Healthy & Fun Fruity Facts

U

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

<3 minutes reading time

  • Ube is also often called the purple yam. It’s a type of tuber that’s known for its deep purple color, but you can also find it in white.

  • You’ll usually find ube in Asian countries, where it is cooked into many desserts, including cakes & pastries. It has recently started to appear in the United States.

  • They are starchy root vegetables that are rich in carbs, potassium, vitamins A & C, anthocyanins, & phytonutrients, all of which are important for maintaining good health. They have been shown to protect against cell damage & cancer. They may help promote blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. They also have a low glycemic index, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

  • The resistant starch in ube helps increase the growth of Bifidobacteria, which are healthy bacteria that play a vital role in maintaining your gut health.

  • Ulluco is native to Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, & to a lesser extent in Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, & Chile. It is one of the most economically important & widely grown plants in the Andean region of South America.

  • Most people eat only the tuber, although you can eat the leaf, which has a taste like spinach. The leaves & tubers of this plant are found to contain high levels of nutrients like carotene, calcium, & protein.

  • One of the most striking features of this vegetable is that its tubers are varying in color which includes yellow, pink, purple, & red colors. Some are even candy-striped with waxy & shiny skins.

  • Health benefits: Removes skin spots, consists of a good amount of Vitamin C, Eliminates acne problems, Prevents & protects us against rheumatism, Eliminates stretch marks, Removes the scars, Delays cell aging, Anti-inflammatory, & antibacterial food, Relieves & cures digestive problems, Fights Alzheimer’s, contains B complex, Good for growing children & pregnant women, high content of Zinc & Calcium

  • With a slightly sweet taste, ulluco is a great source of protein, carbs, & vitamin C, especially to the people living at high altitudes in the mountainous regions of South America. It also has less than 2% fat content.

  • In Bolivia, ullucos are a traditional food in Catholic Holy Week celebrations. They are not suitable for baking or frying but they can be cooked in many other ways. One of the more popular forms is pickled ullucos.

  • An ugli fruit is a cross between a grapefruit & a mandarin orange. It's about the size of a grapefruit but tastes a bit sweeter & has wrinkly skin that peels easily. This fruit comes from Jamaica & is also grown in the US. Despite its name, it's not that ugly although it can look strange because its yellowy-green skin is thick, rough & puffy, & sometimes a bit blotchy. It is also known as Jamaican tangelo.

  • It was developed by Trout Hall Ltd in 1924 in Jamaica.

  • Ugli fruit has a fragrant rind & the flesh is very juicy that contains 70% vitamin C, 2% iron, & 8% dietary fiber, & is low in calories.

  • Ugli fruit taste is sourer than an orange & less bitter than a grapefruit. It is slightly larger than grapefruit & doesn’t have a lot of seeds. It is rich in vitamin C.

  • The polyphenol & anti-inflammatory antioxidants flavonoid compounds in Ugli fruit may help us to protect against viral infections, allergies, & fungal conditions.

  • Ugni fruit is a very fragrant, purplish-red fruit that looks like berries. They are very small, only growing up to about 1/2 inch wide. Each fruit grows on a 1-inch stalk.

  • The fruit has a very delicate flavor, somewhat like strawberries, but with a bit of tartness to it. The seeds are very small.

  • Some of the commercial strawberry flavors are actually made from ugni berries, not strawberries.

  • It grows on an evergreen shrub related to myrtle, which grows up to 15 feet tall. It can be grown from seed or cuttings. It has glossy, dark-green leaves, & small, white or pink, bell-shaped flowers in the spring. -The fruit appears in the autumn. There is not much fruit before the third year. By its third year, each Ugni bush will bear about 2 pounds of fruit. After that, each year, fruit production will increase by another 2 pounds per year.

  • Australian growers have coined & trademarked the name “Tazziberries” for the fruit. They are being grown in Australia in Victoria & Tasmania. New Zealand growers are marketing it as “NZ Cranberries.”

  • Ugni is native to Chile & Bolivia. It was identified in 1844. Part of its scientific name is in honor of Juan Ignacio Molina (1737-1829.)


Tomatoes

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

<1.5 minutes reading time

  • Tomatoes are not a veggie but a fruit. They are regarded as the world’s most popular fruit and have more genes than humans.

