Fruits That Heal The Body

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What are the best fruits that heal the body? There are many fruits that have great benefits for your health and wellness. The ones listed here were selected because of their ability to provide you with essential nutrients. Papaya, paw-paw, banana, apple, tree etc. So let’s take a look at these wonderful natural foods, and find out which ones can improve your overall health the most.

The Top 10 Healing Fruits

Eating a piece of whole fruit is a wonderful way to add vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet while also satisfying your sweet tooth.

Of course, some fruits rise to the top in terms of health value, so if you’re looking for the healthiest fruits — those that have the greatest potential to promote balance and healing in your body — pick from the list below.

Try These 10 Top Healing Fruits

10.  Apples

Apples, and particularly apple skins, contain quercetin, catechin and other compounds that are protective to your cardiovascular system. In addition, apples are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories shown to lower the risk of asthma and lung cancer, help with blood sugar regulation, and possibly lower your risk of macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Papaya

Papaya is loaded with vitamins C and A, as well as contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme often used to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements. Taken together, the nutrients in papaya may help you to ward off heart disease, cancer and macular degeneration while also promoting your digestive health. Plus, papaya’s antioxidants and enzymes also offer anti-inflammatory effects and immune system support.

8. Kiwi

Just one kiwi will give you nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, and research shows that eating just two or three kiwis a day may help reduce your risk of cancer, thanks to their rich content of DNA-repairing antioxidants. Kiwi has also shown promise for improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and offers natural laxative properties to promote healthy bowel function.

healing fruits

7. Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the best lycopene-rich foods there is, and this phytonutrient shows great promise for boosting both heart and bone health. Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that your body converts into arginine, another amino acid.

Citrulline is drawing scientists’ attention because it appears useful for blood flow and cardiovascular health, and may even help prevent the accumulation of body fat. Thanks to its citrulline content, fresh watermelon juice may even help to prevent sore muscles if you drink it prior to your next workout.

6. Plums

Along with the ‘usual’ benefits of antioxidants like vitamins A and C, plums have been shown to help increase iron absorption in your body. They also contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which may have a calming, anxiety-reducing effect.

5. Oranges

Oranges are another excellent source of vitamin C for immune support (just one orange will give you more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value), along with healing phytonutrients like herperidin, which is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. When you eat an orange, try to eat as much of the inner white pulp as possible, as this is where many of the healing nutrients are contained.

Healing Foods for Healing Bodies

Healing Foods

Whether you are recovering from a hospital visit or feeling ill at home, everyday foods found in grocery stores can aid our recovery. The body’s natural response to illness is inflammation. Common foods to help calm inflammation include flaxseeds, walnuts, berries, mushrooms, salmon, spinach, turmeric, ginger, green tea, and yogurt. This list is simply a taste of delicious foods available containing unique nutrients to heal our bodies.

Special substances contained in foods are the real contributors to healing and fighting inflammation. Individual properties of berries, spinach, and mushrooms include antioxidants (vitamin C), phytochemicals, and fiber. Yogurt, although not normally viewed as a healing food, contains probiotics which aids digestion and prevent illness. The flaxseeds, walnuts, and salmon contain healthy fats providing antioxidants (Vitamin E and selenium) and anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. Spices such as turmeric and ginger are produced from tropical plants and trees and contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well. Last, but not least, green tea, along with black, white, and oolong tea, contain antioxidants called polyphenols which defend our bodies against diseases and promote healing.

Many fruits, vegetables, and nuts can be eaten raw, mixed in yogurt or salads, or cooked. Steaming is best to maintain nutrient content. These foods may be added to entrées such as chicken, kabobs, or salmon. Salmon may be cooked in a variety of ways, including baking and grilling. Flaxseeds should be ground prior to consumption by using a coffee grinder. Try sprinkling ground flaxseeds on cereal or yogurt. They may also be added to breads, muffins, or cookies while mixing the dough. Turmeric is used largely in Indian cooking. It is best when added at the beginning of cooking. An easy use for ginger is to slice it and simply add it to hot water or hot tea.

Fruits and Vegetables With Healing Powers

Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice is a natural way to prevent muscle soreness. Photograph courtesy of.

