Can Pesticides Cause Damage Our Gut Biome?
By: Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Chavi Morawiec
I wish I could go back to the time when we didn’t need to question our food. Fresh produce mongers would roam up and down various streets with the best of the best crop, purchased directly from a farmer. There was no talk of nutrition-related diseases unless someone couldn’t afford fresh produce. It is sad to come across people with nutritional deficiencies in this day and age. They tell me their diet is rich in vegetables and fruits- they shouldn’t lack essential minerals and vitamins. But they are! And this can be blamed on the food we buy. Did you know there are over 1000 types of chemicals sprayed to grow food? Did you know 82% of fruits were found to have pesticide residue on them? One of them is Glyphosate- a commonly used herbicide is not only responsible for crop desiccation, but it also reduces the nutritional value of food and the soil.
With modern diseases on the rise, we need to start looking at not only what we eat but also how our food is grown. Everything we eat, to apply on our skin, to the air we breathe, carry some kind of pathogens that our body is trying to fight.
Did you know these chemicals are getting absorbed by the plants in such a way that even washing and heating our fruits and vegetables doesn’t help reduce its exposure? Residues of pesticides can be found in everyday foods and beverages, including flour, instant cooked meals, water, wine, fruit juices and other beverages including tea and coffee.
Pesticides not only reduce the nutritional value of a particular food, but exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various allergies (eczema, psoriasis, hay fever, etc), autoimmune conditions, intestinal dysfunction, cancers, and neurological disorders. Approximately 40 chemicals classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as known, probable, or possible human carcinogens, are being sold in the market. These toxins weaken the gut wall and damage the natural bacterial load - and create a pathway to illness. I am so affected by this quote by Dr. Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology, Purdue University. He says “Glyphosate is also a very powerful selective antibiotic that kills beneficial, but not pathogenic, microorganisms in the soil and intestine at very low residual levels in food. Residue levels permitted in food are 40 to 800 times the antibiotic threshold and concentrations shown in clinical studies to damage mammalian tissues.”
Lack of beneficial gut bacteria decreases the ability to break down food and absorb valuable nutrients. Did you know, these beneficial bacteria can help break down gluten, a process that is becoming increasingly problematic for many?
For optimal digestive health, our body needs the good bacteria to digest substances we cannot break down. It is essential that we keep this population healthy. Did you know your gut tells the immune system if a particular food is good or bad? This enables your immune system to either react or relax. The gut bacteria have a major effect on your mental health. We have very limited control over the air we breathe, but we can take full control of what we put in our bodies by simply choosing an organic lifestyle.
Chavi Morawiec is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who contributes Alternative Health knowledge to our Bloom Living Blog and social media channels.
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