Regular Health Watch readers know we’re big fans of eating organic. We’ve told you about research showing that chemical-free food is more nutritious, fights cancer, lowers the risk of Parkinson’s and autism, and even helps protect you from drug-resistant superbug infections.
Now, a recent study finds another reason to go organic…
Insecticides on conventionally raised fruits and vegetables can keep you awake at night.
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. Just a quarter teaspoon can kill a 400-pound bear. It has been banned for use in the U.S. since 2009. But Mexico and Asian countries still use it on produce that is exported to the U.S.
Pesticides Steal Melatonin From Your Body
What the researchers found surprised them. Both chemicals bond to melatonin in the body, making it inactive. This disrupts sleep patterns, causing insomnia.
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.
You probably know that melatonin is a popular sleep supplement. But it’s also produced in your body.
Melatonin is a hormone made 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.
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.
Avoid Buying Non-Organic Version of These 5 Foods
Whenever possible, avoid buying these five foods unless they are organic. They carry the biggest concentration and largest number of pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit consumer organization.
- Apples: Ninety-nine percent of non-organic apples have traces of at least one pesticide on them, according to an analysis by the EWG. And the chemicals penetrate the skin. That means even if you peel them, you’re still eating pesticides.
- 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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