By Consumer Reports | June 22, 2015
Summer’s bounty of fruit and vegetables does more than tempt your taste buds; it can have a powerful impact on your health. When you have more choices, there’s a greater chance that you’ll eat more produce, and that’s likely to lead to a lower risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, most cancers, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. To maximize the health benefits, make these four easy changes to the way you shop for, prep and store your fruit and vegetables:
Be organic-savvy. When you buy organic, you reduce your exposure to pesticides and you support a way of farming that’s good for the planet. And a new analysis by Consumer Reports’ scientists has good news for people who find that organic produce is unavailable or too expensive: It identified 23 conventional fruits and vegetables considered low risks for pesticide residue. Many summer favorites (blueberries, cherries, raspberries and watermelon, for instance) are on the list. But you might want to consider organic for nectarines, peaches and peppers (sweet or hot), because conventional forms of these foods have a high or very high pesticide risk.
Know when to cook it. “Vitamins and minerals are lost when some foods are heated,” says Maxine Siegel, Consumer Reports’ food-testing manager. “But for some fruits and vegetables, cooking makes the nutrients more available, so your body absorbs them better.”
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