Fruit juice is a popular drink for children. But is it safe?
Not according to Consumer Reports. They tested 45 popular fruit juices sold across the country and found elevated levels of heavy metals in almost half of them, including juices marketed for children.
“In some cases, drinking just 4 ounces a day—or half a cup—is enough to raise concern,” says James Dickerson, Ph.D., Consumer Reports’ chief scientific officer.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of heavy metals. Depending on how long children are exposed to these toxins and how much they are exposed to, they may be at risk for lowered IQ, behavioral problems (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), type 2 diabetes, and cancer, among other health issues.
And for adults, over many years, even modest amounts of heavy metals may raise the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer; cognitive and reproductive problems; and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.
Arsenic, cadmium, and lead each pose their own set of potential harms. Lead contamination is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and fertility problems. Arsenic has been linked to cardiovascular disease. And cadmium exposure increases the risk of bone damage and kidney disease.
Heavy metal exposure is common. Previous tests have found elevated levels of heavy metals in infant and toddler foods, rice and rice products, protein powder, some types of fish, and sweet potatoes.
Heavy metals are found in the environment – in the water, in the air, in the soil. Heavy metals are often leached into foods during production.
So how can you avoid heavy metal exposure?
You can’t. But you can limit your exposure. It’s never too late to change your dietary habits and lower yours and your children’s risk of heavy metal exposure.
1) EAT WHOLE FRUIT
Drinking fruit juice rather than eating whole fruit increases heavy metal exposure. Why? Because it takes a lot of fruit to produce juice concentrating the heavy metals. Plus the fiber in fruit helps move toxins out of your system.
American Academy of Pediatricians recommend to avoid giving infants under the age of one any fruit juice. Limit daily fruit juice consumption: 1-3 year old children – 4 oz, 4-6 year old children – 6 oz, children 7 and older – 8 oz.
I recommend encouraging your children to eat real fruit and drink water. A splash of juice in the water – squeezed from organic whole fruit – can help transition your child from sugar laden fruit juice to pure water. Be sure their water is filtered. Lemon juice can help the liver detox. So add a squeeze of lemon in your child’s water to help make it more palatable too.
2) LIMIT OTHER HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATED FOODS
The secret to lowering your lifetime exposure to heavy metals is to eat a wide variety of foods. Limiting your diet to a handful of foods will increase your risk of exposure and limit the nutrients your body needs to detoxify.
Foods with the highest levels of heavy metals are large predator fish like tuna and swordfish, rice and rice products, sweet potatoes, baby formula, refined chocolate, evaporated milk, canned foods, white flour.
3) PROVIDE YOUR BODY DETOX MICRONUTRIENTS DAILY
Daily consumption of foods that help your body detox heavy metals will help you avoid diseases associated with heavy metal toxicity.
Heavy metal detox foods to eat include:
If you’re taking Genesis Gold daily, you’re getting all the starred foods above to help your body detox naturally. And, yes, Genesis Gold has been used safely for children since 2003. Just dose them by body weight- 2 gm per 25 pounds.