From peaches and plums… to cherries and berries… there’s an abundant harvest of summer produce hitting stores right about now.
And there's nothing like biting into sweet, juicy summer fruit picked at its peak -- and letting that juice drip down your chin.
It not only tastes great -- you know that the nutrients and antioxidants in the season's brightly colored fruits and veggies are a boon for your health.
But if you're not buying ORGANIC, all of that goodness may be laced with something rather unsavory.
According to a new study, once those chemicals make their way into your body, they can harm the delicate cells in your brain -- sending your risk of Parkinson's disease through the roof.
As I've shared with you before, I attribute my own Parkinson's diagnosis to toxic exposure. I wish I’d known then what I know now.
And trust me -- it can happen to you, too.
In the study, Canadian researchers exposed cells to two common pesticides -- paraquat and maneb -- in the lab.
Now, these weren't just any old cells -- they were dopamine-producing neurons, which are the very same cells that are affected in those with Parkinson's.
And these particular neurons were grown in the lab from the stem cells of folks who’d already had Parkinson's, so they contained a genetic mutation that's known to predispose you to the disease.
As soon as the pesticides came into contact with these neurons, they prevented the cells' energy-producing mitochondria from doing their jobs, meaning that the cells essentially shut themselves down.
And we know that when your brain's dopamine-producing neurons die, you're looking at the tremors and stiffness of Parkinson's.
The feds will tell you that paraquat and maneb are perfectly safe at low levels. But in the study, these pesticides impaired the cells at doses well BELOW the threshold deemed dangerous by the EPA.
And here's the real shocker: The study concluded that people exposed to even small amounts of these pesticides have a whopping 250 percent greater risk of developing Parkinson's than those who have no exposure.
Of course, if you don't have the genetic mutation involved in the study, your brain cells may be better able to withstand low-level pesticide exposure.
But there's no way of knowing this until it's too late.
Why roll the dice by eating sprayed produce?
Even if you dodge Parkinson's, we know that paraquat can also cause kidney, lung, and liver damage. In fact, it’s so deadly that it’s banned in Europe!
So, to spare yourself from swallowing these lethal toxins, buy certified-organic produce, which is never doused in chemicals, whenever possible.
And that's especially true for summer favorites like nectarines, peaches, cherries, and tomatoes , which are on the Environmental Working Group's most-likely-to-be-contaminated "Dirty Dozen" list.
Buying organic may cost a little more, but just think of it as an insurance policy for your brain!