We often hear if we choose to exercise and eat properly, our pancreas will thank us by functioning better and reduce our chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Many of you watching your health will have heard of a list of produce referred to as the “dirty dozen.” What is this list and how do the contents impact your life and your body? The dirty dozen is a term used to describe certain fruits and vegetables, maybe even some of your favorites, impacted negatively by pesticides. The produce listed as the “dirty dozen” are thought to be more heavily contaminated by pesticides than other produce and, as such, it is wise for you to steer clear of them if you are hoping to maintain good health.
Researchers have also connected the ingestion of pesticides as a risk to the developing brain of the fetus during pregnancy and even into early childhood. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report recommending limiting foods containing pesticides in children as much as possible. While it is unfortunate to have to “avoid” fresh fruits and vegetables as they are considered to be very healthy for the body what you do need to remember is when they are contaminated due to the use of pesticides, they will not be doing anything positive for your health. These chemicals will be entering your system, and they may be doing more damage to your body than benefiting your health.
So what are the “dirty dozen list of fruit and vegetables?” The following are the current list to steer clear of…
- strawberries (these are considered to be especially harmful. Researchers found over one-third of the berries tested contained 10 or more pesticides),
- sweet bell peppers, and
While you can purchase conventional varieties and then focus on washing them well, it has been found a high amount of pesticide residue remains. Therefore, it can be best to make sure you purchase organic produce, provided your budget allows. If your budget does not allow you to buy organic products, then you may want to avoid them entirely.
Many other “conventional” options offer a healthier choice and are deemed to be the “clean 15.” These include…
- sweet corn,
- frozen sweet peas,
- honeydew melon,
- broccoli, and
As you can see, there are a variety of tasty options to choose from if you want to continue to maintain a healthy intake of fresh produce but limit your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides. While we do not instantly notice the side effects and symptoms from taking in damaging chemicals; over the years it does add up and can increase your risk factor for many diseases including cancer. Shop smart, and you will have no problem avoiding this issue!