  • Tomatoes are actually fruits and are made of 94.5% water. The tomato plant originates from the

  • nightshade family (which includes eggplant, potato, capsicum, and chilli) from Central America.

  • A farmer in Oregon managed to successfully grow a ‘tomacco’ plant. This is a hybrid of a tobacco and tomato plant. This fascinating endeavor, straight out of a Simpsons episode, managed to bear fruit for a year and a half! Now the question is, does it get smoked or eaten?

  • Fruits and vegetables are defined differently, depending on whether you’re a gardener or a chef. The word ‘fruit’ is a botanical term, and ‘vegetable’ is a culinary term. The Oxford Dictionary defines fruit as being developed from the ovary of a flowering plant, containing the seed of the flower. The term ‘vegetable’ refers to the edible parts of plants, such as the roots, stems, and leaves (think potatoes, celery, and lettuce) and which are not strictly the fruit of the plant from which they come. So, a tomato can be considered a fruit and a vegetable. These common veggies are actually fruit: Zucchini, Eggplant, Olives, Peapods, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Butternut Pumpkin, Avocado, Peppers

  • In the extreme case of Nix vs. Hedden in 1893, a Supreme Court in the United States had to settle a case between a food importer and tax collector, who contested whether the tomato was a fruit or vegetable. The importer wanted to label the tomato a fruit (which had a lower import tax) but the tax collector demanded that it be recognized as a vegetable. Verdict: The court ruled that the tomato was most commonly known as a vegetable and should therefore be treated as such when imported.

Tangerines

Monday, October 4, 2021

~2.5 minutes reading time

  • Tangerines protect against heart disease blood clots and can lower your cholesterol. A fabulous little fruit, isn’t it? It is low in carbs, fats, proteins, and calories,. Also known as mandarin oranges, tangerines are a tasty and refreshing citrus fruit packed with nutrition, including vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, folate, fiber, and potassium to name a few. One tangerine has half the vitamin C you need for the whole day!

  • Tangerines are named after the place from where they were first shipped to Europe – Tangier in Morocco.

  • they are the second-most produced citrus fruit in the world, after the sweet orange. Around 21 million metric tons are harvested from two million hectares around the globe.

  • China sells and produces more tangerines than any other country, providing almost half of the global supply. Spain, Brazil, and Turkey are also large producers of tangerines.

  • Tangerines have been cultivated for over three thousand years in counties like Japan and China.

  • However, this amazing fruit did not arrive in the US until the mid-nineteenth century. The first batch of tangerines was brought to America when the Italian consul in New Orleans decided to plant it on the grounds surrounding the consulate. From New Orleans, the tangerine was taken to Palatka, Florida and it became a commercial crop like other citrus fruits. Florida has become famous for its production of oranges as well as tangerines. Most of the tangerines produced in the United States come from Florida and California.

  • A tangerine tree is much smaller than most of the other citrus fruit trees. A mature tree is usually between 15 and 20 feet tall.

  • Tangerines are easier to peel than other citrus fruits and are sometimes known as ‘easy peelers’.

  • Tangerines used to be nicknamed the ‘Christmas Orange’ because they were often stuffed in children’s Christmas stockings.

  • Tangerines are typically in their prime from late October through January.

  • Because tangerines are easily crossed with other types of citrus, about 200 different types of tangerines have been created.

  • Tangerine essential oil can be used to help soothe anxious feelings and manage stress.

  • The peel contains a super-flavonoid, or antioxidant, called tangeretin. Super-flavonoids have shown promise in studies as an effective way to lower cholesterol.

  • When selecting tangerines you should look for the ones that do not have any blemishes and are slightly heavy for their size and are firm to slightly soft. Also when choosing any type of citrus fruit, including tangerine and grapefruit, choose the ones that have thinner skins. This means that they are really juicy and should be very sweet. You will want to avoid tangerines that feature soft spots, dents, cuts, or mold.

  • The color of a tangerine is generally not a good indication of sweetness, so do not be fooled into thinking the brightest orange tangerines are the sweetest.

  • Tangerine trees grow best in subtropical environments where the nights are cool

  • The secret to storing them is to make sure they stay chilled but not necessarily cold.

  • Tangelos are a cross between tangerine and grapefruit. They are generally very juicy and have a mild sweet flavor.

  • If you enjoy your fruit being really sweet, you will want to try honeybell tangerines. These honey tangerines are known for their sweet, honey flavor and are the sweetest tangerines produced. If you don’t like seedy fruit, this seedless tangerine is a great option.

