Tweaklet #58 – Washing fruits and vegetables

I love buying fresh fruit and vegetables but one thing I have been guilty of is not being well informed as to how best to wash it when I get it home. Mostly I just run rinse it in running water before I use it and I know that whilst that gets rid of some pesticide residues it is not the best form of cleaning my precious produce.

So I researched.

I started with commercial produce cleaners and most sources told me that most of these are not much better than just using water.

The best ways to wash your fruit and veg are with salt water, vinegar water, or baking soda water.

Researchers found that a 10% salt water solution was the most effective. Using full strength vinegar was equally effective but would quickly be very expensive and of course there’s that lingering vinegar taste!

Surprisingly a weak baking soda solution (that’s one ounce of baking soda to 100 ounces of water) was THE most effective way of removing pesticide residues from the skin and below the skin. However it took 12 to 15 minutes of soaking time.

When I want to cook I like to get going so I needed to find the most efficient method to clean my fruit and veggies.

I liked the quick technique of using a salad spinner for leafy greens where you dump in your greens, fill the spinner with water and a teaspoon of baking soda. You soak them for a minute or two, dump out the water and rinse and then spin them dry.

Other hardier veggies you can simply soak them in the water and baking soda solution, scrub them, then rinse them and dry them off.

Most fruit can be washed in the same way. However berries and delicate fruit should be carefully patted dry. You need to eliminate moisture because this accelerates spoilage, microflora, and mold. So it’s good to wash them just before you eat them.

One important thing to note is that even organic produce needs cleaning as it generally carries some pesticide residue as well.

But like anything on Tweaklets, adding this extra step into your food preparation should not be a nuisance so don’t make it a big deal. Find a method for washing your fruit and vegetables that works for you. Even rinsing it under running water has some benefits. And that’s what we’re all about isn’t it – tiny food tweaks that make all the difference to our health!

If you have any other good techniques I’d love to hear about them so write in the Comments below.

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Tweaklet #53 – Psoriasis

Let’s talk skin and specifically Psoriasis. Psoriasis spans anything from dandruff and dry itchy skin to fungal breakouts and cracked and bleeding skin. Anyone who suffers from it knows just how irritating and painful this skin condition can be.

Psoriasis is caused by a pileup of skin cells that have replicated too rapidly. Normal healthy skin cells turnover about once a month, but when you have psoriasis the skin cells pile up way too fast.

It begins in the immune system where white blood cells, that fight inflammation, are mistakenly called into action and end up actually attacking the body.

This is called an auto-immune response and, as research is starting to determine, auto-immune issues often start, or are fuelled by an imbalance in the gut.  Conventional drug therapy only suppresses skin conditions, sometimes successfully for periods of time, but as it is not addressing the cause, this will only ever be temporary. Thankfully, you can help combat psoriasis by following a proper psoriasis diet treatment plan.

Some of the best foods to consume on a regular basis are…..

Foods high in probiotics such as organic raw cultured dairy, like kefir and fermented vegetables which introduce the healthy bacteria and yeast the gut needs.

High fibre foods, which includes eating the rainbow of fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds. These all keep the natural detoxification of your body on track.

Foods high in antioxidants like berries, nuts and kidney beans.

Foods high in zinc – grass-fed meat, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas.

Other things like wild-caught fish Herbs and spices, like curcumin and turmeric. And you can use aloe vera both internally and externally.

And make sure to drink plenty of water. Hydration and detoxification are key.

When you suffer from psoriasis it’s important to exclude, or certainly keep to a minimum, foods that increase acidity and inflammation – which includes processed foods,….. fried foods……….., simple sugars, alcohol, conventional dairy, conventional meats,  hydrogenated oils and caffeine. Keeping your diet gluten-free will also improve symptoms.

It’s never too late to take a new approach to psoriasis or any other skin condition. Making some tiny food tweaks really can help.

I’d like to thank Dr Michael Murray and Dr Josh Axe for providing such thoughtful and practical information on this and so many other subjects.

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Download my free E-Book here.

Tweaklet #51 – Demystifying Food

These days it can feel like you need a science degree to understand what products you are shopping for, even what food you are buying! We live in an ever-expanding world, full of information and with that comes choices!

So let’s simplify some of the jargon that has crept into the food world, so that we can make better and more importantly EASIER choices when buying food!

Firstly, what are antioxidants? Our bodies generate their own antioxidants, as do plants and other animals. Antioxidants are molecules that defend the body against free radicals, so they are very important….which leads me to the next commonly asked question, what are FREE RADICALS?!

Free radicals are a little more complicated to describe. They are compounds which are natural by-products of chemical processes that take place in our bodies, such as metabolism.

Whilst natural, they can easily get out of balance, due to the food we eat, the medicine we take and even the air we breathe. It’s a delicate balance and just as things like fast food, alcohol and chemicals can increase free radicals, food such as good quality meat, vegetables and fruits can maintain a healthy balance.

So, let’s recap. Antioxidants keep free radicals in check which means antioxidants are essential for our survival.  Our diets are an the main source of antioxidants and we can find them easily in things like berries, green tea and dark chocolate.

We’ll demystify more food jargon as we go along so that we can make some healthy food tweaks to our diet.

Visit the Tweaklets YouTube Channel

Download my free E-Book here.