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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Soak Chia Seeds To Supercharge Your Metabolism

Good things come in small packages – the same is true of chia seeds which are extremely good and power packed with nutrients and minerals. Chia seeds have gained in popularity in recent years due to the many health benefits that can be gained by eating them on a regular basis. These seeds can easily be incorporated into your diet by doing things like mixing them into your yogurt at breakfast, adding them to a post-workout smoothie.

Supercharge Metabolism
Chia seeds are a rich source of calcium, with two tablespoons of whole chia seeds providing more than 130 milligrams of calcium. Calcium plays a role in energy metabolism, and it may help regulate body composition and reduce body fat percentage.
Using chia seeds a day you can help boost your metabolism and burn belly fat as well! Studies show that the addition of chia seeds to your diet also reduces visceral adipose tissue, a “belly fat” tissue that effects the metabolism of the body and is a component of obesity!
Fight Breast and Cervical Cancer
Chia seeds are rich in alpha lineic acid which is an Omega-3 fatty acid. Journal of Molecular Biochemistry found that ALA limited the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancers. They also found that it caused cell death of the cancer cells without harming the normal healthy cells.
Maintains Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Chia seeds are good for your overall digestive and metabolic health. Some of the most recent studies have linked chia seed consumption with healthy blood sugar levels, HDL (good cholesterol), cholesterol as well as reduced levels of triglycerides (blood fat) and LDL (bad cholesterol). These can safely be consumed by diabetics and can also aid in maintaining healthy heart and bones.
Other Health Benefits Of Soak Chia Seeds
Immune system
Chia seeds can give your immune system a serious boost as a side effect of balanced gut health consuming the seeds help produce. The immune system is impacted by your gut health, so improving your gut can help you to avoid many types of diseases and illnesses.
Stronger bones
Did you know eating chia seeds can improve your bone health? One serving of Chia seeds contains 18 percent of your daily recommended intake of calcium which is beneficial for maintaining good, strong bones.
References:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Okra Water Controls Diabetes, Asthma, Cholesterol; How To Make Okra Water?

Okra is a nutritional powerhouse used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Okra, also known as “lady’s fingers” and “gumbo,” is a green flowering plant. 
Okra belongs to the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton. It is indigenous to regions around the Nile in North Africa and the Middle East for it was discovered dating as far as 3500 years ago in Ethiopia.

Okra Nutrition Value
Okra contains vitamins A and C and is a good source of iron and calcium. It also contains starch, fat, ash, thiamine and riboflavin. It also contains vitamins, minerals and the antioxidants epicatechin, catechin, rutin, procyanidin B1 and B2 and quercetin. These antioxidants are capable of preventing damage to cells caused by environmental factors and stress.

How To Make Okra Water?

Drinking “okra water” is a popular new method of using okra. Cut 2-3 pieces of fresh okra after removing the head and tail part. Put it in a glass of water and let it stand overnight. Drink it about 30 minutes before breakfast.
This recipe is known to control blood sugar levels, cure asthma, cholesterol and good for kidney to keep it healthy.
Some people prefer to cut the okra into thin slices instead of soaking the pods whole. If you are going to prepare okra water this way, be prepared for a drink that is slightly bitter.

More Health Benefits of Eating Okra

  • Okra is good for asthma. Okra’s vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
  • The fiber of okra has many superior qualities in maintaining the health of the gastro-intestinal tract.
  • Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
  • It helps reabsorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins and surplus bile in its mucilage and slips it out through the stool. Due to greater percentage of water in the bulk it thereby prevents constipation, gas and bloating in the abdomen.
  • Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.

References:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

14 foods that naturally remove toxins from your body

Eliminating or removing toxins from the body is an important thing to do to maintain your body to stay healthy. The body is often conceded toxins as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle or unhealthy food consumed. Moreover, it is not possible, toxins also often enters the body through bad habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking habits.