  • Citrus fruits are actually a kind of berry with a tough, leathery rind, known as a hesperidium.

  • A single citrus plant can have as many as 60,000 flowers, but only 1 percent of those flowers will turn into fruit.

  • Citrus fruits that are grown in tropical climates without a proper winter will stay green on the outside. That’s because citrus fruit needs to get cold to turn orange or yellow.

Strawberries

Sunday, September 26, 2021

~1 minutes reading time

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. The average strawberry—which, by the way, isn’t technically a berry—contains about 200 seeds.

  • Unlike some other fruits, strawberries don’t continue to ripen after being picked, so if they don’t look ripe, they never will be.

  • Strawberries and cream is a popular dessert during the British summer, famously consumed at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

  • There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.

  • Strawberries are actually flowering plants that belong to the rose family. When strawberries first became commercial products, the plants were cultivated in straw. Many think that's where they got their name.

  • Strawberries are not really berries at all. They are the enlarged receptacle of a flower.

  • If you bite into an apple you would expect to find the "seeds" inside. With the strawberry, the "seeds" are on the outside. Actually, strawberry seeds aren't really seeds. They are 'achenes', which are actually tiny fruits that contain seeds.

  • The strawberry was first cultivated in Brittany, France almost 300 years ago, however ancient herbiaries list strawberries as a medicinal cure as early as the 13th century.

  • Strawberries are not berries or even a fruit, technically. Berries are defined as having their seeds on the inside. The plant produces a fleshy "false fruit" aka pseudocarp from its flower, and what we think of as the seeds on the outside are the "true" fruits.

  • Wild strawberries can be yellow

  • Strawberries have more Vitamin C than oranges.

Rhubarb

Saturday, September 18, 2021

~7.5 minutes reading time

  • Rhubarb originally grew in Asia and later exported to Europe in the 14th century by way of the Silk Road trade route thanks to Marco Polo, eventually making its way to North America via Ben Franklin, who sent the seed in the early 1800’s.

  • Rhubarb is a laxative. 3,000 years ago, rhubarb was used specifically for medicinal purposes. It was dried and consumed as a purgative (cleansing of the bowels), a carminative (reduce excess gas), and for ulcer treatment.

  • Rhubarb can be used for the purification of the blood, to induce vomiting (and elimination of toxins), prevent disease of gums, and as a cure for constipation.

  • Besides in the treatment of various disorders, rhubarb can be used as a source of food, pigments, and fibers.

  • Due to the numerous beneficial properties of this plant, rhubarb was more valuable than cinnamon in the 16th century in France and more expensive than opium in the 17th century in England.

  • Rhubarb saved the 1770’s Canadian fur traders from dying! Isolated on forts with a fiber-less diet of fish and meat, prolonged constipation was a major problem and could be deadly. Rhubarb grew well and became a necessity in the tradesmen’s medicinal forts due to its laxative effects and high vitamin C content, preventing any form of constipation or scurvy from occurring.

  • The darker the red stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb! The older, more traditional variety of green stalks are more mellow in flavor. If your rhubarb stalks are green, they’re not underripe or something. Some cultivars have greener stalks than others. The red color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, the same chemicals that make the leaves of some deciduous trees turn red in the autumn. All rhubarb is quite bitter in taste and therefore a great substitute for cranberries, and a good match with a sweeter fruit like strawberries.

  • Rhubarb is a perennial plant that can survive from 10 to 15 years in the wild. It is supremely tough and cold-hardy, so you usually have to do something really, really horrific to kill it once it becomes established. Like, drive over it with a truck. Or set it on fire. And it may even survive those things.

  • Rhubarb can reach 6 to 10 feet in height. Cultivated varieties are usually smaller. Rhubarb giants are common in Alaska where the summer days are very long and the extra hours of sun help the rhubarb grow. It prefers a temperate climate, moderately moist soil, and areas that provide plenty of sun.

  • Rhubarb likes cool weather and is best harvested in mid-spring to early summer.

  • Rhubarb develops long, thin stalks with rounded ridges on the surface. They grow from a short, thick rhizome. The color of the stalks varies from deep red to light green. The flesh is always white-colored. Stalks (petioles of the leaf) are the edible part of rhubarb. The shape of the rhubarb stalks resembles celery.

