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Health Articles

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN B2

Riboflavin or vitamin B2 plays a significant role in the production of energy. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, which fuels the body function.
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF CORN

Corn is a good source of Thiamin ( Vitamin B1) providing about one-quarter (24.0%) of the daily value for this nutrient in a single cup.
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORANGES

You may already know that oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C. In just one orange there is a supply of 116.2% of the daily value for vitamin C-but do you know just how important vitamin C and oranges are for good health?
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COLON AND LIVER CLEANSING

Many people have problems with their liver, the gallstones (in the bile-ducts of the liver too, even when the gallbladder has been removed) and general digestion. Especially with the 'Western Diet' with too much fat and acidity and with the stress of modern life gallstones develop, although they are rarely noticed, just an occasional pain when eating fat.
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THE POWER OF BELIEF

Make your self healthier by changing the way you process your thoughts. If we believe that we are creatures created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) then that secures our reasoning that we too are creators or co-creators.
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THIAMIN B1

Vitamin B1 also plays a key role in support of the nervous system, where it permits healthy development of the fat-like coverings which surround most nerves (called myelin sheaths). In the absence of vitamin B1, these coverings can degenerate or become damaged.
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WARNING

Report of findings of Dr. H.A. McGuigan for the Federal Trade Commission in Docket case #540, Washington D.C.
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DUPONT NOW IN THE FRYING PAN

By Amy Cortese — TEFLON has been hugely successful for DuPont, which over the last half-century has made the material almost ubiquitous, putting it not just on the frying pans but also on carpets, fast food packaging, clothing, eyeglasses and electrical wires – even the fabric roofs covering football stadiums.
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NUKING BROCCOLI A NO-NO

Microwaving Zaps Antioxidants in Broccoli — By Jean Nick
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COOKWARE COATED WITH TEFLON

In two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.
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CAN TEFLON MAKE YOU SICK?

Teflon, one of the most popular non-stick pan products, can emit fumes that make you sick if it is allowed to get hot enough.
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EWG IN THE NEWS

Latest docs revealed in advance of pending enforcement action. From EWG's report New Documents Show Continuing Pattern of Information Supression by DuPont
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WARNING LABELS ON TEFLON COOKWARE

U.S. Urged to Put Warning Labels on Teflon Cookware. The Environmental Working Group asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require manufactures of cookware to place warning labels on their products that caution consumers of the potential health risks of the non-stick coating.
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TEFLON IN A STICKY SITUATION

Children's Health Environment Coalition. DuPont's Teflon ® works wonders at keeping food from sticking to pots and pans. But after 50 years of use, evidence is mounting that Teflon's key ingredient, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), "sticks" in the environment indefinitely.
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The Dirty Dozen Foods that Should be Bought Organic?

EWG has been publishing guides to the "dirty dozen" of most pesticide-contaminated foods since 1995, based on statistical analysis of testing conducted by the USDA and the FDA.

The latest guide is now available. The dirty dozen list only reflects measurable pesticide residues on the parts of the foods normally consumed (i.e. after being washed and peeled). We have listed these 12 foods in the following pages, along with recommendations for foods other than fruits and vegetables that are best bought organic. Can't find organic versions of these foods? We list safer alternatives that contain similar valuable vitamins and minerals. It's also important to remember that this dirty dozen list provides no information about antibiotics or hormones, or about the impact of producing food on the surrounding environment. It is for this reason that we point out some of the most important foods to buy organic, when taking a more holistic approach.

For overall environmental impact, meat is the king of foods, even if it's not likely to be laced with pesticide residue... though a recent USDA Inspector General report found that the government is failing to even test meat for the harmful chemicals the law requires. While beef muscle is typically clean, beef fat is a different story altogether, with 10 different pesticides having been identified. Pork meat can be contaminated, but pork fat is more contaminated, with as many as 8 pesticides. For chicken, the thigh is most contaminated.

Raising animals with conventional modern methods often means using hormones to speed up growth, antibiotics to resist disease on crowded feed-lots and both pesticides and chemical fertilizers to grow the grain fed to the animals. Additionally, it takes many times the water and energy to raise one meal's worth of meat than it does one meal's worth of grain.