These toxic substances can damage the soft organs in the body if left unchecked like this. In addition, the toxin can weaken the immune system at risk. By removing the toxic will make the body become fresher and healthier as well as the immune system will be stronger.
Here are top 5 that you can do to remove toxins from the body naturally
1. Avoid Processed Food Consumption
Fruits, vegetables, lean meats along with whole grains that are not processed should be the food you consume. These foods help the body recover from the situation substances in the body that is carried by the junk food you consume. By avoiding processed foods is tantamount to cutting your excess fat, potassium and sugar content as well as materials such as fructose syrup. Food tdak through the process will cleanse your body and make you feel more awake and alert.
2. Green Tea Consumption
Green tea contains antioxidants that are so high that help speed up and facilitate the body’s metabolism. In addition, green tea is also able to effectively hydrate the body and can help prevent diseases such as flu. To that end, rather than soft drinks or consume unhealthy beverages, better switch than now to diligently consume green tea.
3. Sweating
Everyone probably already knows if the sport is healthy for the body, it’s just probably not many know if that intense exercise can issue the toxins from the body. With exercise, the body will sweat, sweat, here’s some of the harmful toxins in the body will be excreted through your skin. Therefore, from now on there is no more excuse for not exercising and sweat toxins from the body that can be removed.
4. Enough of Water Consumption
Water can flush unwanted toxins by the body. By saving a lot of water content in the body, you will speed up the process of excretion of toxins from the body. In addition, it is also able to provide other benefits, such as the skin better and slimmer waist.
5. Stop Smoking Habits and Alcohol Consumption
Stopping a habit that has been ingrained for a long time is not an easy matter. But to get a healthy body it will be an expensive fee to a better body without toxins is what you get. Smoking and alcohol consumption can worsen the performance of the heart and lungs contaminated hazardous substances from cigarettes. For that, you should immediately reduce and stop this bad habit, so that a healthy body is what you get.

14 foods that naturally Remove toxins from body


  1. Cucumber: on average around 95% water, this veggie helps flush out toxins and alkalize the body while delivering a powerful nutrient punch.
  2. Garlic: stimulates the liver to encourage production of detoxification enzymes.
  3. Broccoli: delivers a large dose of vitamins while neutralizing and eliminating toxins.
  4. Lentils: extremely fiber-rich (1 cup cooked has 62.5% of your RDA!), lentils aids in toxin elimination, lower cholesterol, and balance blood sugar.
  5. Turnip greens: loaded with antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients (Without sulfur, the body cannot properly detoxify substances such as pharmaceuticals, environmental toxins and heavy metals), turnip greens also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates that help activate and regulate detoxification enzymes.
  6. Sunflower seeds: these little slivers of sunshine are not only high selenium and Vitamin E, but also assist liver’s detoxing capabilities and prevent cholesterol build up in the blood and arteries. Be sure to choose  organic as their high fat and oil allows them to easily soak up chemicals used in the production process.
  7. Walnuts: infuse the body with healthy omega-3 oils to assist detoxification.
  8. Turmeric: stimulates liver function. (Also a great addition to your diet for all-around health).
  9. Red pepper: when it comes to cleansing, vitamin C is one of the cream of the vitamin crop because it transforms toxins into digestible material. One red pepper contains about 3 times more vitamin C than an orange.
  10. Citrus fruits.
  11. Grapefruit: a class of its own, grapefruit lowers cholesterol, prevents kidney stones and aids the digestive system, which set it apart from the other citrus fruits.
  12. Watercress: keeps free radicals away from cells, energizes cleaning enzymes in the liver and is a natural diuretic.
  13. Mung beans: used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years, this easily digestible bean absorbs toxic residue from the intestinal walls.
  14. Artichokes: chock-full of cynarin, which increases bile production and promotes healthy digestion.