  • Fresh stalks have a sour taste and they are usually dipped in sugar before consumption. Small amounts of oxalic acid are found in the stalks, which we eat – the acidity gives rhubarb its “tang.” (You’ll find small amounts of oxalic acid present in sorrel and spinach, as well).

  • Rhubarb stalks are a rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin K and C, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, and potassium.

  • Each rhubarb stalk ends with a large, triangular, drooping leaf with a prominent midrib. Unlike stalks, leaves are not edible. They contain a high percent of oxalic acid which is toxic for humans. If eaten in large doses, the leaves can cause throat closure due to their high levels of oxalic acid, which is a poisonous acid used in stain remover, inks, and metal polish.

  • Leaves of rhubarb contain substances that repel insects. By boiling the leaves in water, people can produce a homemade insecticide that can eliminate pests from the garden.

  • Contrary to popular belief, even though rhubarb leaves are poisonous, they actually can be composted. The acids in them will break down like any other natural chemical found in plants and will not cause the compost to become toxic. Just make sure you chop those gigantic leaves up so that they’re easier for your composter to break down quickly. And you might not want to put too many in the composter at once, as not to upset the balance of the carbon to nitrogen ratio.

  • Rhubarb blooms in summer and produces small greenish-white or red flowers arranged in large clusters. Flowers are designed for pollination by wind. They are also able to perform self-pollination.

  • Even though most people consume rhubarb as a fruit in cooking and often eat it in desserts., botanically speaking it belongs to the group of vegetables. It is a part of the Polygonaceae buckwheat family. It's also known as the smartweed family which also includes sorrel. A New York court ruling in 1947 made it an official fruit in the United States to avoid the high tariffs imposed on imported vegetables. (It was cheaper at the time to bring fruits into the country).

  • Rhubarb’s binomial name is Rheum rhabarbarum – the specific epithet is from Latin and means “root of the barbarians.

  • The term rhubarb means a heated dispute. Ever wonder what background actors on stage are yelling about during a play? In the 1930’s, the word “rhubarb” would be repeated as their go-to ‘conversation’. This method was so popular that the Merriam-Webster dictionary added a heated dispute to the definition of rhubarb. In the 1940’s, it was commonly used as a descriptor of the on- and off-field shenanigans of fans and players at raucous baseball games.

  • In the United Kingdom, it is common to force an early rhubarb crop under pots in January and February. A second crop is planted outdoors for later harvest.

  • 90% of the world’s sweetest rhubarb is located in The Rhubarb Triangle of West Yorkshire, England. England was the first country to grow rhubarb for eating (not just medicinal purposes). The variety of rhubarb called Victorian Rhubarb was easy to grow, reliable, and consistently sweet and tender. So began the jams, jellies, custards, and tarts.

  • Rhubarb is often consumed in combination with strawberries, blueberries, and peaches and used for the preparation of various cakes, pies, fruit salads, and muffins.

  • Rhubarb is also known as "pie plant" because it is most commonly used for the preparation of pies.

  • Rhubarb can be also consumed in the form of jams, jellies, smoothies, and wines.

  • Fibers obtained from rhubarb can be used for the manufacture of paper.

  • f you like to dye textiles with natural plant-based dyes, rhubarb leaves make a good mordant (just be really careful while handling them!). The roots will produce a brown dye that can be used for the dyeing of hair. Leaves and stalks are sources of yellow and red dyes.

  • Store harvested rhubarb stalks in the fridge and use them up as soon as you can. Rhubarb freezes well so that’s an option if you have a huge harvest.

  • Do not harvest rhubarb in the heat, as the stalks will quickly wilt.

  • Speaking of harvesting rhubarb – pull or cut? Always pull! If you cut the stalks, you might encourage rot. And never, ever, take more than half of the stalks of the plant at a time.

  • If your rhubarb is damaged by a late spring frost, you can remove most of the stalks (leave at least 3 to 5 on the plant) and allow the plant to regrow – it should produce another crop shortly. Don’t eat the frozen stalks.

  • Rhubarb has really pretty, dramatic flowers – and as long as you don’t allow them to set seed, you can enjoy the flowers for a very brief time. You can keep harvesting the rhubarb stalks while the plant flowers – the quality of the produce does not suffer. If the plants set seed, however, the energy that would be devoted to the creation of delicious stalks is then diverted to the seeds, which you don’t want. You’ll end up with smaller stalks as a result. So if you want flowers AND yummy stalks, watch carefully to remove the blooms at just the right time.

