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Eat These Foods to Build Resistance against the Effects of Pollution

Overview | types of pollution | Impact of pollution | dietician | diet  | Tips for fighting pollution | Conclusion

Eat These Foods to Build Resistance against the Effects of Pollution

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Eat These Foods to Build Resistance against the Effects of Pollution

Pollution is the contamination of natural resources by foreign substances. These foreign substances are known as pollutants. Our environment is definitely affected and so is our quality of life. Pollution is rising tremendously and is damaging our lives in ways more than one. Pollution is damaging our earth and we need to realize the negative effects of it and also find measures to safeguard our health.

There are mainly three types of pollution. These are:

  • Air pollution - The air around us is no longer pure, it is contaminated with pollutants. These pollutants are increasing the carbon dioxide amount and thus causing global warming. Polluted air may trigger or lead to many lung diseases like asthma, bronchial conditions, emphysema, etc. 

  • Water pollution - Water is a necessity and life without water is impossible. The water is becoming contaminated with industrial waste, religious practices and this all will ultimately lead to water scarcity.

  • Soil pollution - The soil is getting contaminated with waste. The dumping of large amount of waste is making the soil toxic, which in turn will lead to soil infertility.

Impact of pollution on the food we eat

There are various ways through which food can be contaminated or one can say adulterated. Basically, any foreign substance that comes in contact with food has the capability to pollute it. The irrigation water, groundwater, or even soil may contaminate the fruits or vegetables with toxic bacterial strains. These bacterial strains can only be destroyed by processing it at high temperatures. There are other ways also through which contamination of food is possible, these are:

  • Food is grown in polluted soils, solid wastes or areas with polluted groundwater.
  • Polluted water being used for irrigation of grown food (e.g. vegetables, fruits, crops).
  • Food has grown (e.g. crops, fruits, vegetables) in areas with polluted air.
  • The use of pesticides, insecticides, and/or herbicides as agricultural treatment.
  • The use of sewage sludge and/or polluted fertilizers (which contain ash from power plants).
  • Intake of polluted water and/or food by fish or other animals.
  • During food processing, packaging, and handling.
  • Propagation and concentration of pollutants through the food chain.

The plants get contaminated, when they extract pollutants through their roots along with water and nutrients. In the case of air pollutants, those usually enter plants also through roots, after being first deposed on the ground with precipitation water. 

How a dietician can be helpful?

A dietician is a healthcare provider that helps individuals maintains a proper and balanced diet according to one's own body requirement. The dietician provides a proper plan with the calorie intake, as to what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and all this not just includes fruits and vegetables but is a full meal with balanced nutrients. A dietician's work is fulfilling the body's requirement of nutrients. A balanced and nutritious diet to the individual is the goal of the dietician.

With the rising rate of pollution and how greatly it is affecting our health, a dietician here can provide the appropriate diet that can be helpful. Keep in mind not the pollution but also the body's needs and necessities.

What type of diet and extra care required?

Our health is determined by the capability as to how our body handles exposure to toxins. Our body's essential functions tend to get hampered or damaged in the presence of excess toxins. The pollutants that enter our body through contaminated food can be understood as toxins. The build of these can severely affect or health. 

But to fight this, our body is equipped with a detoxification system. This system regulates toxins and helps maintain health when our body is disclosed to harmful substances. It converts toxic substances into non-toxic substances and excretes them. The condition of toxicity happens when the detoxification system is overloaded with more toxins than it can eliminate. To help the body detoxify, antioxidants can be very helpful. A diet rich in antioxidants will definitely do the trick.

Tips for fighting pollution and detoxifying the body:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try to eat a balanced diet. This comprises of whole foods, colourful fruits, and vegetables, such as broccoli, squash, blueberries, citrus, beets, dandelion greens, artichokes, pomegranate, and carrots. These foods are rich in phytonutrients and enhance the process of detoxification. 
  • Consume celery. It is a very powerful detoxifying food. It provides phytonutrients that benefit the liver's ability to detoxify. 
  • Diet should include the foods containing antioxidants (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium): beets, broccoli, asparagus, Swiss chard, kale, peaches, red peppers, papayas, parsley, carrots, apricots, alfalfa, avocados, cantaloupe, and green leafy vegetables. Antioxidants are necessary for neutralizing free radicals.
  • Consume whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats to aid elimination. 
  • Consume legumes, such as black beans, white beans, chickpeas, and lentils as soluble fiber to aid in elimination.
  • Increase protein consumption from sources like soy, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Also consume lean grass-fed beef and free-range, natural poultry. Protein is essential for detoxification.
  • Include adequate B-vitamins from whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seafood. B-vitamins are needed for the initiation of the detoxification system.
  • Include probiotics to promote gut health.

Conclusion

Food is a basic necessity and will always be needed for life to sustain. Even though pollution is increasing and causing damage as well. We need to fight and maintain our health. Though we know the ways to handle ourselves, but a medical professional like a dietician can be of great asset. A dietician here will not only help our body fight pollution but also maintain our health to lead a happy and successful life.

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