6 Fruits and Vegetables You Must Wash Before Eating

Rinse off dirt, pesticides, and bacteria!

Washing fruits and vegetables is necessary in some cases. Certain foods may contain soil, pesticides, and bacteria that can lead to illness when consumed. Nevertheless, many people don’t wash their fruits and veggies before eating. If you grew up in a household where washing wasn’t considered necessary, it’s likely that this act does not come naturally.

Certain fruits don’t need to be washed before they are peeled. As a general rule, you can forego washing if it has a thick peel that you don’t intend to eat. Bananas and avocados are a great example of this.

For thin-skinned fruits and veggies, the FDA recommends you always rinse your food before eating. White vinegar and water is an excellent way to wash fruits and vegetables when you want more than just a quick rinse.

Below are six fruits and veggies you must wash before eating.

1. Lettuce

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Whether you get your lettuce from the grocery store, the farmer’s market, or your own backyard, it’s really important that you wash it before tossing it in your salad. Lettuce can be hiding dirt in its crevices. In some cases it can even be hiding small bugs! Because lettuce won’t be cooked, it’s important that we do our best to rinse off any harmful bacteria.

Sturdy enough to hold a pile of ingredients without falling apart, lettuce can act as a light and healthy stand-in for carb-heavy wraps. So after washing that head of lettuce, try whipping up some delicious lettuce wrap recipes like these Asian Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps or Zesty Chicken Fajitas in Lettuce!

2. Berries

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Berries are a thin-skinned fruit that you don’t peel, so you should wash them before eating. Strawberries topped the 2016 dirty dozen list compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They contained some of the highest amounts of pesticides.

After washing the gloriously colorful fruits, add some antioxidants to your menu with this scrumptious Berries with Homemade Pomegranate Syrup recipe!

3. Apples

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Apples have been long contenders in the dirty dozen list. In 2016, they ranked second in pesticides. Buying organic and rinsing before eating can help keep additives and food-borne illnesses away.

These fruits certainly need a thorough wash before consuming, but don’t let this steer you away from making apples a regular part of your menu! The powerful superfoods offer a host of health benefits. Here are the Top 4 Reasons to Eat Apples.

4. Celery

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Celery is another frequenter of the dirty dozen. Because celery has grooves running along the stalk, it’s easy for dirt to accumulate. A quick rinse or a bath of vinegar and water will solve the problem.

Celery also acts as a regular member in detox recipes. After cleaning the veggie, cleanse your system and flush away harmful toxins with Cleanse and Detox Smoothie!

5. Potatoes and Other Root Vegetables

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Because potatoes grow completely underground, they’re covered in hard-packed dirt. Unless you want a hint of earthiness in your food, make sure to wash your potatoes before cooking. This is true of all other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cassava, and yams.

And after rinsing those potatoes, whip up a colorful salad that tastes impressive and spotlights the root veggie! Check out this Potatoes with Capers and Tomatoes recipe for a tangy, mouthwatering side dish that’s a cinch to throw together.

6. Spinach and Other Leafy Greens

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Spinach and other leafy greens are infamous for hiding dirt and bacteria. To avoid illnesses, be sure to wash them thoroughly before eating. You can also find pre-washed and even triple-washed packaged spinach at the grocery store.

There are more reasons than one to stock up on this incredible superfood. Read up on the amazing benefits of adding spinach to your diet with 4 Reasons to Eat Spinach. Just make sure to wash the veggie first!

Need more healthy eating tips? We’re happy to help! Leave a comment in the section below about this article or anything else on the site.

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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