Did you know that the skin of cherries relieves pain just as well as ibuprofen? Or that avocado works great as a hair conditioner? In other words, food is medicine. We rounded up the top six healing powers of certain fruits and vegetables.

For more energy . . .
Eat fruit with skin.

Contrary to popular belief, fruits contain a lot of complex carbohydrates, which release sugar into your system slowly, leaving a long-lasting energy boost. Fruits with skin, such as apples, provide added fiber, which keeps you full longer. 


To prevent muscle soreness . . .
Eat cherries.

A study of runners who drank Montmorency cherry juice for a week before a race and on race day found that they reported much less inflammation and faster muscle recovery than those who received a placebo. Montmorency cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food—especially in the peel. 

To reduce risk of cancer . . .
Eat kale.

Kale has enjoyed its superfood reputation for a while now, and for good reason. Its high content of vitamin K has proved it can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It also contains a huge dose of vitamins A and C, magnesium, and fiber. 

For healthier hair . . .
Eat avocado.

Avocados and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are key for a healthy scalp. Avocados are also high in vitamins B and E, which have been shown to promote hair growth. It’s no wonder they’re typically used in hair masks, thanks to their moisturizing and conditioning benefits. 

For glowing skin . . .
Eat carrots.

Carrots contain a wealth of carotenoids and beta carotene, which gives our skin that healthy glow, according to a study published online in the journal PLoS One. The beta carotene also helps with collagen production. 

For a healthy immune system . . .
Eat shiitake mushrooms.

The immune support from eating shiitake mushrooms has long been documented. They have a high content of lentinan, which keeps our immune system strong and reduce our risk of infection. 

Healing Foods

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

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Healthy food is the medicine we give our bodies every day. It can’t cure what ails you, but certain foods have the power to soothe symptoms and give your body a boost when you have specific illnesses or injuries. Help yourself to these healing foods.

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho

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This Vietnamese soup packs more healing power than old-fashioned chicken and noodles when it comes to colds. Chicken pho (pronounced “fuh”) also packs the anti-viral power of star anise and the anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom and cinnamon. It has antioxidants in the form of goji berries and coriander seeds. Jalapenos bring calcium and vitamins A and C — along with some nose-clearing spice.

Sardines

Sardines

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Sardines may not be the sexiest fish at the supermarket, but their little bones may help your broken bones heal faster. Usually packed into small tins with water, olive oil, or tomato juice, these tiny fish are full of calcium and vitamin D. They also have more bone-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids than most other fish. Bonus: Sardines are caught wild and young, which means their mercury levels are low.

Unripe Bananas

Unripe Bananas

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Green bananas have a secret superpower: They’re great for diarrhea. They contain resistant starch, which means it doesn’t let your small intestine absorb it quickly. Instead, it feeds good bacteria in your digestive tract and tells the bad bacteria to get out. Bananas are also full of electrolytes like potassium, which can help you replace what you’ve lost.

Honey

Honey

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Skip the honey-flavored lozenges and treat your cough with the real thing. Honey lessens inflammation, soothes pain, and kills bacteria. It’s also full of antibodies that fight viral infections. It’s packed with vitamins like niacin and vitamin C, and minerals like calcium and iron, for a healthy boost of energy. Add 2 tablespoons to warm water or tea for a natural cough suppressant with big benefits.

Kimchi

Kimchi

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This traditional Korean dish may end your gas and bloating. It’s a spicy mix of vegetables like napa cabbage and radishes that are fermented, or preserved with natural good bacteria. When you eat it, it loads your gut with good bacteria, also called probiotics, and moves out bad bacteria that can cause belly distress. Some kinds of sauerkraut and pickles have the same effect: Look for the words “naturally fermented” on the label.

Horseradish

Horseradish

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This cousin of mustard, onion, and garlic is anything but subtle. When you grate horseradish, it crushes the cells of the root. This releases the oils that bring out its signature heat. Even a small dab can make your eyes water and nose run. That’s great news if you have sinus or nasal issues: Horseradish moves out mucus that attracts bacteria if it stays in your system too long. Same for the green mound of wasabi that comes with sushi.

 Foods to Eat After Surgery to Promote Healing

fresh vegetables

Surgery can be hard on the body. After surgery, you or a loved one may experience a higher risk of infection, falls, pneumonia, or decreased mobility.

