Dr. Shepard wrote a blog about a link between pesticides and ADHD in May. Recently another news story was aired on MSMBC about a possible link between prenatal pesticide exposure and ADHD. A new study found that when pregnant women are exposed to high levels of commonly used pesticides, their children have a higher chance of being diagnosed with ADHD at age five.
Good nutrition is essential for everyone, and particularly for pregnant women. Having a diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is especially important. With all this news about a possible link between pesticides and ADHD it is easy to become nervous about eating fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, organic produce is often much more expensive. Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group looked at 100,000 studies by the FDA and the department of Agriculture on the use of pesticides and pesticide residue in produce. Based on these studies they created the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists. The Dirty Dozen are fruits and vegetables that have high levels of pesticides even after washing, and should preferably be bought organic. The Clean Fifteen have low levels of pesticides and can be easily washed. A good way to buy affordable organic produce is to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables that are grown locally, such as those that can be found at your local farmers market. Of course it is always important to carefully wash your produce before preparing and serving it.
The Dirty Dozen are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, leafy greens (spinach, kale and collard greens), cherries, potatoes, grapes, and lettuce.
The Clean Fifteen are: onions, avocados, corn, pineapples, mango, peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and sweet onions.
Check out this video from Dr. Weil about pesticides. Very informative!