until the body has the time in dealing with them to clear them out.

This can lead to fat deposits all around your body which can lead to a condition called fatty liver which is the build up of excess fat in the liver cells which is namely associated with obesity.

A tired, toxic liver is the number one reason why many people's weight-loss attempts never actually go anywhere.

So as a healthy part of living we have to make sure that our essential organs are operating at 100% of is highest peak efficiency to help in all weight loss attempts and keeping a healthy happy body and hence this means eating good quality food, preferably raw and free of added chemicals, which makes organic food a good choice.

Conventional manufacturers add synthetic chemicals to processed foods to increase their shelf life and pesticides and hormones to farm produce to boost their crop yields.

You don't want to be eating too much conventional foods as the chemicals they contain will affect your liver and digestive system performance, probably making you actually put on weight in the form of the stored fatty deposits.

Organic food can help in that you reduce the number of toxic chemicals entering your body which in turn reduces the stress on your digestive system and its fat production. Leaving you a happier healthy person.

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There are many reasons why you should eat organic and more and more people are becoming aware of the issues surrounding conventional food production. One of the major reason people choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables is to reduce intake of pesticides normally found in conventional foods.

Below is the "BLACK" list of fruits and vegetables that contains the highest levels of pesticide.

  • Nectarines (over 97% contain pesticides)
  • Celery (over 94% contain pesticides)
  • Pears (over 94% contain pesticides)
  • Peaches (over 93% contain pesticides)
  • Apples (over 90% contain pesticides)
  • Cherries (over 90% contain pesticides)
  • Strawberries (over 89% contain pesticides)
  • Imported Grapes (over 85% contain pesticides)
  • Spinach (over 83% contain pesticides)
  • Potatoes (over 79% contain pesticides)
  • Bell Peppers (over 67% contain pesticides)
  • Red Raspberries (over 58% contain pesticides)
Below are some more interesting facts about the pesticide contamination levels of fruits and vegetables in the "BLACK" list:

The Fruits
  • Peaches were found to have the highest likelihood of containing multiple pesticides on a single sample, followed by nectarines and apples.
  • Bell Peppers where found to have the most pesticide detected on a single sample with approximately eleven pesticides on a single sample, followed by peaches and apples, where nine pesticides were found on a single sample.
  • Peaches where found to have the most pesticides overall with some combinations of up to 42 different pesticides, followed by apples with 37 and strawberries with 35.
The Vegetables
  • Celery was found to have the highest percentage of samples testing positive for pesticides, followed by bell peppers and potatoes.
  • Celery was found to have the highest likelihood of multiple pesticides, followed by spinach and bell peppers.
  • Bell peppers where found to contain the most pesticides detected on a single sample, followed by celery.
  • Bell peppers where found to have the most pesticides overall.
It is possible to lower your pesticide intake simply by avoiding the top 12 list, try to eat these organic foods, as non-organic produce still contains residual pesticides even after washing.

And remember eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person, on average, to approximately 20 pesticides per day.

*Based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Consumer Reports, and the Environmental Working Group.

As summer is approaching try this wonderful fruit salad, organic of course!!!

Fruit Salad

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 punnet strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 half-punnet raspberries
1 half-punnet basket blueberries
2 oranges, peeled, and cut into sections
3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk juice and honey; add remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine; chill 1 hour.

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