Inflammation, and To Organic or Not To Organic?
It can be confusing trying to determine what is the healthiest, yet sustainable, way to eat. When trying to optimize our health it is important to try to decrease ingesting foods and chemicals that activate our immune system and cause an inflammatory response. Seven of the most common causes of inflammation are stress, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, unhealthy gut microbiome, certain inflammatory foods, and environmental toxins (plastics, Mercury, pesticides, etc..) Five of the most common foods likely to cause inflammation are sugar and alcohol (metabolic disruptors,) wheat, dairy, and processed vegetable oils (digestive and immune disruptors.) When trying to optimize our health, it may help to keep these lists in mind. I know many have expressed the desire to learn more about when is important to shop organic and when to choose being more flexible. I love using the research from the Environmental Working Group, and have listed below the updated list for 2020 of most and least amount of pesticide residue on grocery produce (Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.) This is great resource for deciding when, for switching to organic. They are listed in order on each.
When you ingest the foods that activate your immune system, your body sends out inflammatory cytokines to destroy them. This leads to inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn can cause weight gain, bloating, diabetes, heart disease, impair ovulation in women and can cause our ovaries to make testosterone. I try to buy organic the produce items listed on the Dirty Dozen as they've been found to have the highest amount of residual pesticides, and I'm more flexible with the list that made the Clean Fifteen as they've been found to have the least pesticide residue. If I'm out a restaurant, I'll still choose to have vegetables and a salad, even if I'm not sure they're organic, as it's still a healthier choice than the pizza. Information is knowledge, and we can pick and choose our battles. These lists help make that task just a little bit easier, too.
Yumm, I'm thrilled to see one of my favorites, avocado, topping the least with the least amount of residue found. Guacamole, anyone?