This tip is courtesy of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging – Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. For more information on healthful eating, start your 14-day free trial today.
Eating fresh produce is the best way to obtain the nutrients that support optimum health, but the pesticides used on many crops remain a major health concern. By choosing organic foods, you can reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables without exposing yourself and your family to potentially harmful chemicals. Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. The toxicity most commonly associated with pesticides in animal studies include disruptions in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, and increased risks of cancer.
As part of my support of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their recently updated Shopper’s Guide, I am presenting the newest "Dirty Dozen" list – produce you should buy only in organically grown form. According to EWG, common growing practices make the crops listed below the most likely to contain higher pesticide residues:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas (imported)
Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as "highly toxic" and of special concern:
- Hot peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
Learn more about why you shouldn’t eat these foods in the Dirty Dozen Plus photo album.
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Do You Need To Always Eat Organic?
Eating for your health means making produce the foundation of your diet. While Dr. Weil recommends choosing organically grown vegetables and fruits when possible, availability and budget considerations can make that difficult. Use this list to discover which types are okay to eat when conventionally grown.