Doctors in flint, Michigan, promote healthy eating to prevent lead exposure.

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Doctors in flint, Michigan, promote healthy eating to prevent lead exposure.

At home in flint, Michigan, a bright red tablecloth adds a touch of color to the kitchen of Ashara Manns.

Instead of the teacher on the stove, she poured two bottles of water into the pot before pouring the large bag of vegetables.

“Normally, I would wash them with running water, so I hope they’re still safe,” says Manns.

Flint’s residents were told not to drink or cook with the city’s lead-contaminated tap water, so mannes and her husband benny relied on bottled water to prepare the meal.

Bennie and Ashara Manns, and their daughter, Jada, 4, and Ashara’s nephew Elliott Jones, 3, get together for a healthy dinner.

“I used to get what I wanted at the grocery store, but now I have to plan my meals around how much water I have or how much water I’m going to buy,” she said.

A healthy diet is especially important for Bennie Manns. He is a bodybuilder and personal trainer.

“I stopped putting water in my sink into my protein drink,” he said.

The filters on their kitchen faucet are designed to eliminate lead, but Ashara Manns doesn’t trust it – especially when it comes to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Jada.

The centers for disease control and prevention believes that 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children is high, but lead levels are not considered safe. Jada’s lead levels were recently tested in 2.5.

The CDC says even low levels can affect children’s IQ and academic performance, and the effect is irreversible.

But there are things that can help reduce the impact of lead exposure.

“A diet rich in iron, calcium or vitamin C will limit the absorption of lead in the body and promote its excretion,” said Dr. Mona hama-attisha, the Flint pediatrician. It was her study that found that children with elevated levels of lead in flint doubled their share of the city’s water supply.

In flint, Michigan, the mobile farmer market has attracted more poor shoppers.

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In flint, Michigan, the mobile farmer market has attracted more poor shoppers.

Now, Hannah artisha is trying to explain to her parents that healthy eating can reduce the impact of lead exposure.

Her employer, Hurley medical center, has released a simple child-friendly recipe – for example, a burger frying pan made with lean beef, cheese and vegetables – to help prevent lead absorption.

At the farmers’ market in downtown flint, there are free cooking demonstrations where people can try and learn how to make recipes.

“We can’t just say ‘eat this’. “They have to do some kids testing in our community to make sure they want something to eat,” Hannah attisha said.

Ashara and Bennie Manns say healthy eating has become an important part of their lifestyle, but they worry about how long it takes them to get bottled water.

The couple say they will continue to do what they do to keep their families safe from lead – especially since they are expecting their second child this summer.

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