Consumers looking to avoid meats raised with these substances can seek out certified organic meat. To meet USDA standards, this meat can come only from animals fed organic feed and given no hormones or antibiotics. Searching out cuts from grass-fed animals ensures that you're eating meat from an animal that was fed a more natural diet, and looking for a local source of meats lets you question the farmer directly about the animal's diet and the farmer's method of raising it.  Pesticides and other man-made chemicals have been found in human breast milk, so it should come as no surprise that they have been found in dairy products, too. Twelve different pesticides have been identified in milk, and milk is of special concern because it is a staple of a child's diets.

Organic dairies cannot feed their cows with grains grown with pesticides, nor can they use antibiotics or growth hormones like rGBH or rbST. (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. It's the generic term for a genetically engineered, synthetic drug produced by the Monsanto) this is fed to cows to produce more milk. The overall impact of the herd and the people drinking this milk is lessened when you choose organic milk.

Coffee :
Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries that don't regulate use of chemicals and pesticides. Look for the USDA Organic label to ensure you're not buying beans that have been grown or processed with the use of potentially harmful chemicals.

Go a step or two further, and look for the Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance (or Bird Friendly) labels to ensure that your purchase supports farmers who are paid fairly and treated well. And look for shade-grown (Rainforest Alliance- or Bird Friendly-certified) varieties for the trifecta; that way you know the coffee is being grown under the canopy of the rainforest, leaving those ancient trees intact, along with the wildlife - particularly songbirds - that call them home.

Celery :
has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include broccoli, radishes and onions.

A perennial entrant on the Dirty Dozen list, 64 pesticides detected in residue on this veggie make celery rank No. 1 in the 2010 analysis, up from No. 4 in 2009.

Peaches :
Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

Peaches, No. 1 on the Dirty Dozen list in 2009, rank No. 2 in 2010; 62 pesticides have been detected in residue on peaches.

Strawberries  :
 
If you buy strawberries out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

Up from No. 6 in 2009, strawberries rank No. 3 on the 2010  Dirty Dozen list. Why? 54 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries.

Apples :
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely, so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.

Apples down from No. 2 in 2009, apples still rank among the dirtiest fruits and vegetables, with 42 different pesticides having been detected as residue.

Blueberries New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

Nectarines :
With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya and mango.

Peppers :
have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli and cabbage.

Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.

Spinach :
New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

Traditionally kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus and broccoli.

Cherries :
Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue than imported cherries.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries.

Potatoes :
America's popular spud re-appears on the 2010 dirty dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms.

Grapes :
Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list). Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.

Leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food (51 of them), though they dropped off the 2010 list.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Carrots :
Off the list in 2010, carrots have made the Dirty Dozen list in previous years because of the 26 different pesticides that have been detected in food residue. Can't find organic? At least be sure to scrub and peel them. Safer carrot alternatives include sweet corn, sweet peas and broccoli.

Pears :
As insects become more resilient to the pesticides used on pears, more and more chemicals are used (28 of them), though pears have dropped off the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. The safest bet is to go organic. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include grapefruit, honeydew melon and mangos.

Tomatoes, on the Dirty Dozen list in 2008, and the Clean 15 list in 2009, rank neither among the dirtiest nor the cleanest in 2010. It's still true that the thin skin of tomatoes can allow pesticides to enter the fruit, so it's always a good idea to buy organic when possible, even if the popular food is no longer among the worst actors.

Here is the list published by the Environmental Working Group's latest compilation of government data about pesticide residue.

Why Buy Organic?
There are many reasons to buy organic foods. The USDA Organic label tells you that fruits and veggies weren't raised using manmade chemical pesticides, fossil fuel- or sewage-based fertilizers or genetically modified seeds. On meat, the label indicates that the feeds provided met those same standards, and that the animals weren't administered hormones and antibiotics. Bottom line: "Organic" is more sustainable and healthier -- for the environment and farm workers, certainly, and often for you and your family.