Reference:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Learn to Relax

Being able to learn to relax can be very important especially if you have a pretty stressful life. When you build up too much tension without being able to control or release it, overtime, you can develop some serious health problems. This can be both mental and physical. 
Being able to relax and just take things easy may not be possible for many people but this depends on their definition of relaxation. 
If you think relaxation only involves doing nothing, then it can be quite hard to achieve that state if you have a lot of responsibilities and a demanding lifestyle.
If you want to learn how to relax, then what you may want to consider doing is study the people who seem to be the most at ease. So who are these people? The answer is children. If you compare the stress levels of a working adult and a child, there is no comparison. 
The child has way less stress than the adult and because of this, it’s easier for them to relax. You may say that’s because they don’t have anything to worry about, there are no demands, and no responsibilities to take care of. That is true. 
However, have you ever been able to relax despite the fact that you have all of these demands and things you have to do? Of course you have.
Knowing how to relax can be as simple as keeping things simple. When we worry about things and constantly focus on what we need to do, it’s hard to relax. 
So what can you do? One way is to realize that most of the things that we worry about never even happen. It’s good to think ahead and cover your bases to make sure that future problems don’t show up but many people spend a lot of time worrying about things that are totally out of their control. 
Learn to relax by only focusing on things you can control. Relaxing doesn’t always mean to sit back and not do anything. If you have things to do, you can do it in a relaxed manner.
Again, it comes down to your focus. Children are able to relax because their focus on things that are in front of them and not on things in the future that may not even come true. If you have a ton of things you have to do, one way to help you relax is to write everything you need down. 
By doing this, you will allow your mind to stop trying to remind you of the things you need to do. When you are not working, you can do things like meditate or even get a massage. These things will help take your mind off of the daily demands of life and allow you to focus on something else. It’s all about being able to control your current focus.
The key is to simplify your life. You can still relax and do all the things you need to do. Just because you have demands and responsibilities, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything in a stressed manner. 
Just relax by focusing on the moment. Focus on what you can control, write down what you need to do so you can just forget about it for the time being, and just realize that most of the things that you worry about will either never come true or won’t even matter a year from now.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to Stay Positive

The ability to stay positive is one of the most important skills that you can develop. Why is this? The reason is because we will spend most of our lives setting and trying to achieve goals. Everyone has dreams. 
Everyone wants to know deep down inside that they were put here to do something great. The problem is that life is tough. 
The second you set a goal, obstacles will begin to appear to stand in your way. 
Most people let these challenges rob them from the life they really want. 

Most people will never be able to realize their dreams.
It’s sort of hard to think positively after reading that isn’t it? Sometimes the truth can sting a bit but it’s also necessary to know. If you want to achieve greatness, if you want to experience the best life possible, then be prepared to get knocked down over and over. 
Staying positive during situations like this, is not easy. This explains why there are so many people who have stopped trying to reach their dreams.
So how do you remain positive regardless of what type of challenge you are facing? It all comes down to how you choose to respond to any situation as well as what you decide to focus on. 
No matter how bad your situation is, you can always find something good in it. So what you can do is start focusing on what is good. 
Even if you lost your job and you’re about to be evicted from your home, you can still be positive. 
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy though but think about the reason for taking this approach.
If you keep focusing on how bad you have it, how life is so hard, how you never get a break, how are things suppose to get any better? Is it possible to be positive and still have your 
circumstances get even worse? Of course it is. If this is true, why even bother thinking positively? The reason is because if you do, you have a chance to make things better. If you don’t, things will usually get a lot worse.
Knowing how to be positive can help you overcome a lot of challenges that causes many others to fail. So what can you do? You can do things like read positive books or listen to songs with positive lyrics.
Realize that challenges are a part of life. Everyone will have to go through them. It’s what makes reaching a goal worth it. If you were able to get everything you wanted without even trying, the victory wouldn’t taste as sweet. 
Imagine playing a sport where you’re going up against no one. You will win without even lifting a finger. How would winning feel? 
Now imagine going up against an extremely difficult opponent who pushes you to your limit. How would winning feel now?
When it comes down to it, being able to stay positive is a mindset. It’s also a habit that you can develop. Instead of thinking, “Why me” when a challenge arises, say things like, “This just got interesting.” 
Life is about overcoming obstacles. Learn to accept that fact. Once you do, staying positive in the face of great challenges will be a whole lot easier.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What are the health benefits of being creative?

