We know that there is no one best diet for all humans. We all metabolize foods slightly differently, have a different genetic makeup and live in different environments with different lifestyles. So customizing our way of eating is most advantageous. But there are a few guidelines that we can all follow.
The healthiest diet is a largely plant-based diet. And we need to be eating 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily for optimal health. That being said, its important to eat clean, and not just green.
Choosing locally grown, seasonal produce has so many benefits. Locally-grown produce goes from the ground to the table quicker. Since fruits and veggies begin to lose nutrients after they are picked, locally-grown produce is more densely packed with vitamins and minerals. And although we’d love to have our tomatoes and berries all year long, eating seasonally-grown produce will avoid artificial ripening and the gases used to achieve this.
In addition to gassing our produce, we are also lead to believe that the benefits of pesticides outweigh the dangers. We are told pesticides help to increase food production to meet demand, increase profits for farmers, and prevent disease. Pesticides include a wide array of chemicals that kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents. BUT, when these chemicals are consumed even in small doses, they can have an impact on our health and the health of the environment. Now, because the roots of plants may absorb tainted groundwater, organic choices are ideal. But organic choices come at a price and are not always available. Be current on your lists of “The Dirty Dozen” (produce that ought to be organic) and “The Clean 15” (produce that may be conventional.) And don’t get me started on genetically modified organisms- steer clear of GMO’s.
DOES IT REALLY ALL COME OUT IN THE WASH?
Remember that produce from either list ought to be washed. Even if you don’t plan to eat the skin, it’s still important to wash so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the surface when peeling or cutting. Immerse fruits and vegetables in cold water for up to half an hour before you eat them. Vinegar, peroxide, or baking soda and a soft brush can also assist in removing surface residue, including wax. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas. After washing, dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Honeydew melon