Eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a mainstay of a healthy lifestyle, greater well being and the prevention of chronic illness. But not all veggies and fruits are created equal and despite claims about the miraculous healing benefits of celery juice, the trendy vegetable lacks vitamins C and A and is often treated with pesticides, placing it in the top 5 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of “dirtiest produce”. Other fruits and vegetables often high in pesticide residue include strawberries, grapes, and cherries.
Corn, although considered a vegetable, is more starchy than other green produce and is lacking calcium, an important mineral for bone health. Corn has no cholesterol but it is fairly high in calories when compared with broccoli, spinach or brussels sprouts. Lettuce is usually considered a healthy base for any salad, just make sure it’s a dark, leafy green. Iceberg lettuce is nearly devoid of any fiber or nutrients. Bananas are high in sugar and a small banana has about 70 calories; raspberries or blackberries could be a better choice that won’t spike blood sugar levels. Figs are also high in sugar and calories while lacking the nutrients found in other fruits like a pink grapefruit. Grapes too can be high in sugar and rank number 6 on the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Dirty Dozen Foods List.
Kale made a surprise appearance in the top 12 foods with significant pesticide exposure. Kale has long been touted as a superfood that can help lower the risk for chronic illness, prevent vision loss, improve bone health and lower blood pressure. It’s still unclear if organic produce, which is grown with the use of organic pesticides, can provide a lower risk for harmful residue than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
Now that you have a better idea of produce to steer clear of, here the EWG’s 2019 Clean Fifteen Foods List:
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Honeydew melons