Friday, February 17, 2017

The Clean Fifteen

We all know that in order to be healthy, we need to be eating healthy. So what exactly should we eat?

Unfortunately, this question may not always generate the most straightforward answer! Upon researching what foods are healthy and which ones are not, the plethora of information, misinformation, and conflicting information quickly becomes overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone of course thinks their opinion is the right one.

Should we eat….. gluten free, clean eating, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, low carb, paleo, sugar free, fat free, organic, natural, whole food…. Every few months there seems to be a new healthy eating fad around the next corner waiting for you to jump on board. So finding a solid answer to the question of healthy eating is not always as simple as it may sound right?

Most nutritionists can agree on at least one thing: fruits and vegetables are about the safest thing you can put in your diet. This is true - fruits and vegetables contain all the micronutrients we need for every system of the body. The problem is that in this day and age, even fruits and vegetables can contain several harmful chemicals if they are “conventionally” grown versus “organically” grown.

Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and all the other “cides” that are sprayed on non organic foods are, in reality, pretty bad for us. So it makes sense that we should be avoiding them. Most agree that eating organic for your produce is optimal.

However, it’s not always optimal for your wallet. Eating organic, especially if you’re feeding a family, can seem near impossible. Organically grown produce is expensive; and in some cases, it’s much more expensive.

If you can’t eat organic all the time, don’t worry. Some fruits and vegetables contain fewer pesticides than others. The reasons vary, but many simply do not require as much chemical control as they are being grown. This is good for your wallet and your body - you can still buy “conventionally grown” items with a low risk of pesticide exposure.

Sometimes called the “Clean Fifteen,” these fruits and vegetables have been tested as having the lowest amount of pesticide residue on them:
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onion
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower

There are some, however, that absorb more chemicals than their tougher counterparts. So here are the ones to avoid:
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
Do the best you can for your body and for your family. You don’t need to do everything perfectly - just do something. If that “something” is simply the choice to eat organic strawberries instead of conventional ones, I call that a success.

To Your Health,
Dr Felicia Conner

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