  • 1 pound of fresh rhubarb yields about 3 cups chopped or 2 cups cooked

R

Friday, September 10, 2021

>1 Minute Reading Time

  • In early Christian artwork, raspberries were used to symbolize kindness.

  • Most raspberries are red, but some are actually white, yellow, or black.

  • Raspberries and blackberries are called aggregate fruit. They are made up of hundreds of little fruits. Each one contains a seed.

  • Until 2015, raisin farmers in the United States had to set aside a certain amount of raisins to the “national raisin reserve.” There is even a Raisin Administrative Committee to enforce the law. This was done to control the price of raisins. U.S. raisin farmers aren't allowed to sell all the raisins they grow; they must contribute to a "national raisin reserve" if supply exceeds demand. The Raisin Administrative Committee is currently pursuing a legal vendetta against farmer Marvin Horne for refusing to contribute to the reserve and selling all of his raisins instead. This isn't as crazy as it sounds; most fruit growers sell according to rules set by associations intended to offset market fluctuation and protect their economic interests. But raisins are naturally more reservable than fresh, perishable fruit — & the RAC seems hell-bent on getting this raisin outlaw to toe the line.

  • The leaves of the rhubarb plant are extremely poisonous. The leaves contain kidney-damaging and potentially fatal amounts of oxalic acid, "a chemical compound found in bleach, metal cleaners and anti-rust products." But the stalks are totally safe to eat, which, thank goodness, because they sure make tasty pie.

Quince

Thursday, September 2, 2021

~2.5 Minutes Reading Time

  • Because apples were unknown in the ancient world, a quince might well have tempted Eve, and the golden apples of the Hesperides, given to Aphrodite by Paris of Troy, were probably quinces, too.

  • Quince is best known for its strong, tropical, and fruity aroma. This fruit was an inevitable part of wedding ceremonies in ancient Greece. Bride consumed quince to ensure pleasantly smelling, "perfumed lips".

  • Ancient Greeks associated the quince with fertility, and it played an important role in wedding celebrations. It was offered as a gift, used to sweeten the bride’s breath before entering the bridal chamber, and shared by the bride and groom. Thanks to these associations, the quince has become known as the “fruit of love, marriage, and fertility.”

  • In Greece, quince was sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility.

  • Quince was popular and often consumed in ancient Rome. Romans usually prepared quince by mixing it with honey and leek.

  • The alchemist and confectioner Nostradamus left several written recipes for quince compote in his book. His writings explained that chefs who peeled the fruit before cooking it did not know what they were doing, as the skin actually accentuates the smell of the fruit.

  • In the Middle Ages, quince was highly valued. It was often served at tables of monarchs and aristocrats, who ate it at banquets and luxury culinary events as a sign of their greatness.

  • The medicinal qualities of quince have been appreciated to be true since ancient times. Shakespeare wrote that quince was the “stomach’s comforter.”

  • Quince is a small tree that can reach 16 to 26 feet in height.

  • Quince develops simple, ovate leaves with smooth margins. They are pale green-colored due to a dense layer of white hairs on the surface. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.

  • Quince produces large, pink, or white individual flowers at the end of the branches. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs.

  • Quince blooms during the spring and summer. Flowers attract bees (natural pollinators), but they are also able to perform self-pollination.

  • The fruit of quince is large pome. The fruit has yellowish-white flesh filled with stone cells and numerous seeds in the middle. The surface of the fruit is covered with yellow skin that has a rough and woolly texture.

  • Quince which grows in the temperate regions produces unpalatable, tart, and astringent fruit that needs to be thermally processed before consumption (high temperatures destroy tannins, bitter compounds). Quince can be consumed in the form of compotes, preserves, jellies, or as an ingredient of dishes made of seafood, poultry, and lamb.

  • Quince which grows in tropical areas produces fruit with soft flesh which tastes like a blend of apple and pear. Tropical quince can be consumed raw.

  • Quince is rich in Vitamins A, B, and C, fiber, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Also, quince is rich in certain organic compounds like catechin, epicatechin, limonene, and various other phytonutrients, all of which contribute to the health benefits of quince.

