Health Watch readers know we’re big fans of eating organic. We’ve told you about research showing chemical-free food is more nutritious, fights cancer, and lowers the risk of Parkinson’s and autism.
Now, a new study finds another reason to go organic… Insecticides on conventionally raised fruits and vegetables can keep you awake at night.1
Researchers from the University at Buffalo looked at the effects on the human body of two chemical insecticides: carbaryl and carbofuran.
Carbaryl is widely used in the U.S. despite being banned in other countries. Carbofuran is extremely toxic and has been banned for use in the U.S. since 2009. But Mexico and other countries still use it on produce that is exported to the U.S.
Pesticides Steal Melatonin From Your Body
What the researchers found stunned them. Both chemicals bond to melatonin in the body, making it inactive. This disrupts sleep patterns, causing insomnia.2
Margarita L. Dubocovich is a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at the University at Buffalo. She was senior author on the paper.
“No one was thinking that the melatonin system was affected by these compounds, but that’s what our research shows,” said Professor Dubocovich.3
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It regulates sleep, wakefulness, blood pressure, helps the heart function properly, and prevents cardiovascular disease.
If your body cannot properly use melatonin, your health problems may go far beyond insomnia. You may be at greater risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer, the study showed.4
The study concluded that the two chemicals disrupt “key physiological processes leading to misaligned circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and altered metabolic functions, increasing the risk for chronic diseases.”
Buy organic and stop ingesting poison. You’ll sleep better and improve your overall health. Organic foods are easier to find than ever. Even chain supermarkets now carry a wide selection.
Never Buy These 5 Foods Unless They Are Organic
But no matter what you do, never buy these five foods unless they are organic. They carry the biggest concentration and largest number of pesticides.5
- Apples: Ninety-nine percent of non-organic apples have traces of at least one pesticide on them, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group EWG, a nonprofit consumer agency. And the chemicals penetrate the skin. That means even if you peel them, you’re still eating pesticides.6
- Sweet bell peppers: A single conventionally grown bell pepper can have as many as 13 different pesticides on it, according to the EWG.
- Grapes: Grapes are a major source of chemical additives. You’ll find up to 15 pesticides on a single bunch of grapes.
- Celery: It is a great source of antioxidants and almost calorie-free, but if you aren’t buying organic, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Celery can have up to 13 different pesticides on it.
- Imported nectarines: Every single imported nectarine tested by the EWG was contaminated with pesticides.
Getting a good night’s sleep is one more reason to choose organic foods…as if you needed one.
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