Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week’s blog is inspired by the fact I have started to make my own toothpaste. Yes, I am officially a Hippy.

You know how I encourage everyone to read the ingredients on anything you eat or drink, well I started reading the ingredients on EVERYTHING, like my toothpaste, mouthwash, and even my lotion.

YIKES! In my attempt to find a “healthy” toothpaste at the store, I read things like… Carbomer 956, Carrageenan, Carboxymethlycellulose sodium, coamidopropyl betaine, glycerin, hydrated silica,
mica, peg 8, poloxamer 407, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, sodium fluoride, sodium hydroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium saccharin, sorbitol, titanium dioxide, triclosan….What is all this stuff??!?  The ingredients that I really zeroed in on were  Yellow #10, Red #3 and Blue #1. I have noticed that soooo many of the things we eat and drink have these food dyes in them. Those can’t be good for fact one of my New Year’s Resolutions was that I gave up eating peanut M&M’s because of the many food dyes they contained. No longer are they allowed in my house!

Apparently Americans are eating 5 times more food dye now than we were in 1955. Why? Well, because apparently we like our chewy “rubber” fruit snacks and our maraschino cherries to be really RED! Studies show that how a food looks is just as important to us as how it tastes. Without food coloring, many processed foods(key word is PROCESSED) would have an unpleasant, uneven, plain
color…and since we apparently eat with our eyes, the big food companies add coloring. What’s in that frosted berry(flavored) processed pop tart you gave your daughter for breakfast?? Red 40, Blue 2, Yellow 6 and Blue 1, I bet. How about a glass of strawberry milk to wash that nutritious breakfast down…believe me there are no strawberries in that milk!!

So what’s the big deal…why are these bad for us? Many studies say that years of us ingesting these food dyes have lead to the rise of ADHD-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-among other things like…
Chromosomal damage
Brain tumors
Bladder tumors
Thyroid tumors
Neurochemical and behavioral effects
Aggression, violent behavior
Eczema, hives

You are probably thinking…oh a little of those dyes won’t hurt me…wellll, how many things are you eating and drinking every day that have those dyes in them?? Bbq sauces, flavored popcorns, cold medicine, cereals like Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, and Apple Jacks,  gum, jello, beef jerky, salad dressings, many many candies, crackers, frozen pizzas, sports drinks, cereal bars, jellies, popsicles, to name a few!

This is what bothers me the most…countries like Norway and the United Kingdom have banned almost all food dyes! Some have been banned from use in the US, but 7 still remain on the FDA’s approved list. For example, Kraft, the company that makes macaroni and cheese, in the UK they use paprika and beta carotene to make it that famous yellow orange color. Here in the US we still get to eat it with Yellow #5 and Yellow #6..YUMMY!

Blue #1 is banned in France and Finland
Blue #2 is banned in Norway
Red #3 the FDA tried to ban it and it failed
Yellow #5 is banned in Norway
Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Sweden
GEEZE ! that’s it, I am moving to Norway.

For a healthier alternative, look for these all natural dyes….the ones we used for centuries!
Annatto extract (made from ground up seed pods of the annatto tree, which grows in South America)
Beta-carotene (red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits)
Beet Powder (red beets are dehydrated then ground into a powder, no additives)
Paprika (a red powder made from grinding sweet red peppers)
Saffron (a red orange spice made from the stigma of a flower called Crocus, native to Greece)  
Turmeric (deep orange colored spice from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, native to India)
Fruit & Vegetable juice

Have a Healthy Week!

Ohhh by the way,  here’s my new favorite toothpaste recipe:
6 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp hydrogen peroxide
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
12 drops peppermint essential oil

Put the baking soda in a bowl, add all the other ingredients and mix until you get a paste texture. If it’s too runny add more baking soda, if it’s too dry add more coconut oil. Store it in a dark container to protect the hydrogen peroxide.

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