The Clean 15 - Foods That You Don't Need To Buy Organic
Posted May 03 2010 12:00am
Well it seems Healthy Boy readers loved my article the other day about The Dirty Dozen - 12 foods that are so contaminated with pesticides that The Environmental Working Group advises that we must buy organic. Below I have outlines the EWG's list of what they say is produce that is least likely to have any pesticide residue found on it when consumed. So if you are tightening your purse strings with what you are spending your hard earned cash on in this economy, here are some foods that you can buy regular rather than organic, saving your money for more important things like that Justin Bieber album you have secretly been eyeing on itunes.
15. Sweet Potatoes
Turns out when you pick up these orange spuds at the supermarket they are not very likely to be contaminated with pesticides, so feel free to save some dollars and buy regular. They are antioxidant powerhouses and are an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta carotene which have shown to have anti inflammatory and anti cancer properties. A word of advice though, just because they are "sweet potato fries" doesn't mean they are good for you. They are just as bad as regular fries. Try boiling them in some water and then baking them to get that crunchy fry texture but without the added calories.
Tomatoes had previously appeared on the dirty dozen list, but the EWG has since removed them and declared they are relatively clean in comparison to other fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. What's that? It's phytonutrient that has been shown to prevent heart disease, protect our cells from free radical damage, and even helps protect your skin from sunburn. So slice 'em up, juice them, and throw a can of them in your soups and sauces to gain all these benefits.
I love broccoli. I eat it several times a week and you should to. Its been touted as the best vegetable you can be eating as it protects against a wide variety of cancers, including lung cancer. No need to buy as organic though as the crops aren't sprayed with many chemicals due to lesser pest threats, and any chemicals that are sprayed are not absorbed by the broccoli.
Ever try watermelon on your salad? It's a great way to add flavor and some healthy sweetness to your dish and brighten up those greens. A watermelon's rind is so thick however, it protects it from any contamination from pesticides, so no need to buy organic if you are watching how much money you spend at the supermarket.
Known as the "fruit of the angels", papaya is another fruit whose skin is so tick it protects it from any pesticides. Chemicals are still used on them though and can be found on it's skin, so make sure you are washing before you eating. They contain large amounts Vitamin C and flavonoids and have been reported to promote many things from a healthy digestive system and immune support.
Love your eggplant parmesan but don't want all the calories? Dip them in egg whites rather than regular eggs, use whole wheat bread crumbs, and bake them rather than fry them. You'll never notice the difference and you'll be saving hundreds of calories. The EWG say that eggplants are one of the vegetables in your produce isle that's least likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
Cabbage doesn't require a lot of pesticide spraying so no need to buy organic. This is another superfood that has been known to detox and cleanse your body and studies have shown that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have a much lower risk or prostate, lung and colorectal cancers when compared to people who eat other vegetables
Did you know that kiwifruit has more Vitamin C than an orange? They also have a large amount of fiber that has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, and its antioxidants have been shown to help prevent asthma and other respiratory complications. The kiwifruit is another who's skin protects it from pesticides and other chemicals, so just give it a thorough wash before consuming.
7. Sweet Peas
The EWG states that sweet peas are an item produce that are least likely to have any pesticide reside found on its skins or pods. For a great pea pesto, just blend some peas with some olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic and low sodium chicken stock, and you have a recipe that can be used to spread on bread as an appetizer, use as a creamy sauce on pasta, or as a healthy accompaniment to any chicken or pork dish.
Turns out pests and fungi don't tend to nibble on asparagus spears all that often, so farmers have less of a need to spray them with nasty chemicals. Feeling a little bloated? Just munch on some asparagus. The large amounts of potassium in asparagus make it a natural diuretic, and can be used to reduce that nasty bloating we all get from eating too much salt, or when we have had a big night out on the town! Handy to know.
You can but this fruit regular also and save yourself some money in the produce isle, just make sure you are washing thoroughly before consuming. Pick the best mango by looking for ones that are bight in color, slightly firm but yield to your touch, and ones that have a fruity aroma.
That tough skin protects the pineapple from contamination, but it's best you wash it before cutting just in case. They are second only to bananas as America's favorite fruit, and contain a substance called bromelain which is know to reduce inflammation and excessive tumor growth within our bodies.
High fructose corn syrup comes from corn, but is so refined that once digested it bypasses all the normal bodily processes and gets deposited straight onto your hips! Avoiding it is harder said then done seeing it is in everything these days including your "healthy" whole wheat low calorie bread, so make sure you are looking for it in product ingredient lists and avoiding it. Natural whole corn however is incredibly good for you and tasty and their kernels are unlikely to contain any pesticides.
Even though these tasty fruits get sprayed to prevent pests from munching on them, their skins are thick and protect their insides from any contamination. So feel free to buy the regular version. Do you love the creamy feel of mayonnaise on sandwiches? Replace it by spreading on some avocado and you will be giving your body a good dose of healthy fats. If you are trying to lose weight, then just watch your portion sizes because whilst tasty and good for you, they are calorie dense.
Pests don't seem to pay much attention to onions, so they are unlikely to contain large amounts of chemicals. Onions contain chromium, a trace mineral which has been shown to help your body respond to insulin. It also has a chemical known as allyl propyl which reportedly reduces blood sugar levels. Less blood sugar = you strutting your stuff at the best this summer. So throw them in everything you can think of from your soups and salads, to even your healthy sandwiches.
There are many good reason to buy organic foods; organic is more sustainable, the products are raised without man-made chemicals and fertilizers, and with meat based products it indicates that animals were raised fairly and not fed antibiotics or hormones. But the cost of eating organic can definitely add up, so when walking down the produce isle, keep The Clean 15 list in mind and you can not only feel at ease knowing your family will be less likely to consume pesticides, but that you are saving some money as well.