  • Quince is often used as a rootstock for grafting the pears. Created hybrids remain small in size, but they produce a substantial amount of fruit that reaches maturity more quickly.

  • Turkey is the greatest manufacturer of quince in the world with nearly 128.000 metric tons of fruit produced each year.

  • Health benefits include an ability to help prevent cancer, aid in weight loss, improving digestive health, reducing cholesterol, boosting immune system strength, preventing gastrointestinal diseases, soothing inflammation, increasing the health of your skin, decreasing blood pressure, preventing allergic reactions, & stimulating circulation in the cardiovascular system.

  • Mucus obtained by soaking the seed of quince into the water can be used in the treatment of skin irritation and gastrointestinal discomfort.

  • Quince is a perennial plant that can survive more than 50 years in the wild.

  • The term “marmalade”, originally meaning a quince jam, derives from marmelo, the Portuguese word for this fruit.

P

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

~1.5 Minutes Reading Time

  • Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighboring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favored the acidic, yellow-fleshed cultivars. In China, peach is a symbol of good luck, protection, and longevity.

  • Donut peaches are a natural mutant peach variety, not a human-engineered fruit. And not, alas, a cross between a donut and a peach. But they ARE delicious — firmer and more sweet and fragrant than most boring old spherical peaches. The lil flatties originated in China but have found enthusiastic fans worldwide in recent years.

  • Pear trees can grow up to a whopping 60 feet tall and can be over 300 years old.

  • Pears ripen from the inside out – and are the only fruit to do so.

  • World’s most expensive pear is Buddha shaped pears $9.00 each. These pears look exactly like a Buddha statue, even down to the facial details. A mold was made by Chinese farmer Xianzhang Hao of the Hebei province.

  • The name pomegranate derives from medieval Latin pōmum meaning “apple” and grānātum eaning “seeded.”

  • One pomegranate can hold more than 1,400 seeds or 'arils'. Contrary to the Torah-based myth that every pomegranate has 613 seeds.

  • Pomegranates are high in vitamin C, K, folate, and fiber.

  • Pumpkin seeds contain more protein than an equal amount of ground beef. Broccoli also has more protein per calorie than steak. Guess those vegetarians and vegans were on to something.

  • Peppers are great even if most people use them as a spice rather than using them as a food. A little-known fact about cayenne peppers is that they can promote the clotting of blood over wounds. According to experts, you can sprinkle some cayenne pepper into a wound where it will act as gauze. This will help stop the bleeding. Eating cayenne pepper can also help equalize blood pressure and promote clotting from the inside. That means it doesn’t matter if you eat it or literally put it on the wound, it will help it heal faster.

  • In October 1995, NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison collaborated to help grow the first vegetable to be grown in space: potatoes.

  • The shiniest living thing on Earth is an African fruit known as pollia condensate

  • Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows papayas to market and sell.

  • Consuming passion fruit might help with falling asleep and lowering anxiety levels.

Pineapples

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

~1.5 Minutes Reading Time

  • Pineapples regenerate! You can plant pineapple leaves to grow a new plant. You can grow a pineapple by twisting the crown off a store-bought pineapple, allowing it to air dry for a few days, and then planting it.

  • Is that pineapple in your kitchen ripening too slowly? Stand it on the spiky end. Pineapples are actually berries and it’s ripening can be speeded up by making it stand upside down (leafy side down).

  • Pineapple has protein bromelain that degrades meat. So, if you put a piece of pineapple somewhere in your mouth it will start eating you.

  • A pineapple is not an "apple" it is actually a berry.

  • Each pineapple plant only produces one pineapple per year.

  • Most fruits develop in 3 to 4 months, but it takes about 18 months to two years for a pineapple to grow to its full size.

  • The name "pineapple" came from European explorers who thought the fruit looked like a pinecone with flesh like an apple.

  • Canned pineapple was first made in 1901 but wasn't widely available until engineer Henry Ginaca invented a machine in 1911 that could remove the outer shell, inner core, and both ends of 100 pineapples in less than a minute! This machine, known as the "Ginaca machine", is still used in pineapple canneries today.

  • You can't put fresh pineapple in Jell-O because the bromelain content prevents gelatin from setting. Canned pineapple, on the other hand, can be added to Jell-O because the canning process destroys the bromelain.

  • The pineapple is a combination of many individual flowers, or berries fused together around a core. Pineapples contain about 75% of the daily recommended amount of manganese for strong bones. It takes three years for a pineapple to mature.

