Germs and toxins: That is why fruits and vegetables must always be washed thoroughly

Expert tips: Fruits and vegetables should always be washed
Plant-based food is healthy because it contains numerous vitamins, phytochemicals and important minerals and fiber. Health experts advise eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. However, the different types should definitely be washed. Health-endangering germs lurk on them.

Plant-based food is healthy
Nutrition experts repeatedly point out how important plant-based food is for our health. New insights are also always being gained in studies. Recent studies have shown that fruits and vegetables keep the heart healthy. It has also been known for a long time that the higher the vegetable and fruit consumption, the lower the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. In addition, certain plant substances in fruits and vegetables help you lose weight, as researchers have found.

Two major sources of danger: bacteria and pesticides
Germans' fruit and vegetable consumption is stagnating, but it is at a relatively high level. “Every German eats an average of more than 92 kg of vegetables and 70 kg of fruit per year,” writes cleaning expert Roxanna Pelka of the Helpling portal, who explains what is important in the hygiene check in the home fruit basket and why even avocados and mangoes have an extensive washing program sorely needed ". According to the expert, our fruits and vegetables are exposed to two major sources of danger every day: bacteria and pesticides!

Fruits that are contaminated can cause health problems
Greenpeace has often pointed out in the past years that fruit and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides. According to the environmental organization, over 30,000 tons of pesticide active ingredients are sprayed each year in Germany alone to ensure the shelf life of fruit. According to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection, pears, peppers, potatoes and salads are particularly affected. As the blog says, these strains can cause stomach cramps and fever after eating, and even lead to food poisoning, asthma, or diabetes. The supermarket is also becoming a breeding ground. “Just stay in the fruit department for a few minutes longer and watch the other customers. How many stick their noses to the mangoes or just check the firmness of the avocado? ”Asks Pelka. It is often forgotten that there are over 4,700 different types of bacteria on your hands alone.

Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating
Therefore the motto is: Fruit and vegetables should always be washed. According to the cleaning expert, cold water removes 98 percent of the bacteria after just 15 seconds. However, if the fruits are rinsed off for too long, the natural protective layer can come off and the vitamins contained in them can be lost. Since bacteria particularly like to multiply on moist fruit, the food should only be washed off shortly before consumption. Pome fruit such as apples and pears should not be peeled, but should be washed off thoroughly, since most of the nutrients are in the skin. For the same reason, the same applies to tomatoes: It's better not to peel.

Take special care with berries
Special care should be taken with berries. The soft fruits are best placed in a water bath, because otherwise the sensitive berries can break under a hard water jet. Then you can drain them on kitchen paper. For vegetables with a rough surface, such as potatoes, carrots, radishes, the dirt is simply brushed away with a vegetable brush or a brush. Then wash, peel and wash again. Germs and pesticides are also often found in ready-made salads. In addition, the leaves are often contaminated with yeast and other molds, which can lead to gastrointestinal complaints. Salad leaves should therefore be placed directly in cold water so that the vitamin C content is not rinsed off. Then dry in a salad spinner. A dressing made of vinegar and oil is recommended. Vinegar reduces the growth of germs and the salad stays appetizing longer

During peeling and cutting, pollutants get into the fruit
Broccoli and cauliflower provide the ideal environment for dirt and germs due to the many small florets. The florets are therefore best soaked in a bowl of cold water for about two minutes and then rinsed again under running water. With some types of fruit such as melon, mango or avocado, the peel is not eaten, but it should definitely be washed. When peeling and cutting, pollutants that are on the outside of the fruit can get into the pulp via the knife. The bowl is therefore thoroughly rinsed with warm water beforehand. For the particularly thorough, Pelka has another piece of advice at hand: “Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar and a little lemon juice in a spray bottle and add a cup of water. Now spray the bowl of Melon & Co. with the lemon-vinegar mixture and let it work for about 10 minutes. ”Then rinse the cleaned fruit thoroughly with water. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Natural ways to remove pesticides from berries (October 2021).