The 'Dirty Dozen' Foods

By now, we all know that organic food is typically the better option for us.  Clinical studies have shown that organic foods have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals, are more nutrient dense, have fewer chemicals sprayed on them, and are more nourishing to the soils.  Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to eat an organic-only diet, even if we have the best of intentions.  So, what do we do if we can’t afford to eat totally organic?  Well, a good starting point is to replace the ‘Dirty Dozen’ fruits and vegetables - typically the mostcontaminated with pesticides – with their organic alternatives.  Here is a list of the most heavily sprayed fruits and vegetable crops; “Dirty Dozen”

1. Celery

2. Blueberries

3. Cherries

4. Peaches

5. Nectarines

6. Kale

7. Strawberries

8. Bell Peppers

9. Potatoes

10. Apples

11. Spinach

12. Grapes (imported)

Once you’ve started substituting out these foods that are high in pesticides, you will start to reduce your overall toxin level in the body.  Toxins interfere with cellular mitochondrial function, or the fat burning engines or our cells, leading to excess weight gain, altered insulin or blood sugar metabolism, and the potential for a whole host of chronic degenerative conditions.  It is also especially important for your liver and kidneys, as these are our major detoxifiying organs of the body.  The more toxins we ingest, the more work the liver and kidneys have to do to neutralize, store and eliminate these toxins.

You’ll be pleased to know that not all ‘non-organic’ foods at your local grocery store are high in pesticides.  The ‘Clean Fifteen’ is a list of the least sprayed fruit and vegetable crops.  This group of foods can be bought at your local grocery store without having to worry about increasing your toxic or chemical load.  Check out this list below…

“Clean Fifteen”

1. Sweet Corn

2. Kiwi

3. Watermelon

4. Pineapple

5. Cabbage

6. Grapefruit

7. Mangoes

8. Eggplant

9. Onions

10. Sweet peas

11. Sweet potato

12. Avocado

13. Asparagus

14. Cantaloupe

15. Wild blueberries

Start substituting organic fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list and incorporating more of the “Clean Fifteen” into your diet today.  You’ll feel more energy, vitality, and begin building the foundation for long-term optimal health and performance in the gym or in the boardroom.

Dr Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS


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  4. Györéné KG, Varga A, Lugasi A.  [A comparison of chemical composition and nutritional value of organically and conventionally grown plant derived foods].  Orv Hetil. 2006 Oct 29;147(43):2081-90.