My father became an avid learner and expert on eating better as it influences not only the body but the mind. Dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugar, and processed meats (lunch meat, too) become toxic and damage the body over time.

Of course, many of us refused to listen, but the research over the years is backing up his predictions. Americans are paying the price for eating chemical laden foods and  consuming high-sugar goods. Test found that produce are contaminated by pesticides. The Environmental Working Group recommended that people refrain from the dirty dozen, the top fruits and veggies that have the most pesticides.

Fruits like peaches, apples, grapes and strawberries had high levels of chemicals. Veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers were also on the list. “Organochlorine pesticides DDE and dieldrin were banned a few years ago but still linger on your greens even today. Organophosphates pesticides - which are potent neurotoxins, can damage children's intelligence, brain development and nervous systems even in low doses.”

Here is a full list from EWG:  

Dad was correct on the some of the repercussions of not being more aware of what we’re eating. Fast food is a staple in the U.S. Research found that one in four eat fast food every day. Salt, sugar, and bad fats in pizza, burgers, and pastries can wreak the body. Fast food has a ton of calories, but mostly has no health values. If the statistics are true and we consume this much fast food—then it makes sense heart attacks, high cholesterol, and depression are factors from this consumption.

Nature Reviews:

“It has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions. Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that are responsible for the action of diet on brain health and mental function. What you can do is stop eating out at these places, or opt for salads, fruit, and veggies. However, we don’t know where these came from. Milk can be bad for you, so opt for soy, rice, coconut or almond milk.

There are hormones and drugs in most milks and this damages the immune system. A Harvard study found that milk does not help the bones or cognitive abilities. “In a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who got the most calcium from dairy products received no benefit and actually broke more bones than the women who got little or no calcium from dairy.” Almond milk has riboflavin and L-carnitine and it is great for the emotions and helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Organic or vegan dark chocolate can reduce stress and cortisol in people, and it can keep you happy in moderation. Dark chocolate is pretty bitter, that’s why sugars and other ingredients are added to mask the taste. The Mayo Clinic reported: “Most commercial chocolate has ingredients that add fat, sugar and calories. And too much can contribute to weight gain, a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, cocoa itself, unlike chocolate, is low in sugar and fat while offering potential health benefits.”

More foods to help you: Instead of coffee, go for green tea that has antioxidants and helps you think clearly without the jotters. Coffee irritates the bladder, the mind and the nervous system. Eat more dark leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard and spinach, as it impacts moods. Nuts, sunflower, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds will aid in stress. Avocados, berries, and onions can reduce risks of cancer.

“These vegetables also contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory flavonoid antioxidants that contribute to their anti-cancer properties,” Everyday Health found.

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