Fruits and vegetables offer a number of essential nutrients for the human body. However, without proper hygiene, they can cause serious problems to the body. Washing fruits and vegetables before eating them is essential to avoid the ingestion of toxins, germs, and bacteria.
When there are children or elderly people at home, washing fruits and vegetables is a very important aspect of home health. Currently, the threat of chemicals used in agriculture is added to the normal dangers of dirt and microorganisms present in the remains of soil. Accidental ingestion of these substances can cause serious damage to the human digestive tract.
Why should we wash fruits and vegetables?
As we anticipated, the elderly, children or adults with weak immune systems are at greater risk of intoxication from unwashed fruit and vegetables. The toxoplasmosis affects to a greater extent the just mentioned groups in addition, obviously, to pregnant women. For example, the habit of buying fruit on the street and eating it on the spot is something you absolutely must not do.
The obligation to wash fruits and vegetables comes from the need to clean them from pesticides, bacteria, and chemicals that could have been part of the packaging process. Although the percentage of patients who do not wash fruits and vegetables before eating them is minimal, the repercussions in the body can be very serious.
Have you ever heard any news about a contagion of Escherichia coli, present on some fresh food sold by supermarkets? This happens because, although the crops are cleaned, it is not possible to eradicate all environmental contaminants. Vegetables can be carriers of bacteria that are among the most dangerous for humans, such as salmonella, simply because they come into contact with infected animals.
Precisely for this reason, organic products must also be washed properly. Although they are free of pesticides, they are still exposed to bacterial contamination favored by the natural environment.
How to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them
With this simple information, we are sure that you wanted to wash fruits and vegetables every day. There are also very effective cleaning systems, which you can easily prepare at home. For example, you can mix water and lemon juice in a cup to get an effective disinfectant. Another system for washing fruits and vegetables can be similar, simply by replacing the lemon with normal vinegar for cooking.
Edible fruits and vegetables with peel should be kept clean even before being placed in the refrigerator. One piece of advice we give you is to keep these foods in separate compartments, thus avoiding contact with meat, eggs, and other foods.
Some examples of cleaning
Lettuce and leek are a special case as far as their washing is concerned. Lettuce, if eaten raw, offers greater risk of intoxication. For this reason, you will have to leave your green leaves to soak for 20 minutes, using water and lemon. In this way, disinfection will be total. After this time, it should be rinsed and washed again.
We also advise you to remove the outer leaves. It usually happens that the leaves in contact with the outside have greater exposure to pollution and bacteria. These details seem simple, but they make the difference. In reality, it is a good idea to repeat this procedure to wash all the vegetables that are extracted from the earth.
As for packaged salads, which are sold in stores, they are generally ready for consumption. Perhaps it is not necessary to wash them, but we suggest you pour a few drops of lemon on them to eliminate any trace of germs. Especially when they will be consumed by elderly people, pregnant women or children.
Another vegetable that offers difficulties when it comes to washing it is the leek. Some great nutritionists and chefs simply choose to cut the leek in half before cleaning it. This allows a better washing with water that will allow eliminating any rest of the soil. After cutting it, we advise you to repeat the procedure for green leafy vegetables, or soak the leeks for a few minutes, using the classic mixture of water and lemon juice.
What happens if you eat unwashed fruits and vegetables?
Usually, the intoxication resulting from this bad practice is quite mild. In the case of toxoplasmosis, it rarely goes beyond the normal flu. With symptoms such as headache, fever, general malaise. It is not advisable to eat unwashed fruit and vegetables during pregnancy since the fetus can certainly suffer more seriously than the mother.
Even if the human body is able to fight, with the necessary antibodies, a large number of agents that can penetrate inside it, always washing fruit and vegetables you will be able to avoid unpleasant situations. As mentioned, the causes are various: dirt, bacteria, additives …
The list of negative health consequences is really wide: typhoid fever, salmonella, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, amoebiasis, abdominal pain … but not only. But then is it really worth taking these unnecessary risks? We are sure that, after reading this article, you will pay much more attention to washing fruits and vegetables. It is your health and the people who live with you.