How is organic healthier?
It's healthier because some studies suggest that organic produce has more nutrients than its conventional counterparts, probably because the soil is left in better condition after repeated plantings; and healthier because you avoid ingesting any harmful pesticide residues left on conventional produce.
The only way to make sure that is pesticides free its plant your own garden, dig your lawn or move old bushes and plant your food: 
 

The fruits and vegetables on this list were the least likely to have pesticides detected on the parts you eat, after typical washing, whether or not they're certified organic.

Onions don't see as many pest threats, which means less pesticide spraying.
Choose: Look for onions that are firm, have a distinctive "oniony" smell that's not overpowering, and show no visible signs of damage or soft spots. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

Avocados have thick skins that protect the fruit from pesticide build-up.
Choose: Look for avocados that are still somewhat unripe and firm to the squeeze; they'll ripen nicely on your kitchen counter in a couple of days. Store at room temperature. Although you'll be using only the meat of the avocado, it's always a good idea to rinse them before you slice them open.

Sweet corn may take a lot of fertilizer to grow, but you're unlikely to end up with any pesticides on the kernels.
Choose: There is nothing -- we mean nothing like fresh corn on the cob from a local farm stand in late summer. Buy it fresh and local, and eat it that day for the best results.

Pineapple you won't be eating the tough pineapple skin, which protects the fruit from pesticide residue. As with all your produce, you should rinse the pineapple before cutting.
Choose: Although tempting, this is one fruit that you won't want to choose if it has a strong, sweet smell. This usually means that the pineapple is overripe and has even begun to ferment. Like all other fruits, avoid any that have soft spots, and in the case of pineapples, damage to the rind. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Sweet mango flesh is protected by its thick skin from pesticides. Still, you'll want to rinse under water before cutting open.
Choose: Depending on the variety of mango, look for those that are bright in color such as red, yellow, or orange. It should have a distinctive "fruity" smell. If there's no ripe-fruit aroma, its still green and usually those are good for a mango chili salsa. Mangoes should be slightly firm but yield to your touch somewhat -- the softer the mango, usually the sweeter it is. If the mango is too soft, there's a good chance that it will be rotten inside. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Asparragus  : Face fewer threats from pests such as insects or disease, so fewer pesticides need to be used.
Choose: Look for firm spears with bright green or purplish compact tips. Plan on a 1/2 pound per person or six per person and for more uniform cooking, select spears of a similar thickness. Store in the refrigerator vegetable crisper and give them a good rinse before cooking I usually use acidic water from my ionizer.

Sweet peas are among the least likely vegetables to have pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group's latest survey of government data.
Choose: If you're not growing sweet peas in your garden, then look for full, green pea pods at your local farmers market, farm stand or grocery store.

Kiwi : the peel provides a barrier from pesticides. Give them a rinse before cutting.
Choose: Here's where your nose plays an important part when choosing fresh fruit. Sniff out kiwis that smell good. They should be plump and yield to a squeeze like that of a ripe pear. Steer clear from those with moist areas on their surface or any skin bruising. If unripe kiwis are all that are available, simply take them home and place them in a paper bag at room temperature with other fruits that need more time, such as bananas or pears. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Cabbage doesn't hold on to so many pesticides because a ton of spraying isn't required to grow it. What it does hold onto is beta carotene: It's a superfood!
Choose: Look for cabbage heads whose leaves are tight and be sure the head is heavy for its type, and firm. For most cabbage varieties, you'll want to make sure the outer leaves are shiny and crisp. Savoy is the exception to this rule, as it forms a looser head and the leaves grow crinkly naturally.
You'll want to avoid any with leaves that show signs of yellowing. Bok choy should have deep green leaves with their stems a crisp-looking white. Discard the outer leaves of a cabbage before using. You can wash and spin most cabbage leaves just like you do salad greens.

Egg plant, Maybe it's the thick skin, but eggplants are among the least likely to be contaminated by pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Choose: Look for firm and glossy eggplants to know they're ripe and undamaged. Because they grow to various sizes, choose one proportionate to the dish you're preparing.