We undertake creative pursuits such as writing, acting, drawing, or dancing simply because we enjoy them. Intuitively, we know that creativity is good for us, and our creative passions make us happy. But what does science have to say about the benefits of creativity?



Some pursue creative activities as a hobby and some do it for a living, but no matter what road we've taken to unleash our imaginations and need for free self-expression, it's pretty clear that making things is part and parcel of being human.
We have been creating since prehistoric times: more than 39,900 years ago, our ancestors left some of their first marks — the outlines of their hands and crude drawings of animals — on the walls of caves.
We could go as far as to say that our need to create things is in our blood; this has served us well over the course of time, as we have learned to create tools and shelters, cook food, make medicines for various ailments, and set bones.
Sometimes, however, we have created things just for the sake of it. It could be said, as Oscar Wilde infamously proclaimed in The Picture of Dorian Gray, that "all art is quite useless." But is it, really? (I sometimes wish I could tap Mr. Wilde on the shoulder and ask him, "Well, if art is so useless, why did you write so assiduously?")

Aside from any philosophical arguments that may be brought to the contrary, a lot of research in the medical field has actually suggested that art — and, more specifically, being creative — is, in fact, quite useful for our mental and physical well-being.
Below, we look at some of the benefits that creative endeavors — from writing to dancing — can bring us, and we encourage you to incorporate even more creativity into your own life.

Improved mental health

Drawing, painting, or molding objects from clay has been scientifically proven to help people to deal with different kinds of trauma. In a comprehensive article on The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel say that "[a]rt helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words, such as a diagnosis of cancer."
"[A]rtistic self-expression," they continue, "might contribute to maintenance or reconstruction of a positive identity."
A number of studies have also found that writing — expressive writing, in particular, which requires participants to narrate an event and explain how it affected them — can help people to overcome trauma and manage negative emotions.
In much the same way as visual expression, this type of writing allows people to take negative situations that cannot be changed and integrate them into their life's story, creating meaning for events that left indelible marks — such as a medical diagnosis, a loved one's death, or a violent experience.
One qualitative study that interviewed male survivors of childhood abuse found that asking them to write about their traumatic experiences allowed them — in conjunction with specialized trauma therapy — to make sense of the trauma in deeply personal ways.

'Immediate impact' vs. 'long-term benefits'

Immediately after writing down one's experiences, the writer might feel an increase in negative emotions as they recall bad incidents. However, the long-term effects are positive.
"The immediate impact of expressive writing is usually a short-term increase in distress, negative mood, and physical symptoms, and a decrease in positive mood compared with controls" 
"However, at longer-term follow-up, many studies have continued to find evidence of health benefits in terms of objectively assessed outcomes, self-reported physical health outcomes, and self-reported emotional health outcomes."
Expressive writing doesn't just help with trauma and negative emotions. A 2001 study found that asking people to write about positive experiences and about "the best self" that they wanted to develop in the future was also associated with an increased sense of psychological well-being.
Similar effects were noted in a later study that asked participants to write about "intensely positive experiences."

Brain-boosting effects

Speaking of writing, research has also shown that writing down things down can help with learning and memorization.
However, if you take the shortcut and type the ideas that you want to remember, that won't actually do you much good. If you want to learn more efficiently, researchers say that you have to go old-fashioned and put pen to paper.
But writing isn't the only path to a better brain. Albert Einstein reportedly said that music was so much a part of his life that if he hadn't been a physicist, he would certainly have evolved into a musician.
Well, it does appear that making music can have a significant impact on how well different areas of our brains communicate with each other.
review published in 2014 suggests that individuals with musical training — such as those who learned how to play an instrument — have improved connectivity between the two hemispheres of their brains.
Another creative pursuit that improves our cognition is play-acting. A study from 2004 found that older individuals who were encouraged to participate in theater performances had improved psychological well-being after 4 weeks. They also exhibited better cognitive functioning.
In particular, the participants experienced better word and listening recall, as well as improved problem-solving abilities.

