Friday, March 22, 2013

To Buy Organic or Not to Buy Organic: Fruits and Vegeables Guide

"People don’t like pesticides on the food they eat or in the water they drink. The most recent government pesticide tests establish the widespread presence of pesticide residues on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and in tap water. " 

 Here is some great information I found on the EWG's website. 

This year's Dirty Dozen

  • The most contaminated fruits, in alphabetical order, are apples, domestic blueberries, grapes, imported nectarines, peaches and strawberries.
  • The most contaminated vegetables are bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes and spinach.
  • Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples (98 percent) and imported plums (96 percent).
  • The average imported nectarine had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop.
  • Grapes had 15 pesticides detected on a single sample. Blueberries and strawberries both had 13 different pesticides detected on a single sample
  • As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other produce, with 64 different pesticides.
  • Some 96 percent of celery samples tested positive for pesticides, followed by potatoes (91 percent).
  • A single bell pepper sample was contaminated with 15 different pesticides, followed by a single sample of celery with 13.
  • Bell peppers had 88 different pesticide residues, followed by cucumbers (81) and lettuce (78).

 The Clean Fifteen

The Clean Fifteen – the produce least likely to test positive for pesticide residues were these fruits -- domestic cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, pineapple and watermelon --  and these vegetables -- asparagus, avocado, cabbage, eggplants, mushrooms, onions, frozen peas, sweet corn and sweet potatoes.
Notable findings:
  • Fewer than 10 percent of pineapple samples had detectable pesticides.
  • Some 78 percent of mango, 75 percent of kiwi, 67 percent of watermelon and 60 percent of domestic cantaloupe had no residues,
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen had more than 5 types of pesticides detected.
  • Avocado, sweet corn and onions had no detectable pesticide residues on 98 percent or more of the samples tested.
  • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. No samples of sweet corn and onions had more than one pesticide. More than 90 percent of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples had no more than one pesticide detected..
  • Of the Clean Fifteen vegetables, no single sample had more than 5 different chemicals
For more informantion please visit the EWG's website. They provide up to date information on

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Get Omega’s 3, 6, & 9 Without Eating Fish

What do they do, and how do I get them if I don’t like fish?

These are questions I get nearly everyday.

There is always the option to supplement. But, some people don’t like the dreaded “fish burp.” I have found a couple of ways around it; first keep them in the freezer and take them right before you eat. Second, they sell Enteric Coated omegas and most vitamin stores that will not break down until they are way past your stomach so there is no risk of having a “when did I eat fish?” moment.

Even though supplementing is an option, whole foods are always a healthier choice. And for those of us who can only handle so much fish in a week, here are some other options that I found on the livestrong website.

Omega 3: A few functions that our bodies utilize omega-3 fatty acids for include: forming cell membranes, eye health, nerve cell development, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, prevention of menstrual syndrome and postmenopausal hot flushes.

3 Sources:

1. Flaxseed
2. "omega-3" eggs
3. Edamame (Soybeans)

Omega 6: Omega-6 fatty acids are much more prevalent in the Western diet. They are also critically important to our body's proper functioning. A short list of omega-6 fatty acids role in the body includes: brain function, healthy skin, muscle growth and repair.

3 sources:

1. Walnuts
2. Cashews
3. Avocado

Our body is capable of manufacturing omega-9 fatty acids. Therefore, it is not as critical that we get them directly from the diet as it is for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-9 fatty acids are derived from monounsaturated fats, whereas the omega-3 and 6 are derived from polyunsaturated fats. Health benefits of omega-9 fatty acids include: improving cholesterol levels, proper heart health and improving immune system functioning.

3 sources:

1. Olive Oil
2. Almonds
3. Pistachios