In descending order, by date published.
Pollution increases compounds called free radicals in the body. Too many free radicals in the body cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can increase the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases because cells are damaged more easily and do not repair themselves as well. Pollution in the environment cannot always be avoided. However, eating for good health may help reduce the effects of pollution in the body. Choosing more nutritious foods, such as those high in phytonutrients, may reduce oxidative stress and protect the body from the negative health effects of pollution.
Environmental pollutants in food are concerning. Foods like fish may be contaminated with mercury and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Fruits and rice may contain arsenic. High-fat meat and dairy products may also contain chemicals from pollution that aren't healthy for your body. Read on to learn how to choose foods with less pollutants, which can help keep the body healthier and lessen the risk of chronic diseases.
A phytonutrient comes from plant-based foods. Think of a phytonutrient like a vitamin or mineral in that it can benefit health. Research shows they are good, but scientists have not determined them to be essential like vitamins or minerals, or determined how much needs to be consumed each day. In the future, there may be recommended levels of phytonutrients to consume, just like vitamins and minerals today. There are thousands of phytonutrients. They naturally occur in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and other plant foods. Like vitamins and minerals, there are diverse types of phytonutrients, and they have various positive health effects. Certain foods are higher in some types of phytonutrients than others, just like how vitamin C is high in oranges, and milk is high in calcium. Therefore, consuming a variety of plant foods means you will eat a variety of phytonutrients!
Using herbs and spices is a healthy way to add flavor to food and they may protect against the harmful effects of environmental pollution. We are exposed to pollution every day in our air, water, soil, and even our food. This exposure to pollution may have negative effects on health. Herbs and spices help protect the body by decreasing cell damage caused by the pollution that we are exposed to everyday. Reducing cell damage helps protect against the development or progression of various chronic diseases. Some herbs and spices are also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, which helps keep the immune system strong to protect against diseases and pollution. Even though research shows that herbs and spices are beneficial to health, scientists have not determined exactly how much of each herb and spice should be consumed each day. In the future, there may be official recommendations, like for vitamins. Incorporating a variety of herbs and spices into meals is flavorful and may have health benefits.
Fermented foods are foods that have been aged in a way that allows good bacteria to develop in them. Consuming these good bacteria can benefit health. Common fermented foods are yogurt, soy sauce, sauerkraut, and some types of pickles. Although these foods may seem like an odd assortment, they are all fermented and contain good bacteria.
When shopping at the grocery store, there are many choices to make about which foods to purchase. Currently, one of the most popular food trends is eating organic produce. Organic produce is marked with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic label and is usually separated from the rest. There are some differences between how organic foods and regular or conventionally foods are grown. Pesticides are found in almost all foods.
How food and drink is stored plays a big part in how long it stays fresh. Some types of packaging can keep food fresher longer. There are many types of packaging and beverage containers, and some are safer than others, which may have negative health effects. People are exposed to pollution every day, in ways that cannot always be avoided. Even storage containers may contain potentially harmful chemicals. For example, heating plastic that is not microwave safe can cause chemical residue to come in contact with food. Certain plastics may have negative effects on health. Read on to find out more about the safest ways to store food and drinks.
Eating plant foods, such as nuts and seeds, makes a diet more nutritious and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is especially helpful if you encounter pollutants in the environment. Plant foods, including nuts and seeds contain nutritious compounds called phytonutrients. Unlike vitamins and minerals, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for phytonutrients.
Environmental contaminants, such as persistent organic pollutants, may contribute to an increased risk for chronic disease if they occur for long enough or at high enough levels. Research has shown that some hazardous chemicals may even cause the body to be more vulnerable to such medical conditions as cancer, poor immune system response, altered nervous system function, and cardiovascular disease. The good news is that certain dietary strategies may provide a defense for combating the effects of these contaminants while improving your overall health.
Authors: Lisa Gaetke
A healthy, balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds can protect against chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.