Physical health benefits

"Studies have shown that [...] individuals who have written about their own traumatic experiences exhibit statistically significant improvements in various measures of physical health, reductions in visits to physicians, and better immune system functioning." 
A randomized trial that involved people undergoing HIV treatment showed that expressive writing helped participants to boost their immune system.
While it is unclear why, people who wrote about their experiences on a regular basis exhibited an increased CD4+ lymphocyte count.
CD4+ lymphocytes are key to the functioning of the immune system, and they are one of the main targets of the immunodeficiency virus.

Writing was also seen to help with chronic pain management. People dealing with conditions that made them experience chronic pain had improved pain control plus a decline in pain severity after expressing angry feelings in written form over a period of 9 weeks.
Music therapy has immune system-boosting effects, as well. Music affects our brains in complex ways, stimulating the limbic system and moderating our response to stressful stimuli.
Listening to music "may help to restore effective functioning in the immune system partly via the actions of the amygdala and hypothalamus." These brain regions are implicated in mood regulation and hormonal processes, as well as in the body's inflammatory response.

Dance and the body

Creativity can also be a very mobile endeavor, and this mobility brings its own set of benefits. For instance, a study focusing on breast cancer survivors found that dancing helped to improve shoulder function in participants, and that it had a positive impact on their body image.
Moreover, dancing can be a fun way of staying — or becoming — fit. In 2014, a woman who lost 100 pounds just by sticking to her dance routine became a media sensation.
Recent research has shown that Zumba programs can improve blood pressure and triglyceride levels, while previous studies linked aerobic dance with better weight management.
A Korean study from 2007 that looked at hip-hop alongside aerobic dancing found that participants not only experienced improved psychological moods, but that they also reported lower levels of fatigue.
"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, and it does not exist in creating out of void, but out of chaos."
Creativity has been the ultimate means of reigning chaos in and drawing benefit out of it.
So, if we can bring some order to our mental or physical states just by journaling, smudging paint, or learning to play the guitar, why not take advantage of that and welcome more art into our lives?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

How to Stop Worrying

If you want to stop worrying, then you need to stop thinking so much. Thinking is a good thing of course but when you focus a lot of time over analyzing things, it can cause a lot of stress. 
Sometimes worrying is a good thing because it’s your mind’s way of acknowledging the importance of the situation. 
However, many times we worry excessively for invalid reasons. This article will give you a couple of different ways to help you to worry a little bit less.
When we worry, what we are actually doing is projecting our mind out into the future. We picture negative scenarios and images. 
We think about the worse possible situations. Students may spend a lot of time worrying about how they did on the test they just took. 
The person who is running late and is stuck in traffic is worried about what people will think of him when he shows up to the meeting late. The employee watches the news during his lunch time in the break room and sees that unemployment rate is climbing starts to worry about the security of his job.
In all of these situations, the person is worried about something that hasn’t happened yet. Not only that, they are worried about something that they have no control over at the present moment. If you want to know how to stop worrying, then you need to learn how to be in the moment. 
Realize that the majority of things people worry about coming true, never come true. You can spend a great majority of your waking life worrying yourself to the point where you start to lower your happiness level. You may even start to draw back from life because you’re afraid of every possible negative situation that you have imagined in your head coming true.
So how do you just stop worrying about everything? Here’s a simple rule. If you can’t do anything to improve the situation at the moment, let it go. 
Stop worrying so much about things that you have no control over. The student who is worried about what score he got is just wasting his time because what’s done is done. 
Whether he spends his time worrying or having fun, it’s not going to change the outcome. The employee who sees the unemployment rate increasing can worry about his job and perhaps start working harder but at the moment, during his lunch, he can’t do much about it so there is no point in worrying.
A great book about this topic that you should read is called, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. The book offers a lot of great ways to help you reduce your habit of worrying. 
You can try writing down the things you are worried about and find out what percentage of those things actually come true. 
Once you realize that there was really no point in stressing over things you can do anything about and stop worrying about everything, you will start to enjoy life a lot more.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wildflowers Are the Best Pesticide

