Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
While the phasing out of lead in gasoline and paint has helped to reduce childhood exposure to lead – and impending limits on lead in toys and other children products should help further – millions of children still experience lead poisoning. Federal authorities say old lead paint in older homes, along with contaminated soil – both of which produce lead-tainted dust and grime that children ingest inadvertently – are the chief causes of lead poisoning.
To reduce exposure and protect your child, The Daily Green recommends these steps:
1. Maintain paint in older homes, so that you avoid peeling and flaking that can produce dust. Consult with a professional if you have any doubts.
2. Check your toys and remove any that have been recalled due to high lead content.
3. Get your child’s blood lead level tested, so you know if you need to carefully investigate potential sources.
4. Avoid home renovations during pregnancy or a child’s first six years; if you do renovate, do so carefully and under professional guidance.
5. Ensure good nutrition. Iron deficiency can lead the body to absorb more lead, so ensure your child is eating enough iron (and the Vitamin C needed by the body to absorb the iron). Similarly, eating calcium will cause the body to absorb less lead.
Nutrition Is a Key Part of Lead Poisoning Prevention.
Below is the list of some foods that are packed with calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Add them to your diet so you can protect your children’s health.
Guava is rich in vitamin C — one half cup of the fruit contains 188 mg of vitamin C and 56 calories. Eat the fruit raw, or smoothies.
Cereal. This includes cold and hot ready-to-eat cereals. The amount of iron you can get from cold cereals ranges from 1.8 to 21.1 mg of iron, but it’s typically lower for hot cereals (4.9 to 8.1 mg), so check those labels. Ready-to-eat fortified cereals are also often a good source of calcium.
Red Sweet Pepper. You probably instantly think citrus when you think of immune system-boosting vitamin C, but red sweet pepper offers a solid dose of the nutrient. One half cup of raw red sweet pepper contains 142 mg of vitamin C and 20 calories. If you cook the veggie, a half cup offers 116 mg of vitamin C.
Kiwi. This fruit, not the bird that’s the national symbol of New Zealand — is rich in vitamin C. One medium kiwi contains 70 mg of the nutrient and 46 calories.
Orange. Who doesn’t want an injection of acidic orange when in need of a vitamin C boost? You’re justified. One medium orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C and 62 calories. If you prefer it in liquid form, 3/4 cup of orange juice contains 61-93 mg of vitamin C and 79-84 calories.
Soybeans. A half cup of cooked soybeans contains 4.4 mg of iron and 149 calories.
Green Sweet Pepper. They offer 60 mg of vitamin C per half cup, with only 15 calories. When cooked, the vegetable provides 51 mg of vitamin C.
Tofu. One half cup of firm tofu contains 253 mg of calcium and only 88 calories.
White beans deliver 3.9 mg of iron and 153 calories per half cup. They are also a top source of potassium.
Grapefruit juice provides almost the same amount of vitamin C as green peppers: 3/4 cup has 50-70 mg vitamin C and 71-86 calories.
Molasses. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses offers 3.5 mg of iron, 172 mg of calcium and 47 calories.
Strawberries are full of fiber and antioxidants, including vitamin C. A half cup of strawberries contains 49 mg of the vitamin and 27 calories.
Lentils. Hearty lentils are delicious and nutritious: a half cup offers 3.3 mg of iron and 115 calories.
Brussels Sprouts. You already know this kid-unfriendly vegetable has a good nutritional reputation, but did you know that includes vitamin C? A half cup of Brussels sprouts offers 48 mg of vitamin C and 28 calories.
Collard Greens. A half cup of collard greens has 178 mg of calcium and 31 calories.
Spinach follows closely behind lentils. A half cup has 3.2 mg of iron and 21 calories.
Cantaloupe. One quarter of a medium cantaloupe has 47 mg of vitamin C and 51 calories.
Found at http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/lead-poisoning-prevention-diet-47041702?src=rss