So antioxidants, which youíll find in many foods, are up there at the top of the list of nutrients we need to fight toxins. Cancer, too, is influenced by antioxidants.† The higher the motherís diet in the 12 months prior to pregnancy of vegetables and fruit as well as protein sources (such as beans and lean beef), the lower the risk of having a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ACC).† Again, whatís at work here includes the antioxidant glutathione, with its power to help make DNA and repair DNA damage. †The study that found this connection also found that pregnant women who consumed cod liver oil and folate supplements similarly reduced the risk of their children suffering from ACC cancer.
If a child during his early years consumes oranges and orange juice, which are packed with the antioxidant vitamin C, and eats potassium-rich bananas, again the likelihood of childhood leukemia falls.†† A hearty consumption of fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene, another dietary antioxidant, and of foods with vitamin A (oranges, as well as yellow, orange and red vegetables) as well as the antioxidant vitamin E (sunflower and safflower oils, hazel nuts and almonds, wheat germ) also builds the bodyís defenses against cancer.
How about damage from lead and other heavy metals to your childís brain and nervous system?† Itís lessened if your childís body has a good reserve of calcium, iron and zinc, all nutrients that found in a good diet.
Certain birth effects such as neural tube defects, cleft palates and cleft lips are linked to a deficiency of folate acid, a B vitamin found in abundance in leafy green vegetables, as well in lesser amounts in citrus fruits, beans and whole grains.† Just to be sure, itís usually recommended that pregnant women take 400 micrograms or more of folic acid supplements.
Infertility, which is on the rise in the U. S., is also affected by nutrition.† Women are more likely to conceive if they follow a Mediterranean diet full of vegetables, vegetable oils, and fish. (Some fish, however, contain high mercury levels, so you have to avoid them.† Consult www.ewg.org/safefishlist.)† Fertility also requires enough iron and folic acid, and folic acid seems to bolster sperm quality.
Endometriosis (where cells lining the uterus grow into other areas of the body), another illness on the rise, also responds to foods with anti-inflammatory powers and to foods with lignins, a type of fiber which helps remove toxic manmade hormones from the body.† Lignin-rich vegetables include cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.