In the U.S., about 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used annually, 90 percent of which are used by the agricultural sector.1 There are many problems with the indiscriminate use of these toxic chemicals, like the fact that 82 percent of domestic fruits and 62 percent of domestic vegetables contain pesticide residues,2 to say nothing of the risks of pesticide poisoning faced by the 2.5 million farm workers in the U.S., about 60 percent of whom live in poverty.3

Crop land does not exist in a bubble, which means some of the pesticides sprayed onto the land end up contaminating neighboring fields, soil, water and air. Even in the case of systemic pesticides, which are taken up into the plant as a whole via pesticide-treated seeds, about 95 percent of the substances ends up not in the plant cells where it was intended but blown off as dust or permeating the soil and water.4
Then there’s the fact that nature eventually finds a way to outsmart the pesticides, such that we’ve seen the emergence of pesticide-resistant superweeds and super insects. The pesticide industry’s response, rather than admitting defeat, is to encourage the use of more pesticides and more genetically engineered (GE) crops to go with them, but it’s a vicious cycle.
Glyphosate-resistant superweeds like pigweed are now driving farmers to seek out dicamba-resistant crops, but dicamba-resistant weeds have already sprouted in some states, raising serious doubts that piling more pesticides on crops will help farmers, or the environment, in the long run. The ultimate solution is not to fight against nature with the use of harmful chemicals, but rather to work with it, and even learn from it, embracing the natural tools already in existence to keep pests in check: namely, wildflowers.

Wildflowers Could Slash Pesticide Use

Wildflowers are home to many beneficial insects, including lacewings, ladybugs, hover flies and parasitic wasps, the latter two of which are natural predators to common crop pests like cereal leaf beetles and aphids. While some farmers have experimented with planting wildflowers around the border of their crops, the Center for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in the U.K. is taking things a step further, initiating a five-year trial that will sow wildflower strips into the center of crops in 15 farms and evaluate the results.5
“Lining the perimeter of a farm with wildflowers asks that the beneficial insects leave this habitat and to trek into the fields to chow down on their prey. But most of the good guys aren’t particularly mobile,” Modern Farmer explained.6
The new in-field stripes, however, make it easier for the beneficial insects to move about the fields and reach all the way to the center. The wildflower stripes also go beyond another method of natural pest control known as beetle banks, in which raised strips are planted tussock and other grasses to attract ground beetles. According to CEH:7
“In-field wild flower strips move beyond beetle banks in a number of important ways. Perhaps the most important is that their focus is on supporting diverse communities of predatory and parasitic insects that kill pests. Research increasingly suggests that complex communities of predators and parasitoids are the most effective at controlling pests.
Rather than just promoting predominantly ground active predators, we need to support those in the canopy or those that target internal pests living in stems or seed pods. By sowing specific grasses and wildflowers we can target the resources provided by in-field strips and normal field margins to benefit the greatest diversity of important predators.”

