The Best and Worst Vegetables to Eat

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by Joseph Mercola: What
the TSA Is NOT Telling You About Full Body Scans…



There’s little
doubt that one of the best ways to improve your health is to make
sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, minimally processed high-quality
vegetables, ideally locally-grown and organic, with a majority of
them consumed raw. One simple way to boost your vegetable intake
is to juice them.

Juicing organic
vegetables is highly recommended to patients in our clinic who are
working to restore or improve their health. I am firmly convinced
that juicing is one of the key factors to giving you a radiant,
energetic life, and truly optimal health.

I simply do
not know of any other single nutritional intervention that has a
more profound influence on health than eating and/or juicing fresh,
organic vegetables.

You can review
my comprehensive approach to how to juice on my
vegetable juicing page

Are All Vegetables
the Same?

If you were
to get all of your vegetables from conventionally farmed sources,
this would be better for your health than eating no fresh vegetables
at all. However, conventionally farmed vegetables are not your best
choice. Organic vegetables are a much better option.


USDA Organic
farmers (and
many small, local organic farms working without certification
must use different standards when growing vegetables. These standards
include never using:

The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent
of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic,
and most are damaging to your nervous system as well. In fact, these
powerful and dangerous chemicals have been linked to numerous health
problems such as:

  • Neurotoxicity
  • Disruption
    of your endocrine system
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Immune system
  • Male infertility
    and reduced reproductive function
  • Miscarriages
  • Parkinson’s

This information
alone should give you pause when considering whether to buy local,
organic vegetables or not. But I encourage you to do further research
about organic versus conventional farming conditions. I believe
that after researching the facts and statistics, you’ll come to
the conclusion that organic
vegetables are far more nutritious than conventionally farmed vegetables

Fruit and Vegetable Pesticide Loads

Certainly helpful
to your decision about which vegetables should be purchased organic
and which conventional veggies may be safe, is the measured pesticide
loads found on conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables.

Of the 43 different
and vegetable categories tested by the Environmental Working Group

and included in their Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce,
these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide
load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

In contrast,
these foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load,
making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn
  • Avocado
  • Onion

So if you need
to work within a certain budget, use this information to help guide
you to the best choices when it comes to lowering your overall pesticide

The Importance
of Fresh Vegetables

Buying your
vegetables from a local organic source is the ideal way to ensure
that your vegetables are both fresh and high quality. I strongly
advise you to avoid wilted vegetables of any kind, because when
vegetables wilt they loose much of their nutritional value. In fact,
wilted organic vegetables may actually be less healthy than fresh
conventionally farmed vegetables!

Another reason
to buy your organic vegetables from a local source is that fresher
vegetables also contain the highest amounts of biophotons.

What are Biophotons?

are the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in, and
used by all biological organisms — including your body.

Fritz-Albert Popp
was the first to suggest that this light inside
all biological organisms must originate, at least in part, from
the foods you eat. When you eat plant foods, the light waves (photons)
are thought assimilate into the cells in your body.

The purpose
of these biophotons is much more important than many have realized,
because they are the transmitters of important nutritional bio-information
used in many complex vital processes in your body.

Every living
organism emits biophotons, or low-level luminescence (light with
a wavelength between 200 and 800 nanometers). It is thought that
the higher the level of light energy a cell emits, the greater the
vitality and potential for the transfer of light energy to your

In other words,
the more light that a food is able to store, the more nutritious
it is when you consume it. Fresh, organic vegetables are naturally
rich in this biophoton light energy.

Illness Can
Occur When Biophoton Emissions are Out of Sync

Research by
Dr. Popp also showed that the light emissions of healthy people
follow a set of biological rhythms by day and night and also by
week and month.

However, in
his studies, the light emissions from cancer patients had no such
rhythms and appeared scrambled, which suggests that their cells
were no longer communicating properly.

Likewise, according
to Dr. Popp’s research, multiple sclerosis patients were taking
in too much light, leading to what he considered confusion on a
cellular level.

Even stress
can influence your biophoton emissions, causing them to increase
when stress increases.

It’s also known
that cancer-causing chemicals alter your body’s biophoton emissions,
interrupting proper cellular communication, while certain natural
substances can help to restore proper cellular communication. For
instance, Dr. Popp found that mistletoe appeared to restore biophoton
emissions of tumor cells to a normal level!

even conventional
medicine confirmed that mistletoe extract does appear to have a
beneficial effect on cancer
, with one study published in Alternative
Therapies in Health and Medicine
showing that mean survival
rates nearly doubled among breast cancer patients who received mistletoe

An Important
Tip for Gathering Valuable Light Energy

As regular
readers know, I’ve long recommended eating a diet
of mostly RAW food
to stay optimally healthy. This is because
living raw foods contain the most biophoton light energy that your
body needs.

