Nowadays, more and more people are putting a premium on health. Droves of people are joining marathons, hitting the gym, practicing yoga and watching their diet, with some deciding to go vegan or vegetarian. People are more aware of the fact that not everything that claims to be healthy is actually healthy.
That brings us to the question, “What foods can I eat that are truly good for me?” For starters, fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet. But that was in the past, when farmers grew produce with the help of the sun, soil, water, and some natural fertilizer (a.k.a. manure).
But times have changed, people use different kinds of chemicals to fight off pests, to induce flowering, and to increase the yield. What many don’t know (or maybe they do and yet they don’t care) is that these chemicals leave residues on the produce that are then consumed by people.
While some may argue that it’s just a little amount and that there’s no harm done, the truth is: THERE IS. As you continue to eat these chemical residue-laden produce, these toxic substances accumulate in your body causing damage in the long run. This is why it is necessary to spend a little more just to have organically grown produce.
I know that going 100 percent organic is for most of our wallets not possible. So now you may wonder, what foods to buy organic?
The Dirty Dozen or Foods To Buy Organic
Here’s “The Dirty Dozen” of produce that you should always buy organic as these contain most traces of pesticides and other nasty chemicals:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Imported Snap Peas
This year the the Environmental Working Group extended its list with hot peppers and kale or collard greens.
For the fifth year in a row, apples have topped the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides as the produce with the highest amount of chemical residue. EWG further divulges that one sample of grape can contain 15 different chemicals — the same with one sweet bell pepper.
Suffice to say that consuming those that have been treated with chemicals is hazardous to the health. It is necessary to wash the produce thoroughly before eating them. Better yet, soak them in clean water and vinegar with a ratio of 3:1. The acidity of the vinegar helps kill bacteria and wash away the residue. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse the produce in fresh water. Make sure your hands and counter are clean as well. Washing produce in a water solution with 2% salt also helps get rid of the pesticide residue, according to the Center for Science and Environment.
Click here to learn more easy ways to rid your produce from pesticides.
While some produce is worth buying organic, there are some that are quite safe to eat conventional, as long as they are not GMO of course!
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes
While the doctor did say that an apple a day will keep him away, he didn’t anticipate that apples of today would be contaminated with chemicals. And when your mom told you to eat your vegetables, she really meant well.
On your next trip to the supermarket, ask if they’re selling organically grown versions of those produce mentioned. If not, move on to other stuff that were grown using little to no chemicals — or with natural, healthy fertilizer. If you really like apples and other of the foods in the Dirty Dozen, look for a farmers’ market near you. Chances are, you’ll find someone who grows their produce organically.
About the author:
Amy is a life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach. She is the founder of the healthy lifestyle website body-in-balance.org and creator of the online program, “ThinForever”. After successfully changing her family’s health and happiness, she’s on a mission to help other people achieve the life and body they want. You can find here on Facebook or Google+ or get her FREE clean, whole food recipe eBook “Amy’s Home Kitchen” here.
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