Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dirty Dozen

One of the fantastic resources put together by the Environmental Working Group is the Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This guide informs consumers of the levels of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables.  It includes analysis of 50 different foods and highlights the Dirty Dozen (the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables) and the Clean 15 (the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables).

Pesticide residues have been linked to a number of health concerns including: headache, allergies, fatigue, chemical sensitivities, immune system dysfunction and autoimmune disease, depression, tremors, lowered IQ and ADHD.

By avoiding the dirty dozen and eating from the Clean 15 list, you'll reduce your intake of pesticide residues and lower your risk of disease.

If you chose to eat the fruits and veggies listed on the dirty dozen try to buy these organic - they will contain less pesticide residue than their conventionally grown counterparts.

Another step to removing the pesticide residue from your produce (both conventionally and organically grown) is to wash, scrub or soak your fruits and veggies in a vinegar-water mixture.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Healthy Smoothies

Smoothies are a great idea for a healthy meal or snack and a nice way to get some more fruits and veggies into your diet. When making a smoothie to replace a meal or snack, be sure to turn it into a complete meal by adding fruits and/or veggies, extra fiber and protein.

Use fresh or frozen berries or fruit and add some veggies in where you can. Grated carrots work nicely, and so does spinach. For protein, try 1/4 cup of hemp hearts or a good quality protein powder. For fiber, try adding a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed.

Click here for some creative smoothie ideas. You can build these recipes into complete meals or snacks by adding protein and ground flax seed (and you can often omit the extra sugars in these recipes, the fruits will likely make it sweet enough).