Papaya : Pesticide residue stays on papaya skin, but be sure to give them a wash before slicing open.
Choose: Papaya colors usually range between yellow and green. Look for those that are slightly soft and show no signs of bruising or appear shriveled. If they're not fully ripened, you can toss them in the brown bag along with your unripened kiwi fruit, peaches, and pears. Once they're ripened, store in the refrigerator crisper.

With that rind, watermelon has a natural defense against the onslaught of any chemical.
Choose: Look for a firm whole melon without any soft spots.

Conventional broccoli doesn't retain so many pesticides because the crop faces fewer pest threats, which means less spraying.
Choose: Look for tightly bunched flower buds on the broccoli stalks that are immature. In other words, try not to buy them if their little yellow flowers have opened. Color-wise, the broccoli should be deep green and the stalks should be firm and not rubbery. Before use, wash in a cool water bath and change the water a couple of times in the process. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Look for broccoli at the fall farmers' market, and if you're pinched for cash, don't fret about choosing a non-organic variety; broccoli generally doesn't end up with pesticide residue.

Tomatoes were on the 2008 Dirty Dozen list of foods with the most pesticide residue, but the latest update finds them cleaner than most. Why? The Environmental Working Group isn't sure.
Choose: If you aren't growing your own, look for fresh in-season tomatoes at local farmers markets and farm stands. Look for glossy, firm skin -- and don't hesitate to try a delicious heirloom variety that might not look like a typical tomato!

Not only are sweet potatoes unlikely to be contaminated with pesticides, they're also a superfood, packed with Vitamin A and beta carotene.
Choose: It's hard to go wrong choosing a hardy sweet potato. Just make sure it isn't beaten up or rotting, and choose a size that matches the meal you're preparing.

Everyone can afford organic foods specially if you are focused on a plant -based diet, the challenge is not every store has it available. The solution? . According to the Environmental Working Group, consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest. If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily.
 
7 Super foods to Eat for a Health Boost
 
Spinach should be part of your diet. It's low in calories and high in nutrients. Research has shown that spinach aids in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, some cancers and cardiovascular disease. While you can always have a spinach salad or a side of the greens hot, try this recipe for a different take on the super food:
 
Walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and vitamin E. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of omega-3s, and are known for their high antioxidant activity. Eat them by the handful, toss them on salads

Honey isn't just for tea. You've probably relied on honey in the past to soothe an aching throat, but did you know it has been used to treat wounds and gastrointestinal problems? Honey acts as an antioxidant, a substance that can prevent the effects of free radicals, which we're exposed to from environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke or radiation and which can contribute to disease. Honey also contains oligosaccharides, which increase the number of good bacteria in the colon. The color of honey is relevant: the darker the honey the more antioxidants it contains.

Wild Caught Salmon is a tasty fish that's chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial fats that can improve heart health. Salmon is also protein-rich. Choose wild over farmed salmon, which has been shown to contain elevated levels of contaminants and is artificially colored.

Oats : Ten years ago, the FDA approved a label publicizing the association between a diet high in oat fiber and the reduction of cholesterol. Further research has proven this claim to be true: The fiber in oats lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, or the bad type of cholesterol. With every 1 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, heart-disease risk is lowered 1 to 3 percent. Oats also contain plant chemicals that have antioxidant properties.

Cacao is a potent antioxidant and can help reduce blood pressure. The potentially bad news: is that everyone is advertising it to be good for you including companies that laden the chocolate the with sugar, milk and preservatives, these type chocolates are not good for you and you should still keep your daily chocolate intake low, due to the fat and calories. Remember that darker is better because processing strips chocolate of some of its health benefits.
The good news is that now you can eat raw chocolate made at home in five minutes without all the pesticides and preservatives.
 
Blueberries don't just make your smoothies and cereal taste better; they contain high levels of antioxidants. Some research has shown blueberries can slow degenerative diseases associated with aging and improve motor skills. Still other studies have shown the fruit to improve urinary tract health.