But surgery is meant to improve your quality of life.

There are a few key things you can do to have a smooth transition from the hospital to your home — and one of the most important things to focus on while healing from surgery is nutrition.

The 10 Best Foods to Eat After Surgery to Promote Healing

These foods will provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs to fight off infections, accelerate healing, increase your strength and energy and maintain your nutrient stores. And they’re delicious.

1. Berries

Antioxidants are a powerhouse of nutrition that help the body repair damage.

Fruits with antioxidants include:

  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Goji berries
  • Blackberries

Berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Research shows that vitamin C is helpful in rebuilding collagen and soft tissue, meaning your incision site will heal quicker.

2. Vegetables

The vitamins and minerals you will find in vegetables are some of the most important nutrients in your healing diet.

Eat these vegetables as a snack or part of a meal:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes

Including these veggies in your daily diet adds a healthy source of carbohydrates, which will help you battle post-surgery fatigue. Carbohydrates provide your brain with energy and stop muscle from breaking down. Your body will also get a boost of vitamin A and C. Another great benefit is that the fiber in a diet high in vegetables reduces constipation, which is a common side effect of pain medication and decreased mobility.

3. Fats (nuts, oils, fish)

Remember, healthy fat is your friend. Especially following surgery, healthy fat helps your body absorb all those yummy vitamins you are getting from your fruits and veggies. Fat is essential for strengthening your immune system and decreasing your chance of infection.

Healthy fats to include:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Fats provide you with a long-lasting source of energy. Many types of fats and nuts are high in vitamin E, particularly almonds. Vitamin E also helps wounds heal faster and reduce the appearance of scars.

4. Dark Leafy Greens

Leafy greens may not be as popular as colorful berries and yummy fats, but they are vitally important! A hearty serving of green on your plate (or in your smoothie) gives you a dose of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.

Incorporate these vitamin-rich, dark leafy greens:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Bok choy
  • Mustard greens
  • Romaine lettuce

You will also be absorbing the B-complex vitamins, which help with energy levels. Don’t forget fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Greens are like a multivitamin!

5. Meat or Other Alternatives

As we age, it is important to eat adequate amounts of protein. Following surgery, our bodies need a lot of protein and iron to help repair muscles that might have been injured during surgery. Amino acids in the protein help repair muscle damage by regenerating tissue and speeding up wound healing. Iron will help you regain your energy levels more quickly as iron creates new blood cells.

Stock up on iron and protein through foods like:

  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Tofu

After surgery, you may find that you have difficulty digesting or even chewing tougher meats. Try meats that have been slow-cooked in sauces or ground meats. Another excellent source of protein is our next powerhouse food.

6. Eggs

Nature has provided us with an ideal healing food neatly packed in a shell. Eggs are a traditional first meal to serve to invalids and recovering individuals and with good reason.

One egg provides you with:

  • 6 Grams of protein
  • Vitamins A, E and K
  • B complex vitamins (including B12)
  • Riboflavin
  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron

All those nutrients we have already discussed as being vital for a quick recovery. The best part is that eggs are easy to serve and prepare.

7. Probiotics

Probiotics are the happy, healthy bacteria that your body needs to digest food, provide mental balance and fight off all the germs and infections you are prone to after a hospital stay or procedure. Some of the most common forms of probiotic-rich foods are:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi

Surgery can be rough on your system. Anesthetics, antibiotics and painkillers upset the delicate balance in your gut leaving you with digestive upsets, constipation and nausea. A healthy dose of probiotics can help to regulate your system.

8. Brightly colored fruits

Who says that healing foods are boring? After surgery, it is even more important to eat all the colors of the rainbow. Pile a bowl full of the brightest colored fruits and veggies and get a good dose of vitamin A, C, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and the nutritious calories your body needs to bounce back.

Fiber is essential following surgery to avoid the discomfort of constipation. Fruits provide that fiber with a dose of color, vitamins, and energy-boosting carbs.

Ask your friends to bring by:

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Tomatoes

Not only are fruits a powerhouse of healing nutrition but they are also light on the stomach and ideal for small, regular portions.

