Adding lemon to my water has been a staple in my morning routine for years. The antioxidants in lemon juice have so many benefits that aid in digestion, hydration and the much needed energy boost when I’m up at the crack of dawn! I can go on and on in the natural ways it has helped me. But recently, I’ve been throwing the lemon wedges right into my water our of sheer laziness.
A few weeks later, I was feeling like I was coming down with the flu! I was dealing with all the classic signs. Fatigue, headaches that wouldn’t go away, muscle soreness, sweating, nausea, even sinus pressure. I was even experiencing trouble sleeping, which has hardly been an issue for me in the past. Days went by and I still felt terrible, but no other flu symptoms. I was becoming irritable, moody, and just not feeling myself. Even some of my favorite foods weren’t appetizing. I’m such a foodie so I KNEW something was up. My body was telling me that something wasn’t right!
And I hadn’t made any major changes to my diet or lifestyle, so before I Web-MD’d my symptoms and scared myself to death, I did some research.
I discovered that I had all the signs of mild pesticide poisoning. My own natural regimen was making me sick!
Here’s what I discovered:
Citrus fruits like lemons, lime, and other fruits like cantaloupe have a hard rind that is difficult to penetrate. Because of this, larger amounts and much harsher pesticides and chemicals are used, with supposedly no consequences to the flesh on the inside that we eat. With most produce, you can get away with washing most of the debris and dirt. But the lemon’s waxy coating loaded with dangerous chemicals do not wash away easily (think trying to wash away oil with water). Some common pesticides found on lemons include Imazalil, Chlorpyrifos, and Thiabendazole.
Chlorpyrifos: A common agricultural insecticide, that when in contact, can cause excessive sweating, dizziness, and weakness, and insomnia. Studies have even shown links to negative neurological effects of the development of children!
Imazalil: A widely used fungicide to help prevent the mold and fungi from attacking the fruit. It is a KNOWN carcinogen and even has poses threats to our water systems and ecosystems. Contact with this fungicide causes headaches, nausea and muscle weakness.
Thiabendazole: Also a fungicide used to control mold, causes toxic effects such as loss of appetite, headaches, chills, and even diarrhea.
The use of these pesticides has even caused much concern among the public, with major groups even protesting against its use. With this knowledge, the EPA still allows its somewhat unrestricted use, with no concrete limitations. So I decided to take the situation into my own hands!
Because it takes time to accumulate in your body, so it explains why I didn’t feel the negative effects until recently. So now with this new-found knowledge (and fear…), I’m even more aware of what I am putting into my body. Don’t live recklessly like me, take the extra few minutes to squeeze your lemons! And don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. Here’s an easy guide to your own DIY pesticide wash with baking soda and other stuff we all have at home.
I give my intuition ALL the credit because I knew I wasn’t feeling like myself. So I took it upon myself to find out why, and you should do the same, especially when it deals with your health and well-being! Luckily, I am feeling much better with each day. You won’t find me handling lemons so recklessly again!
So I hope when you find yourself in a similar situation with your intuition, you’ll take the time to listen to what your body and mind need. After all, it is your guide, your compass, and will always know what is best for you, even if you don’t.
Trust in yourself!
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