Which Organic Fruits and Vegetables Should Your Parent be Eating?

Senior Care in Edison NJ

Senior Care in Edison NJSeptember is National Organic Harvest Month. If you have been wondering if your aging parent should be eating more organic foods to keep them healthier, this is the ideal time for you to learn more about these foods and make the decisions that are right for your elderly parent. It is important to note that while studies have shown that those produce items that are listed as USDA Organic or Certified Organic do not have any more vitamins or minerals than their conventional counterparts, they are produced without the use of such techniques as genetic engineering, chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or irradiation.

The reality is that eating organic food can be extremely expensive and many foods do not show any true difference in nutrition or in the presence of chemicals. There are some fruits and vegetables, however, that are considered the most contaminated. Sometimes referred to as the “Dirty Dozen”, these foods are those that routinely rank the highest in terms of residual chemicals and genetic engineering. This means if you are interested in integrating the potential benefits of organic food into your parent’s diet but want to start small, choosing these foods can be an important step toward eating in a clean, healthy way.

Fruits and vegetables that are listed on the Dirty Dozen and that you might want to consider purchasing organic include:

• Strawberries. Strawberries are listed as being the highest in residual pesticides
• Apples. Apples are also often very high in pesticides. Studies were done when apples had been washed as they would generally be washed by consumers
• Nectarines. These sweet and delicious fruits taste similar to a blend of a peach and a plum, but they can be high in pesticides, so look for organic versions
• Grapes. This includes all colors of grapes, and both seedless and non-seedless versions
• Celery. Consider the fact that celery grows directly in the ground and will absorb anything that might be in the soil as well as anything that is spread onto the ground
• Spinach. These dark leafy greens offer fantastic nutrition, and getting them organic will help prevent your parent from consuming large amounts of residual pesticides
• Bell peppers. This applies to all colors and sizes of these sweet, flavorful peppers
• Cucumbers. Tests confirming high levels of pesticides found them both when the cucumbers were peeled and when they were not
• Cherry tomatoes. Perfect for tossing into a salad, these sweet little gems might contain more pesticides than their larger counterparts, so choosing organic versions is preferable
• Potatoes. Another situation when the food does not grow on a vine or tree, but directly in the ground, potatoes are also highly absorbent, drawing everything out of the soil
• Imported snap peas. Read the labeling on your snap peas carefully the next time you purchase them. If they are not listed as being grown in the U.S., you might want to put them back and choose
an organic version
• Kale. Widely considered the ultimate health food, kale can also be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to residual pesticides.

If you are concerned that your elderly parent might not be getting the nutrition that they need to stay as healthy as possible, starting senior care for them may be the ideal solution. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent to bring them to the grocery store when they need to go, help them choose the foods that are right for them, and then assist with meal and snack preparation. This means that your parent can continue to enjoy the flavor and foods that they love while getting the nutrition that they need to stay as healthy as possible throughout their later years.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Edison, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.