“A healthy outside starts from the inside”
– Robert Urich
… And to have a healthy inside you need to eat your fruits and vegetables right? At least 6 servings a day to be exact!
So where do you buy your produce? Grocery stores? Farmers markers?
How do you know what is in season?
And what is essential to buy organic? Because we are all on a budget, right?
[On a side note, if you make it to the end there is a delicious recipe you HAVE to try!]
What’s in season this summer?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture the following fruits and vegetables are best to buy during the summer:
- Bell Peppers
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Lima Beans
Remember, not ALL Produce is Created Equal
Of course eating fruits and vegetables are good for us, but what should we watch out for?
Two things: pesticides and genetically modified organisms (aka GMO)
No, all the apples are not supposed to be the same size, color, and shininess….
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines a pesticide as: “Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.”
While I don’t want any “pests” in my produce, I also want to do what is best for my health. So are chemical pesticides really that harmful?
Unfortunately, yes. This article explored the research and found that pesticides can have a negative effect on almost every system in your body including your skin, digestive system, brain, hormones, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine systems. Certain pesticides have been correlated to ADHD and Alzheimer’s.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own. There are organizations such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), that continually research toxic chemicals. Each year the EWG releases the “Dirty Dozen”, which is a list of produce conventionally grown that is known to be contaminated with over 200 different pesticides- YIKES!
Here is the “Dirty Dozen” list for 2018:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
If you are going to purchase any produce organic, choose the dirty dozen!
Organic produce are foods grown in soil without prohibited substances set by the U.S Department of Agriculture. These substances include most synthetic fertilizers, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and pesticides.
On a more positive note, the EWG has also created a list of produce that are conventionally grown that have the least likelihood of pesticide contamination “The Clean 15”:
Here is the “Clean 15” list:
- Sweet Corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
So maybe these are the foods you choose to save money on and not purchase organic.
Regardless of whether you buy organic or conventionally grown fruits and vegetables ALWAYS REMEMBER to wash them before you consume them to remove any bacteria or chemical residue on the outside surface.
What is even better than grocery store produce? FARMERS MARKETS!!
This summer try to hit your local farmers markets, you’ll usually find locally grown organic and non-GMO fruits and vegetables that are in season. It’s a great way to support your community, and it can be quite fun.
If you live in Atlanta and need some local farmers markets suggestions we got you covered!
If you’re an IPhone user and you need some help finding a market closer to you download the app Farmers Markets by John Chamberlain. It’ll help you find a market in a specific area by current location market name, city or county in any state.
Try one of STAT Wellness’ new favorite recipe created with some seasonal foods!
Matcha Love Strawberry Spinach Salad
Blend the following ingredients in your vitamix:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup diced basil
- 2 tsp organic matcha tea powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh organic baby spinach leaves
- Thinly sliced strawberries
- Avocado slices rolled in toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
- Toasted almond slivers
- And grilled chicken flavored however you like
Put the spinach in a bowl, top with salad toppings, and toss with the basil lime vinaigrette.
This salad is seriously delicious and refreshing, a MUST try this summer!
Take a photo of your salad and tag @statwellness on instagram and facebook.