All About “Detoxing” Your Vegetables, According To An Expert

Running your fruit and vegetables under the tap isn’t enough to rid them of the potentially harmful chemicals they’re exposed to while growing, due to being sprayed with pesticides. “The ones most commonly used on fruits and vegetables are herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and bactericides,” explains nutritionist Jessica Shand, who has made her “detoxing” routine a part of her weekly grocery haul. Although removing the skin from your fruit and vegetables (whenever possible) can help, Shand points out that doing so means you miss out on “gut-feeding fiber and an array of nutrients.” So, here’s what she does instead:

Should you still wash organic fruit and vegetables?

In short, yes. “Toxin exposure is less of an issue with organic fruit and veg, but produce is still handled and exposed to other potential contaminants so it’s best to wash everything before eating,” Shand says. Don’t be fooled by “washed and ready to eat” labels either. “This includes bagged salads, too. The salad could be washed with an array of toxic chemicals by manufacturers, including chlorine and bleach, so washing off this chemical residue is essential and quick to do.”

Jessica Shand’s detox method

1. Add all produce to a (clean) sink filled with fresh water (filtered water is even better). Pour in one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water, or just a BIG glug. Apple cider vinegar is rich in anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, making it an ideal natural food source to detox your produce. You could also use baking soda, adding one teaspoon to two cups of water.

2. Using a vegetable brush, gently brush each piece then allow to soak for 15 mins. Finally, rinse. If you’re washing something more delicate like berries, add them to a colander and submerge them into the water for a maximum of five—any longer and they will go mushy.

3. Remove everything from the sink and gently dry using a tea towel. Place berries on a clean tea towel and gently pat them dry to remove excess moisture and allow them to air dry (I usually leave them out for an hour).

4. Transfer into glass containers (not plastic), and pop into the fridge.

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