In the pursuit of a healthy diet, we often turn to fruits and vegetables as our primary sources of nutrition. However, recent studies have shed light on the presence of pesticides in some of these seemingly wholesome foods.

According to a recent analysis by Consumer Reports, 16 of the 25 fruits and 21 of the 34 vegetables tested has low levels of pesticide risk. But six in particular had high levels of pesticides. It is suggested that children and pregnant people consume no more than half a serving per day of these high level pesticide foods. Everyone else should limit consumption.

While pesticides are used to protect crops from pests and diseases, excessive exposure to these chemicals can pose significant health risks to consumers. Below are the top six pesticide-laden foods.

  • Green beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Kale and mustard greens

How to avoid pesticides

If possible, buy organic but if organic is not available, use a vegetable wash (available at many health food stores) or wash your fruits and vegetables in a solution consisting of cold water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt. You can also make a spray bottle of 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

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