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 10 Healing Foods To Buy Organic  
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by . View all columns in series

A couple other classes of fruits and vegetables that are healthy for us are also best looked for and consumed from organic growing and shipping practices include:

Tropical Fruits
Although wonderfully tasty and high in carotenes and continuing many other nutrients and enzymes, pineapples, papayas and mangoes are very attractive to tropical pests and may be more heavily treated during cultivation, storage, and shipping. Because of their thin skins, they tend to absorb the sprays, creating higher levels of chemical contamination. We call these systemic pesticides, and they cannot be washed away such that they get into our systems as well.

Imported Produce
This usually out-of-season produce is often heavily treated for easier growing and shipping to the United States. There is also risk of higher toxicity from the use of chemicals that have been banned in the U.S. Cantaloupes and other imported melons were found to have a high concentration of pesticides in two thirds of tested samples. In Mexican cantaloupes, 48% had two or more residues.

Shop Locally

Ideally, it is healthiest to eat foods grown and cultivated near our area and in the season they are harvested. Seasonal eating is one of the keys to a balanced and wholesome diet. These foods are the freshest, often the most economical, and usually less treated, even non-organic, because they don't need to be protected for shipping long distances. Eating as much as possible from Nature, the bounty of Mother Earth, is a key message for healthy nutrition.

Other Healing Foods that may or may not be available organically grown include: oily (omega-3 oils) fish like Salmon, Olives and Olive Oil, Wild Berries or Blueberries, and Garlic and Ginger.

Important note about Milk Products and Eggs; also Wheat and Corn

Because pesticides are pervasive and stored in higher amounts in the fats of food, dairy products tend to retain higher levels of residues and chemicals from feeds and other sources. This is not well researched yet; however, it makes total sense to me, and therefore my family with growing children is buying organic milk products.

Milk is a common source of the herbicide atrazine (a known endocrine-disrupter) and the growth hormone BGH which has been genetically engineered to boost milk production.

Eggs are one of the more bio-available proteins especially for growing folks, pregnant women, and those needing a protein source, especially if you digest them well and aren't allergic to them. They have many nutrients that feed the body tissues, the sexual glands, sperm and eggs, and hormones. However, eggs are typically produced in factory farms where the hens often live in crowded, unhygienic conditions. This may be one of the reasons that salmonella bacteria are found in eggs so frequently. More than two million eggs each year are contaminated, resulting in more than a half million cases of food poisoning. Factory farm eggs also may be lower in nutrients than organic ones, and they don't taste as good as farm fresh eggs from the free-ranging chickens that are not fed antibiotics. Our best egg option is organic eggs, which are now becoming more available.

Wheat is another staple in the American and world diet. It has many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, in a recent review of pesticide residues, 91 percent of the wheat sampled by the FDA contained pesticide residues! Wheat can be one of the most heavily treated grains, because it is stockpiled as a basic commodity and fumigated periodically to keep down pests. When it is milled, the outer coating--the bran included in whole wheat bread and cereals--is the portion that receives the most chemical treatment. The bran and germ portion of the wheat also retains the most residues. It has been suggested that some forms of so-called wheat allergy, which has been associated with learning problems and difficulty in concentrating, may actually be a neurotoxic reaction to the pesticide residues in the grain. These pesticides are by definition neurotoxins that is how they affect the insects they are intended to destroy.

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 About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...moreElson Haas MD
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