 Foods With Super-Healing Powers

Whole foods that help fight disease

As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping our bodies function optimally. There are hundreds of extremely nutritious whole foods, but the dozen on this list do more than contribute healthy nutrients—they help you heal. In fact, every food on this list boasts multiple healing effects, from fighting cancer to reducing cholesterol, guarding against heart disease, and more. Eat these super-healing picks and start feeling pretty super yourself.

Kiwifruit

This tiny, nutrient-dense fruit packs an amazing amount of vitamin C, has more fiber than apples, and beats bananas as a high-potassium food. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in kiwifruit helps protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease. Kiwifruit’s natural blood-thinning properties work without the side effects of aspirin and support vascular health by reducing the formation of spontaneous blood clots, lowering LDL cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that kiwifruit not only reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA but also prompts damaged cells to repair themselves.

In Chinese medicine they are used to accelerate the healing of wounds and sores.

How much: Aim to eat one to two kiwifruit a day while they’re in season, for the best taste and nutrition. California-grown kiwifruit are in season from October through May, and New Zealand kiwifruit are available between April and November.

Tips: Kiwifruit contain enzymes that activate once you cut the fruit, causing the flesh to tenderize. So if you’re making a fruit salad, cut the kiwifruit last.

Cherries

Cherries boast a laundry list of healing powers. For starters, they pack a powerful nutritional punch for a relatively low calorie count. They’re also packed with substances that help fight inflammation and cancer. In lab studies, quercetin and ellagic acid, two compounds contained in cherries, have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors and even cause cancer cells to commit suicide. Cherries also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Anthocyanin, another compound in cherries, is credited with lowering the uric acid levels in the blood, thereby reducing a common cause of gout. Researchers believe anthocyanins may also reduce your risk of colon cancer. Further, these compounds work like a natural form of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation and curbing pain. Regular consumption may help lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

In Chinese medicine, cherries are routinely used as a remedy for gout, arthritis and rheumatism (as well as anemia, due to their high iron content). Plus they’re delicious.

How much: Aim for a daily serving while they’re in season locally. And keep a bag of frozen cherries in your freezer the rest of the year; frozen cherries retain 100 percent of their nutritional value and make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal.

Guavas

Guavas are a small tropical fruit that can be round, oval or pear-shaped. They’re not all that common, but if you can track them down, it’s more than worth it. Guavas contain more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and nearly 20 percent more than this popular fruit.

Lycopene protects our healthy cells from free radicals that can cause blocked arteries, joint degeneration, nervous system problems and even cancer. Lycopene consumption is associated with significantly lower rates of prostate cancer; and men with prostate tumors who consumed lycopene supplements showed significant improvements. Lycopene has also been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and research suggests that this antioxidant may also help protect against coronary artery disease.

Guavas are also packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serving for serving, guava offers more than 60 percent morepotassium than a banana.

How much: Aim to eat fresh guavas as often as you can when you can find them in stores. They’re not commonly available in the freezer section, and most guava juices are processed and sweetened, so they don’t provide the same superior nutrition that the whole, fresh fruit does. One to two guavas a day is a good goal.

Tip: Opt for the red-fleshed variety if you can; both are loaded with antioxidants (cancer-fighting foods), but the red type has more than the white-fleshed apple guava.

Beans

Beans are a miracle food. They lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and insulin production, promote digestive health and protect against cancer. If you think of fiber, protein and antioxidants, and immediately think whole grains, meat and fruit, then think again—beans offer all three in a single package.

An assortment of phytochemicals found in beans has been shown to protect cells from cancerous activity by inhibiting cancer cells from reproducing, slowing tumor growth. Researchers at theHarvard School of Public Health reported that women who consumed beans at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, and multiple studies have tied beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

Beans deliver a whopping amount of antioxidants, which help prevent and fight oxidative damage. In fact, the USDA’s ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity places three varieties of beans (red, red kidney and pinto) in the top four—and that’s among all food groups. They also contain tryptophan, which can help regulate appetite, aid in sleep and improve mood. Many are also rich infolate, which plays a significant role in heart health. You’ll also get decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and B2, and vitamin K. Soybeans are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

In Chinese medicine, various types of beans have been used to treat alcoholism, food poisoning, edema (particularly in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, laryngitis, kidney stones, rheumatism and dozens of other conditions.

How much: Aim for a minimum of two servings of beans per week.