  • Believe it or not, it’s absolutely true. A little-known fact about pineapple is that it contains an enzyme called bromelain. If you read other sources they all say pretty much the same things. This enzyme breaks down proteins in your mouth, namely your taste buds. This can wreck your palate for the rest of the day until your mouth can heal itself. A fun fact that a lot of people throw around is that the enzyme bromelain is used in meat tenderizers. Pineapple is a fruit and that means it’s great for you, but you should probably let a freshly sliced pineapple sit in the fridge for a bit before eating it so the enzymes can break down.

  • As pineapples were so expensive in colonial times, people would simply rent these flavorful fruits and show them off to others as a sign of wealth.

O

Monday, August 9, 2021

<1 Minutes Reading Time

  • Onions can make you cry and make your breath smell terrible. Believe it or not, the reason onions do those things are the exact same reason why onions are good for you. Onions contain over 100 sulfide-containing compounds. These contain a number of health benefits such as the prevention of asthma and some types of cancer. Onions are related to leeks, garlic, chives, and scallions. While they don’t all have the same level of health benefits, they do all have similar health benefits.

  • Olives are actually fruits and their trees can be old – really old – standing tall for more than 1,500 years.

Oranges

Sunday, August 1, 2021

<2 Minutes Reading Time

  • The color orange is named after the orange fruit. Before orange made its way from China to Europe, yellow-red was called simply that: yellow-red, or even just red. Orange peel can be used by gardeners to sprinkle over vegetables as a slug repellent.

  • Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world.

  • Brazil is the leading orange-producing country in the world while Florida and California together produce nearly 25 billion pounds of oranges each year!

  • Florida oranges may be greener than California oranges because the night temperatures in Florida are warmer, which causes more chlorophyll to migrate into the peel; they are still ripe and sweet though.

  • There is more fiber in an orange than in most other fruits and veggies.

  • Technically the orange is a berry called hesperidium, indicating that the fruit has sections and grows on evergreen trees.

  • The peels of oranges contain essential oils that are used aromatherapy, cleaning products, and cooking.

  • Contrary to what most of us think, this fruit was not named for its color. Instead, the word orange comes from a transliteration of the Sanskrit 'naranga', which comes from the Tamil 'naru', which means "fragrant."!

  • The peel of an orange fruit has four times more fiber than the actual fruit. There are also a significant amount of antioxidants in the peel too. You can get some of those benefits by grating some peel into your next meal. Wonder if candied peels count too?

  • In sub-tropical growing regions (like Brazil, the country that grows the most oranges in the world) there are never temperatures cold enough to break down the chlorophyll in the fruit's skin, which means it may still be yellow or green even when it's ripe. But because American consumers can't fathom such a phenomenon, imported oranges get treated with ethylene gas to get rid of the chlorophyll and turn them orange.

  • This also means that Florida oranges tend to be yellower than California oranges, because they're grown further south.

  • Orange peels have over four times the amount of fiber of the actual fruit. It also contains more antioxidants than the actual fruit. The only downside is that it’s difficult to find a way to eat it. The best way is to grate it up like cheese into an orange zest. You can use that to season all sorts of foods. This is how they make orange chicken in Chinese restaurants. Not bad for a part of the fruit that almost everyone simply throws away.

  • If you plant a single orange seed, you’ll probably get more than one plant from it.

  • Some oranges-mainly those grown in tropical areas of land-are green and/or yellow in color

Nopal

Saturday, July 24, 2021

<1 Minutes Reading Time

  • Nopal, commonly referred to as “prickly pear cactus” in English, is a staple in Mexican dishes. Nopales have citrus and tart flavor characteristics, making them easy to use in a side dish or to include in the main course. The high liquid content allows you to avoid adding liquid when making a stir fry. Nopales can also be consumed raw. Popular Mexican nopal dishes include huevos con nopales, and tacos de nopales.

  • Nopal plants are easily shareable. All you need to do is find a friend or neighbor with a nopal plant, cut off a piece and plant it in your own yard. This is a popular tradition among Mexican families and is an easy addition to any garden.

  • Nopal plants spout twice a year: in the spring and the fall. This is the best time to eat fresh nopal, as they are at their juiciest.

