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Excuse 3: Fresh fruits and vegetables contain harmful pesticides.
Debates continue on the dangers of pesticides used on our foods. Remember that the FDA regulates pesticide use very strictly. You might consider buying "organically grown" varieties, which means that no pesticides are used. Most health authorities report that the health benefits that come from eating fruits and vegetables outweigh the concerns of pesticide use. Still skeptical? The following steps will help reduce risks.
Wash produce with warm water. Don’t use any soaps. Scrub well with a dish brush. This is important especially if you are eating the outer skin of items such as apples, cucumbers, or potatoes.
Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables that tend to be dirty, such as lettuce and cabbage.
Peel and cook when appropriate. Realize that you lose some nutrients and fiber in this process.
Excuse 4: Vitamins are easily lost when you cook fruits and vegetables.
It’s true that vitamins break down in heat and air. The longer and hotter you cook something, the more nutrients you lose. But there are simple, easy ways to avoid major vitamin loss when preparing fruits and vegetables. The most obvious, of course, is to eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
Cook only until crisp and tender. Otherwise known as al dente, a crisper vegetable or fruit will retain more nutrients than a mushy one. A good way to achieve this is steaming rather than boiling your food.
Use as little water as possible while cooking. This reduces the dissolving action of vitamins.
Use big pieces rather than small, cut-up pieces. Minimizing the surface area of each piece prevents loss of vitamins when exposed to air.
Cover your pots during cooking to contain steam and heat. This helps reduce cooking time and therefore saves nutrients.
The water you’ve used for cooking vegetables can be reused in soups, sauces, stews or vegetable juices. This is a way to get the benefit of residual vitamins.
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