Could those fruits and vegetables make you sick?

September 15, 2017

You have just returned from your garden, grocery store or farmer’s market with fresh fruits and vegetables. Great! This is an important step in feeling good, making gut microbiome healthier,  losing weight or keeping from gaining weight, and staying healthy.

Could those fruits and vegetables make you sick?  If you don’t wash them properly, they could. Avoid getting sick and some potentially unpleasant stomach or intestinal issues by washing most fresh fruits and vegetables before using them or eating them.

What fresh fruits and vegetables should not be washed?

Packages of fresh produce that are labeled “washed”, “ready to eat” or “triple washed” should not be washed before use. Why not? These have undergone specific washing procedures before they are packaged. Washing them in your kitchen can actually introduce more things that could make you sick.

Except for those mentioned above, how should you wash your fruit and vegetables?

Avoid letting the fruit and vegetables touch your sink. Often our sinks are breeding ground for bacteria than can make us ill. I like to put a large bowl in the sink when I wash produce.

Think about where you put the fruit and vegetables after you wash them. Did you just wash that tomato and put it directly on the counter where you put your grocery bags or dirty dishes? Always a have a clean plate, dish, towel or cutting board to put your clean produce on.

What not to use

Save your money and skip those fruit and vegetable washes and rinses that you may see in stores and on the internet. Some studies show that they are no more effective than just using clean water, so skip them and save your money to buy more fruits and vegetables.

Never use dish detergent or dish washing soap to clean something you will eat. While these are fine for dishes, can still be on your food even with a good rinsing. The surface of food is very different than the surface of a plate, spoon or bowl. Would you use something you use to clean your floors on your body? No! Don’t do the same thing to your food.

More tips

The best way to wash leafy greens like kale, spinach or lettuce differs from the best method to wash tomatoes, broccoli or berries. I highly recommend the article and video accessible by clicking here.

Finally,  I often remind people who see me for help with working healthier eating habits into their daily routine, put your clean fruit and vegetables in a place where you can easy see and access them. If you see them, you are more likely to eat them.

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Having personally struggled with weight and gut health issues, I understand how easy it is to think that food is the enemy especially with the changes our bodies undergo as we age.  It doesn’t have to be that way!

I love using my extensive education and coach approach to help people realize it is possible to feel better and be healthier while still enjoying their life and food.

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