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Fruits, Vegetables & Cancer: Surprising Research

8 Apr

This month’s Journal of the National Cancer Institute has revealed a surprising research study into the connection between fruits and vegetables, and cancer risk.

The study suggests that there is only a slight connection between a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and cancer risk.

This conclusion is disappointing, as there has long been thought to be a potential link between these two things.  In fact, many studies have determined links, hence the surprise surrounding this particular research.

However, in my opinion, this research highlights the need for further investigation.

The study raises several questions for me.

What types of fruits and vegetables were used?  Were they fresh, tinned, frozen?  Were they organic?

And was the length of the study really enough to draw meaningful conclusions?  Given the 5-20 year period it takes for cancer to build in the body, is an 8 year study long enough?

Clearly, this one study shouldn’t overrule all of the studies that have found a clear link between fruit and vegetable intake and cancer prevention.

I wanted to share this study, though, and particularly to highlight the main question that it raised for me…

We are living on a toxic planet, where pollutants are unavoidably seeping into every single body of water, contaminating our air, and entering our fresh foods.  So, when we tuck into a nice plate of fruits and vegetables, even organic ones, the nutrient content we eat is different to what it should be.  Our planet is affecting the quality of our food, and that is affecting the goodness we receive from our diet – no matter how healthy it is.

So, I read this study, and I had to ask: Is our fresh produce now reaching the point where it’s nutrient content is so damaged it can no longer help protect us from illness as well as it originally could?

I have a lot more to say on this subject, but right now I have to pack – I’m leaving for a week’s vacation.  I’ll make a few updates about healthy eating when being on holiday, providing I can get an Internet connection, so look out for those.

Until then, keep eating your fruit and vegetables – this one study shouldn’t be used as an excuse to leave your greens! 😉

How Soil Depletion Leads To An Inadequate Human Diet

23 Aug

If you cast your mind back to your school days, it’s likely that you recall terms like ‘soil rotation’ – the method that farmers use to keep their land healthy.  Unfortunately, soil rotation is largely a method that farmers used.  Each year, part of the farming land would be left empty to allow it to recover nutrients lost in the previous year’s growing.  This piece of land would be changed each year so that every plot remained healthy.

There are many reasons for today’s issue of widespread soil depletion, but corporate farming methods are the primary cause.  By leaving part of their land empty each year, corporate farms make less profit; and so, soil rotation has become a past-tense activity that your own children will probably only hear about in history lessons.

To make up for the lack of soil rotation, corporate farms add NPK (a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and occasionally calcium.  This ensures that the plants will grow full of calories, water and fiber.  But we don’t eat fresh produce just for calories, water fiber – we eat them for valuable nutrients.  While a plant will grow with NPK as a minimum requirement, these three things do not provide the nutrients that we require from our fresh produce in order to remain healthy.

The fact is, trace minerals are missing or at least deficient in most fresh produce.  If these minerals weren’t present in the soil, they cannot miraculously appear in the grown plant.  This means that no matter how many fruits and vegetables you eat each day, it is simply impossible to supply your body with the minerals you need.

One study by Paul Bergner examined the decline of mineral and vitamin content of fresh produce from 1963 to 1992.  His results showed that in oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, celery, romaine lettuce, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, collard greens and chard there were the following average changes:

Calcium = -29.82% decline

Iron = -32% decline

Magnesium = 21.08% decline

Phosphorus = 11.09% decline

Potassium = 6.48% decline

This is just one example of why it is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to remain healthy, to supplement your diet with a high-quality multivitamin.