Wildflower Strips Work to Naturally Ward Off Pests

The CEH study builds off research published in 2015, which planted flower strips along 10 winter wheat fields and compared the outcome with fields planted with wheat control strips. The results were promising, showing strong reductions in the density of cereal leaf beetles (CLB), a major cereal pest in Europe, Asia and North America, as well as plant damage caused by them.8 In fact, the fields with wildflowers had 40 to 53 percent lower beetle density and 61 percent less beetle damage compared to the control fields.
“Our study demonstrates a high effectiveness of annual flower strips in promoting pest control, reducing CLB pest levels below the economic threshold. Hence, the studied flower strip offers a viable alternative to insecticides,” the researchers wrote.9

Past research has also shown wildflower strips can help to naturally control pest aphids in lettuce crops,10 while they have the added benefit of attracting beneficial pollinators. One study revealed the frequency of pollinator visits was 25 percent higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without.11
“The in-field flower strips … provide early season pollen and nectar resources for important crop pollinators, such as bumblebees and solitary bees,” CEH noted. “In this respect they should provide dual benefits — enhanced natural pest control and crop pollination.”12The fact that wildflowers serve two beneficial purposes stands in stark contrast to the increasing use of pesticides, which is furthering the emergence of superweeds and insects while decimating beneficial pollinators.
One study involved 18 years of U.K. wild bee distribution data for 62 species, which were compared to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape, a crop grown to produce canola oil. The researchers found evidence of increased wild bee population extinction rates in response to systemic pesticide (neonicotinoid) seed treatment. Overall, about 50 percent of the total decline in wild bees was linked to the pesticides.13

Scientific Adviser to UK Government Calls for ‘Pesticidovigilance’

A growing number of experts are calling for increased caution in the use of pesticides, particularly since no limits exist on how many total pesticides can be pumped into the environment, and with virtually no monitoring, it can be too late before the environmental and human health toll is fully realized. This includes Ian Boyd, a chief scientific adviser to the U.K. government.
In a report published in the journal Science, Boyd and colleague Alice Milner of Royal Holloway University London called for “pesticidovigilance” and wrote, “The current assumption underlying pesticide regulation — that chemicals that pass a battery of tests in the laboratory or in field trials are environmentally benign when they are used at industrial scales — is false.”14,15 Meanwhile, research has shown that many farmers could slash pesticide use without hurting production.
In a study of nearly 1,000 French farms, there was no conflict seen between low pesticide use and high productivity and profitability in 77 percent of the farms. Further, the researchers found 59 percent of them could cut pesticide usage by 42 percent without harming their production. Forty percent of these farms would even improve their production as a result.16,17 The findings are eye-opening, especially since the pesticide industry has long maintained that their products are necessary to feed the world.
Farmers will also have to be convinced that their crops can flourish without the chemicals, which will require access to unbiased information along with a “cultural shift,” according to Bill Parker, director of research at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. As he told The Guardian, “The majority of crop protection advice given in the U.K. is from agronomists tied to companies who make their money from selling pesticides … There is a commercial drive and they will tend to take a prophylactic approach.”18

Pesticides Accumulate in Wildflowers if Used in Combination With Pesticides

There are still potential problems with planting wildflowers amongst conventional farming fields, particularly the potential for contamination. Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides on the planet. As systemic pesticides, the chemicals are taken up by the plants and contaminate flowers, nectar and pollen.
The majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are precoated with neonicotinoid pesticides, even though treating soybean seeds with neonicotinoids provides no significant financial or agricultural benefits for farmers19 and the chemicals have been blamed for declines in pollinators in the U.S. and elsewhere.
What’s especially concerning is that research suggests pollinators are being exposed not just via the crops themselves but also via nearby wildflowers. In a 2015 study published in Environmental Science & Technology, researchers pointed to neonicotinoid residues in wildflowers as a potential route of chronic exposure for bees:20
“[T]hroughout spring and summer, mixtures of neonicotinoids are … found in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers growing in arable field margins, at concentrations that are sometimes even higher than those found in the crop. Indeed, the large majority (97 percent) of neonicotinoids brought back in pollen to honey bee hives in arable landscapes was from wildflowers, not crops.”
Again in 2016, researchers noted that “noncultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees,”21 and pollen from crop plants made up only "a tiny fraction" of the total pollen collected by the local bees. Researchers believe the bulk of the neonicotinoids applied to seeds end up in the surrounding soil and water, where it accumulates over time, leaching into bodies of water and being taken up by nearby plants, including wildflowers.22
This means that plans to add wildflowers to conventional crop fields could potentially backfire and end up exposing pollinators to increased levels of pesticides — unless efforts are made to slash pesticide usage at the same time.

