We are always told to eat our vegetables, but what if some vegetables just aren’t that great for us? Although this is a list of unhealthy vegetables, a vegetable from the earth is still a whole food that contains vitamins and minerals and has unique healing properties — but sometimes there are just much healthier options out there.
Here, certified nutritional practitioner and co-founder of The Living Kitchen Tamara Green shares 10 vegetables you should beware of.
Potato: more starch than vegetable
They're also on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list — they are one of the vegetables that have the highest pesticide levels, which is harmful for our nervous system and liver, one of the hardest-working organs.
These spuds are part of the nightshade family, a group of veggies that contain alkaloids, which have an impact on nerve-muscle function, joint function and digestive function.
Starch substitutes: Sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower and jicama.
Corn: a genetically modified vegetable
According to the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, more than 80% of the grain corn grown in Canada is genetically modified. GM corn can result in major sensitivities, hormonal changes and changes within the digestive tract.
One of the most common food allergens in North America, it's still fed to cows to fatten them up and help create a marbling affect in meat.
Health tip: opt for organic.
Bell Peppers: nightshades not good for joint issues
Peppers contain the alkaloid, solanine, which can disrupt nerve function and lead to twitching, convulsing and trembling. Bell peppers also pose a problem for joint health.
This vegetable is also not recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or people with any joint issues.
Eggplant: contains oxalates
For people with chronic inflammation or serious joint problems, it's best to stay clear from these purple veggies.
Eggplant contains oxalates, a naturally occurring substance, that play a role in causing kidney stones. People who have kidney or gallbladder issues or are prone to stones should stay away.
Conventional Spinach: high levels of pesticides
Spinach also contains oxalates and purines, which can lead to gout and kidney stones. Again, those with kidney problems, it might be best to stay away.
Cherry Tomato: a part of the nightshade family
However, tomatoes are nightshades that can increase inflammation within the body, especially within your joints. It's a good idea for anyone with arthritis or joint problems to limit their consumption of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes have also landed themselves on the dirty dozen list containing about 35 pesticide residues.
Cucumber: may contain synthetic wax
Celery: notoriously nutrition-less
According to the USDA, celery has been found to have 68 pesticide residues; most of these pesticides being potent hormone disruptors. It's time to jump on the organic celery bandwagon.
Kale: a famous superfood
According to Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, non-organic kale is contaminated with organophosphate insecticides that are highly toxic to the nervous system. Kale is goitrogenic, meaning it can cause or contribute to goiters, but this really only affects people who have an unhealthy thyroid. For people who are healthy, the goitrogenic nature of kale should not be a problem. Similar to spinach and eggplant, kale contains oxalates and consumption should be slightly monitored if one has an untreated kidney or gallbladder problem.
Squash: another vegetable on the oxalates list
Similar to kale, summer squash is contaminated with organophosphate insecticides and according to the USDA, has 41 pesticide residues, most of them being hormone disruptive and toxic to bees.
Summer squash is another one that's on the oxalates list and can play a role in kidney stones, so those with kidney problems may want to monitor their intake.