The greater
your store of light energy from healthy raw foods (this should not
be confused with your vitamin
D status
, which is produced by the sun on your skin), the greater
the power of your overall electromagnetic field, and consequently
the more energy is available for healing and maintenance of optimal

I firmly believe
it’s only a matter of time before the importance of light energy
in your health and well-being becomes more widely recognized and
applied in the field of medicine. Until then, remember that your
body is not only made up of tissue, blood vessels and organs. It’s
also composed of light.

Reasons to

As I mentioned
at the beginning, one of the best ways to get ample amounts of raw
vegetables into your diet is through juicing. Many people see juicing
as inconvenient, but with
the proper juicer it really is not very time consuming at all

The fact is,
many people initially think that juicing will be a real chore, but
most are pleasantly surprised to find it’s much easier than they

There are three
main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating organic
vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

  • Juicing
    helps you absorb more nutrients from the vegetables.
  • Juicing
    allows you to efficiently consume more vegetables.
  • Juicing
    can add a wider variety of vegetables into your diet.

However, you
should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating
non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant – not make
you feel nauseous.

It is very
important to listen to your body when juicing. Your stomach should
feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally
making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should
not be eating. Personally, I’ve noticed that I can’t juice large
amounts of cabbage, but if I spread it out, I do fine.

Please review
comprehensive vegetable juicing instructions
for more information.

What are the
Best Vegetables for Good Health?

Whether you’re
munching them raw or juicing, some vegetables contain more health
building nutrients than others. This list details some of the best
and worst vegetables for your health.

Recommended Vegetables


(actually a fruit)

and red cabbage



romaine, red leaf, green leaf




red, green, yellow and hot






sparingly due to high carbohydrate levels




to Avoid


Tips to Make
Your Juice Taste Better

If you would
like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in
the beginning, you can add these elements:

  • Coconut:
    This is one of my favorites! You can purchase the whole coconut
    or use unsweetened shredded coconut. It adds a delightful flavor
    and is an excellent source of fat to balance your meal. Coconut
    has medium chain triglycerides, which have many
    health benefits
  • Cranberries:
    Researchers have discovered that cranberries have five times the
    antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may help protect
    against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Limit the cranberries
    to about 4 ounces per pint of juice.
  • Lemons
    and Limes
    : You can also add half a lemon or lime (leaving
    much of the white rind on).
  • Fresh
    : This is an excellent addition if you can tolerate
    it. It gives your juice a little “kick”! And, as an added boon,
    researchers have found that ginger can have dramatic effects on
    cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis, lowering
    cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of low-density
    lipoprotein (LDL).

Typing and Juicing Vegetables

According to
Nutritional Typing principles, if you are a carb type, vegetable
juicing is STRONGLY recommended. With patients in our clinic, we
strongly encourage it if they expect to regain their health.

If you are
a mixed type, it is certainly useful to juice. However, protein
types need to follow some specific guidelines to make it work for
them, which I’ll review below.

I used to charge
a fee for my nutritional typing program; however I’m now able to
offer this exceptional tool for FREE, so I urge you to take advantage
of this opportunity. You can find the free
online typing test here
. This program can help guide your food
choices even further. We used to charge $29 for this test but
I wanted to make it available for everyone, so please take advantage
of this free test to help you learn what foods will improve your

Protein Types
and Juicing Vegetables

If you are
a protein type, juicing needs to be done cautiously. The only vegetables
that should be juiced are your prime protein type vegetables, which
are celery, spinach, asparagus, string beans and cauliflower (including
the base).

Also, to make
drinking vegetable juice compatible with protein type metabolism
(which needs high amounts of fat), it is important to blend a source
of raw fat into the juice. Raw cream, raw butter, raw eggs, avocado,
coconut butter, or freshly ground flax seed are the sources of raw
fat I most recommend.

In addition
to adding a source of raw fat to your juice, you may also find that
adding some, or even all, of the vegetable pulp into your juice
helps to make drinking the juiced vegetables more satisfying.

Final Thoughts
about Vegetables

The truth is,
scientists really don’t know all that much about nutrients, and
taking isolated nutrients through supplements is not always a good
idea, since it’s been shown that using
supplements can actually lead to negative health consequences

A much better
way to get the vital nutrients your body needs is through eating
whole, fresh organic vegetables. I recommend at least one third
of your total diet be eaten raw, and a great way to do this is through
incorporating juicing into your eating plan. Personally, I aim for
consuming about 80 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs, dairy
and meat.

Be sure to
also take into account your Nutritional Type, because some people
definitely function better with more vegetables in their diets than
others. Again, to take my free online nutritional typing test, see
this link.

But I want
to emphasize that eating any vegetable is better than eating no
vegetables at all, so don’t get down on yourself if you’re able
to juice organic fresh vegetables only a few times a week. Even
if you have to start slowly, I think you’ll soon begin to notice
positive changes to your health when you increase your intake of
fresh vegetables.

Even better,
my nutrition plan
, which can help you take a comprehensive look
at your overall health as it relates to food, and may even help
you to change the way you think about eating.

3, 2010

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