Chemical Trespassing — Farmers Paid Through Monsanto Funds

A growing number of organic farmers are also suffering from what amounts to “chemical arson” as their crops are damaged by their neighbors’ pesticide drift. In Clarksville, Missouri, farmers Mike and Carol Brabo, who supply organic produce to a 150-member community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, suffered $300,000 in crop losses and lost half of their beehives when a nearby farm sprayed pesticides that drifted onto their land.23

On top of the crop and bee losses, the farm’s Certified Naturally Grown certification was suspended due to the contamination, and they estimate it will take them three years and $1.6 million to remediate the damage and regain the certification. The scenario echoes the growing problem with dicamba drift, which has damaged an estimated 3.6 million acres across the U.S.
Numerous states launched measures to prohibit dicamba sprayings, farmers suffered financial losses and, in some cases, neighboring farmers turned against one another as crops were damaged by the drifting chemical. But with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continuing to allow the use of dicamba on Monsanto’s GE dicamba-tolerant crops, albeit with some restrictions, some farmers feel they’re being forced to buy the GE seeds, just so they can survive their neighbors’ chemical sprays.24
Monsanto has even offered cash back to farmers who purchase its XtendiMax with VaporGrip, a dicamba variety that is supposedly less prone to vaporization and drift, designed for use with its GE dicamba-resistant seeds. The chemical typically costs farmers about $11 per acre, but Monsanto will give farmers $6 cash back when they use it on their dicama-tolerant Xtend soybeans.
Not only will the cash-back offer encourage more farmers to purchase XtendiMax with VaporGrip but also Monsanto’s GE seeds to go along with it. At the same time, it will reduce the likelihood of farmers turning to one of Monsanto’s competitors, as both BASF SE and DowDuPont sell dicamba-based herbicides as well.
The shrewd marketing decision will likely amount to an economic windfall for Monsanto and a major blow to the environment. In 2017, about 4 percent of the 90 million acres of soybeans planted in the U.S. had signs of damage due to dicamba.25
It’s not the first time Monsanto has incentivized the use of more harmful chemicals to farmers by offering cash back. In 2010, the company offered farmers $6 cash back per acre if they sprayed their Roundup Ready crops with at least two other herbicides aside from Roundup, which was a failed attempt to stave off glyphosate-resistant weeds.26

Wildflowers and Other Regenerative Agriculture Techniques Are the Answer

It’s clear that pesticides are not the answer to solving world hunger; they’re a contributor to environmental and human-health demise. The answer is a steady move toward regenerative agricultural techniques like crop rotation, mechanical weeding, planting of cover crops and wildflowers and other nonchemical forms of pest control to successfully lessen pesticide use and restore soil health.
Such strategies work, and research published in Nature Communications suggests that converting conventional cropland to organic reduces pesticide usage and, when combined with other changes like cutting food waste and cutting back on CAFO meat, “can contribute to feeding more than 9 billion people in 2050, and do so sustainably.”27 You can help on an individual level as well, by supporting organic farms and choosing organic food as much as possible, along with reducing pesticide use at your own home.
Swap out toxic pesticide and lawn chemicals for organic weed and pest control alternatives or, better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant a wildflower meadow or edible organic garden. 
Wildflowers, by their very nature, are easy to grow, and planting them in your yard will give you the same benefits that farmers reap: reduced pests and increased beneficial insects and pollinators — not to mention their natural beauty. In the video below, you can learn how to plant a wildflower meadow virtually anywhere.

References