Fruits and vegetables are really good foods; we know that. However, people who eat only plant foods can get into trouble if they eat only processed plant foods. Processing destroys the wonderful nutrient package we get from fruits and vegetables. Once you leave the produce department everything in the store is processed (except bagged beans and rice).
Another problem we have with fruits and vegetables is the chemical sprays and additives that are used. Oh, my! What can we do about that? Well, we can thoroughly wash our fruits and vegetables to remove herbicides, pesticides, bacteria and other contaminants. You can dissolve about a tablespoon of non-iodized salt (I use Kosher salt) in your kitchen sink and soak soft skinned fruit for 5 minutes and other fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes; then scrub and rinse. This will disinfect the food. I use my dishwashing liquid (Seventh Generation – not Dawn or Joy) to wash the skin of apples, oranges, pineapples and other tough skinned foods. I also rinse thoroughly.
It’s good to eat fruits and vegetables soon after they are washed and peeled or cooked. Raw plant foods give us lots of enzymes and nutrients but cooked vegetables actually have some advantages. Heat breaks down the enzyme inhibitors that prevent digestion of proteins found in peanuts and beans. Also, certain phytonutrients can become more bioavailable by heating. When you steam your vegetables, be sure that you don’t leave them in the heat too long; they should still have some crunch to them. Cooking them until they are soft and mushy just destroys them.
Fruits and especially vegetables are almost a dream come true. At 300 calories (fruits) and 100 calories (vegetables) a pound you can stuff yourself with them and still lose weight. Don’t smother them in “4000 calorie a pound” butter or oil though. That would be a mistake and you would not lose weight. No matter how you wash your plant foods, regardless of whether they are organic or conventional, they will still be the healthiest choice you can make. So…