Tip: Adzuki and mung beans are among the most easily digested; pinto, kidney, navy, garbanzo, lima and black beans are more difficult to digest.

Watercress

Not only is watercress extremely nutritious (nutritional value), it’s about as close as you can get to a calorie-free food. Calorie for calorie, it provides four times the calcium of this staple drink. Ounce for ounce, it offers as much vitamin C as an orange and more iron than another superfood. It’s packed with vitamin A and has lots of vitamin K, along with multiple antioxidant carotenoids and protective phytochemicals.

The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build the immune system and support bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues for energy. The phytochemicals in watercress battle cancer in three ways: killing cancer cells, blocking carcinogens and protecting healthy cells from carcinogens.

In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision and improve digestion. It’s used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps and bad breath.

How much: Eat watercress daily if you can. In some regions, it’s more widely available during the spring and summer, when it’s cultivated outdoors. But since it can also be grown hydroponically, you can find it year-round in many grocery stores and at your local farmers market.

Tips: You can cook it, but watercress is better for you when you eat it raw. Tuck it into a sandwich in place of lettuce.

Spinach

You already knew spinach was good for you, but did you know just how good? Spinach protects against eye disease and vision loss; it’s good for brain function; it guards against colon, prostate and breast cancers; it protects against heart disease, stroke and dementia; it lowers blood pressure; it’s anti-inflammatory; and it’s great for bone health. Spinach has an amazing array of nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin K,calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron.

A carotenoid found in spinach kills prostate cancer cells and prevents them from multiplying. Folate promotes vascular health by lowering homocysteine and has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach protect against colon cancer in addition to fighting inflammation, making them key components of brain health, particularly in older adults.

Spinach is loaded with vitamin K (one cup of cooked spinach provides 1111 percent of the recommended daily amount), which builds strong bones by helping calcium adhere to the bone.

How much: Fresh spinach should be a daily staple in your diet. It’s available in practically every grocery store, no matter where you live. Aim for a few ounces, raw or lightly steamed, every day.

Tips: Add a handful of fresh spinach to your next fruit smoothie. It’ll change the color but not the taste. Conventionally grown spinach is susceptible to pesticide residue; stick to organic.

Onions

Onions get a bad rap for their effect on the breath, but that’s not the only part of the body where they pack a wallop. Onion consumption has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate and esophageal cancers and has also been linked to reduced mortality from coronary heart disease. Research suggests that they may help protect against stomach cancer. Onions contain sulfides that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a peptide that may help prevent bone loss.

Onions have super antioxidant power. They contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine that reduces airway inflammation and helps relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Onions also boast high levels of vitamin C, which battles cold and flu symptoms. Onions’ anti-inflammatory properties help fight the pain and swelling associated with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

How much: For all the health benefits onions provide, it would be ideal to eat one a day. However, if that’s not doable for you, add a few onions to your weekly grocery list and try to eat a little bit every day. All varieties are extremely good for you, but shallots and yellow onions lead the pack in antioxidant activity. Raw onions provide the best nutrition, but they’re still great for you when they’re lightly cooked.

Tip: Onions should be stored at room temperature, but if they bother your eyes when you cut them, try refrigerating them for an hour beforehand. Find out why they make you cry.

Carrots

Carrots are a great source of the potent antioxidants known as carotenoids. Diets high in carotenoids have been tied to a decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx and esophagus. Conversely, diets low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and various cancers. Research suggests that just one carrot per day could reduce your risk of lung cancer by half. Carrots may also reduce your risk of kidney and ovarian cancers. Nutrients in carrots inhibit cardiovascular disease, stimulate the immune system, promote colon health, and support ear and eye health.

Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C and an incredible amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots has shown promise in inhibiting tumor growth. In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion, night blindness, ear infections and more.

How much: Eat a serving of carrots each day and enjoy them year-round. Carrots are good for you whether they’re raw or lightly cooked. For the best nutrition, go for whole carrots that are firm and fresh-looking. Precut baby carrots are made from whole carrots and tend to lose important nutrients during processing.

Tips: Remove carrot tops before storing them in the fridge, as the tops drain moisture from the roots and will cause the carrots to wilt. Buy organic; conventionally grown carrots frequently show high pesticide residues.

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