Rice, Arsenic, and Green Tea: What’s the Toxin Connection?

Chili con carne on rice, white backgroundRecently, I heard of a story where a couple came into the Emergency Room with the wife  complaining of excessive neurological symptoms such as headaches, numbness, muscle weakness and more.  Upon further evaluation, it was concluded that she had been poisoned with Arsenic.  Almost immediately the husband became the suspect and was actually arrested.  Fortunately the wife insisted he was innocent and demanded that he also be tested for Arsenic.   The Verdict:  NOT GUILTY. His blood samples also showed presence of arsenic.  But, why did he not have symptoms?  Simply  put, he has a more sophisticated detoxification system that has been naturally riding his body’s exposure.  His wife was not as fortunate.  The point here is that we are all wired differently.

This motivated me to dig deeper.  Where are we being exposed to Arsenic?  Turns out a big source is one of Acadiana’s favorite foods:  Rice

Unfortunately, according to Consumer Reports, Louisiana rice is among the highest in arsenic content.

What is Arsenic and How Does it get into our Rice?

Arsenic is a toxicant that’s found naturally in soil and water.  It is a carcinogen, of course, and in high levels, it can be fatal.  In lower levels, it can create symptoms similar to what the wife above experienced:  nausea, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, pins and needle sensations in hands and feet.

Arsenic is water soluble, making rice particularly vulnerable to contamination. Because of Louisiana’s history of producing cotton, a crop that was heavily treated with arsenical pesticides for decades, the same soil now used for rice still contains residues of Arsenic today.

So, Should I No Longer Eat Rice?

Of course not!

Then what should I do?

Make daily intentional choices that provide your body with the essential elements it needs to overcome these unavoidable exposures.

Here are a few simple things you can begin doing today:

1.  Drink Green Tea!  Yes, my favorite is back to protect us yet again!  In a study which measured the protective effect of not only green, but also black tea, it was found that both Green and Black Tea are no match for Arsenic!  So, enjoy your rice with a glass of Green Tea.

2. Eat Apples, but not just any apple-ORGANIC APPLES!  Apple peelings are rich in Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that work together to enhance your health such as REMOVING ARSENIC from your body naturally.  But, these apples must be organic and you must eat the peeling to see this effect.

3. Drink and cook with Filtered Water.  Remember, Arsenic loves water, so it’s not just a rice problem.

 

Once again, the bottom line is we can’t live completely toxin free, but we can defend ourselves.

Choose healthier options daily and your body will take care of the rest.

Cheers to better health and wellness,

Liz

 

 

 

 

Resources:
http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/FO/c3fo60470e#!divAbstract
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=14507244

 

 

 

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