Eating fruits and vegetables is critical to keeping us healthy because these foods provide a lot of nutrients that help our bodies perform essential functions, in addition to contributing to a healthy immune system that improves our resistance to disease.
The best way to consume fruits is in their natural raw state, or in juices that don’t contain any additives or preservatives. Some vegetables are also better eaten raw, and others steamed or boiled in a little water to better draw out their healthful properties.
While these foods offer countless benefits, their outdoor cultivation frequently involves a lot of environmental contamination. In addition to that, plenty of pesticides and chemicals are applied on farms, and even once they’re displayed for sale at your grocery store they come in contact with new bacteria through the hands of stockers and potential buyers.
Methods for washing and disinfecting fruits and vegetables
- Vinegar is one of the greatest disinfectants for fruits and vegetables, and also has antioxidant properties, eliminating harmful bacteria from the surface and allowing them to last longer. Add a cup of vinegar to a bowl of water, and soak your vegetables in this mixture for 20 minutes before using.
- Mixing vinegar with lemon can also contribute to the healthy preservation of fruits. Combine equal parts vinegar, water, and lemon juice in a spray bottle, and soak fruits in this mixture. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse with clean water.
- Natural soaps are also good disinfectants, but use them in small amounts and always rinse well after use to remove any residue that could alter the flavor.
- You can also mix water with 5 drops of tea tree oil and soak fruits and vegetables in this for a few minutes to disinfect them. Dry them thoroughly afterwards.
Recommendations to keep in mind
- To remove traces of bacteria you need to wash each food item thoroughly before you eat it – even before cooking you should make sure your containers and utensils have been cleaned and are free from contaminants. Also remember to wash your hands well before starting any recipe.
- Avoid using chemicals or hot water when cleaning your fruits and vegetables – this can cause some of their beneficial nutrients to be lost.
- It’s not always a good idea to peel every fruit or vegetable before consuming, because there are sometimes nutrients contained in the peel that are important to our health. That said, you should always wash your peeled vegetables because bacteria that’s present on the outside can occasionally still contaminate the pulp inside.
- When cleaning vegetables like lettuce or cabbage you should discard the outermost leaves. This is where most of the bacteria reside, and then you should wash each leaf to eliminate any presence of insect waste or chemicals.
- It’s very important that you make sure your fruits, vegetables, or any other food you eat are completely free of bacteria that could cause infections or disease. Eating foods that haven’t been thoroughly washed can cause adverse effects and alter your intestinal and digestive balance, causing diarrhea or food poisoning. This is why it’s important that you always practice good hygiene during food disinfection and preparation.
Raw fruits and vegetables provide a lot of nutrients to the body, such as proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other compounds that can be lost during cooking. But contact with chemicals and bacteria can leach out those nutrients, so rather than avoiding eating your foods raw just follow the recommendations we outlined above to remove these harmful substances and promote better overall health.