As a vegetarian, I'm constantly eating fruits and vegetables to stay healthy and strong and never once considered being careful about how much of each I was consuming. However, a critical effect of many fruits and vegetables is causing me to rethink the staples in my diet. Fruits and vegetables from supermarkets have been found to carry a very high level of chemicals and pesticides, and recently, high exposure to pesticides has been linked to higher risks of developing ADHD.
Researchers at Harvard University and the University of Montreal have spent ample time researching the connections between ADHD and pesticides
. In one study, they tested urine samples from 1,139 kids for traces of organophosphate pesticide metabolites in kids ages 8-15. 95 percent of these kids had at least one of the chemicals in their system. The kids with the highest amounts of these chemicals were 93 percent more likely to have ADHD than the kids without these chemicals in their systems.
The most common method of exposure to pesticides is through diet, but you can lessen exposure to pesticides (without eating fewer servings of fruits and vegetables!) through some simple everyday choices.
1. Eat an organic diet — it's more difficult and expensive, but it is the top recommendation for limiting pesticide exposure
2. Make sure to always thoroughly wash fruits and veggies. Try a soft brush and some soap and water.
3. Choose fruits and vegetables that require fewer pesticides for growth, which include onions, avocados, corn, pinapples and mangos. Fruits and vegetables which are harder to grow and require higher levels of pesticides include peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries and sweet bell peppers.
Be aware and careful, but keep eating your fruits and veggies.