Keeping your family healthy is quite the adventure. And, just like every adventure, it has its challenges. We’ve rounded up 5 surprising things that may be standing in the way of your family’s best health — not to frighten you, but because knowing what you’re up against is the best way to formulate a plan of attack. It may seem like these things are out of your control, but stay educated, be flexible, and always look for alternatives, and you’ll be able to tackle these obstacles head on and get your family on their way to their best health.
#1 Our soil is being depleted
Fruits and vegetables draw vitamins and minerals from the earth as they grow, which is why they’re such a nutritious option. Unfortunately, modern farming practices only replenish 3 things: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, meaning our soil gets more and more depleted of its nutrients, growing nutrient depleted foods. A startling study carried out by CTV + The Globe and Mail found that 2 peaches from 1951 provided the same amount of Vitamin A as 3 peaches today.
#2 Our foods are heavily sprayed
Pesticides have their purpose: Farmers spray their crops to prevent damage from weeds, insects, and disease, increasing supply and decreasing cost. Unfortunately, those chemicals end up in our foods, and eventually our bodies. According to the Environmental Working Group, “more than 98 percent of strawberry samples, peaches, nectarines,and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.” Not entirely encouraging, but a good reason to think about shopping organic (if you’re able.)
#3 Our processed foods are stripped of their quality
We all lead busy lives, and the packaged goods industry has responded in kind: a lot of our foods today come in a box, bottle, bag, or wrapper. These foods are convenient, quick, and have a hearty shelf life, but unfortunately the processing they go through strips them of the good stuff like fibre and healthy fats, and loads them up with sugar, salt, trans fat, artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners.
#4 Our food prep methods have an effect on nutrition
The moment you get home from a trip to the grocery store or market is the high point for your produce, nutrition-wise. Fruits and vegetables will never have more nutrients than they do in their raw state: Food preparation, like roasting, frying, boiling, and microwaving all reduce the vitamin and antioxidant content of our foods in different amounts (microwaving is a particularly bad offender).
#5 Our water carries more than you think
Municipal water filtration has been designed to make our drinking water microbiologically safe. Which it does, by using chlorine and chloramine to kill the bad bacteria, which has the unfortunate side effect of disrupting our intestinal health. While taking a probiotic can help restore your delicate internal balance, it’s not just the chlorine you have to worry about. Municipal filtration systems were never developed to filter the drugs and chemicals that are part of everyday life and that end up in our water: Antibiotics, hormones from birth control pills, antidepressants, herbicides, and pesticides all enter our waterways. While we’re getting very low doses through our water, the effects are nevertheless being debated by scientists.