  • It’s one of the most drought-tolerant vegetables. With water conservation of rising concern, growing drought-tolerant plants for consumption is more important and popular than ever. Nopales are a darling of drought tolerance and only need to be watered once a month!

N

Friday, July 16, 2021

~1 Minutes Reading Time

  • Nectarines can be a pale white color, instead of their typical yellow, on the inside.

  • A nectarine (Prunus persica variety nectarina) is a fuzzless variety of peach. Fuzziness is a dominant trait of peaches. The expression of a recessive allele is thought to be responsible for the smooth skin of nectarine fruits, which lack the fuzzy trichomes (plant hairs) characteristic of peach fruits.

  • Occasionally when peach trees are crossed or even self pollinated they will produce some fruit whose seeds will grow into nectarine trees and others which will be peach trees. Nectarines will sometimes appear on peach trees, and peaches sometimes appear on nectarine trees!

  • It is impossible to tell which seeds from nectarine trees will produce nectarine bearing trees, so commercial growers take branches which produce nectarines and graft them onto peach trees. The branches will continue to produce nectarines.

  • In appearance, nectarine trees are the same as peach trees, and are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Tree size and shape, leaves, and even buds look the same. Nectarines, however, are smaller and smooth skinned (looking more like plums), golden yellow with large blushes of red (ripe fruit looks the same as unripe - the color does not change significantly, but they do get sweeter and softer). Their yellow flesh has a noticeable pink tinge, with a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavor.

  • There are over 100 varieties of nectarine, both freestone and clingstone varieties, the same as for peaches. (Freestones flesh separates from the 'pit' easily, while clingstones cling to the 'pit'). Nectarines are more delicate than peaches, bruising very easily.

  • Nectarines, like peaches, probably originated in China over 2,000 years ago and were cultivated in ancient Persia, Greece and Rome. They spread via the Silk Road and were grown in Great Britain in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, and were introduced to America by the Spanish.

  • Today, California grows over 95% of the nectarines produced in the United States.

  • The name ‘nectarine’ comes from the sweet food the gods eat, sweet as ‘nectar’.

M

Thursday, July 8, 2021

<10 Seconds Reading Time

  • Miracle fruit is a fruit that, when eaten, causes sour foods to taste sweet for at least an hour or two after consumption.

  • The mangosteen is known as the “queen of fruits.”

Mangos

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

<30 Seconds Reading Time

  • The world’s most popular fruit? The mango.

  • Orangutans love eating mangoes! Mangoes are the most loved and the No 1 fruit in the world.

  • Mangoes were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago. In fact, the paisley pattern which was first developed there is based on the shape of a mango. The Mango fruit is highly prized among the Tamil culture, as it is a symbol of health, peace and prosperity.

  • Mangos are known as “the King of Fruit” throughout most of the world.

  • A mango tree can grow to be 100 feet tall.

L

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

<30 Seconds Reading Time

  • According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory (RBTI), the lemon is the ONLY food in the world that is anionic (an ion with a negative charge). All other foods are cationic (the ion has a positive charge.) This makes it extremely useful to health as it is the interaction between anions and cations that ultimately provides all cell energy.

  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.

  • Lemons are a cross between sour oranges and citrons.

  • Most lime species are natives of Asia.

  • The loganberry is a mix of blackberries and raspberries.

  • The seeds of lychee are poisonous and should not be consumed.

Kiwis

Monday, June 14, 2021

<15 Seconds Reading Time

  • A kiwi fruit has twice as much vitamin C as an orange.

  • Kiwi fruits are actually berries and grow like grapes on vines that can be up to 6 feet tall.

  • The tangy, fuzzy fruit is also rich in potassium and copper.

  • Kiwi fruits were originally called “melonettes”

  • Kiwis, at one time, were known as Chinese Gooseberries.

Jackfruits

Sunday, June 6, 2021

<10 Seconds Reading Time

  • The jackfruit has been determined to be the largest tree fruit in the world. The jackfruit can weigh as much as 100 pounds. There has been jackfruit that has grown as tall as 4 feet in height!

Honeydews

Saturday, May 29, 2021

<30 Seconds Reading Time

  • The honeydew was revered as a sacred food by the ancient Egyptians.

  • Napoleon and Pope John Paul II both considered Honeydew melons their favorite fruit. 

  • Honeydews were first cultivated in Persia and northern Africa nearly 4,000 years ago, and later by ancient Greeks and Romans. Introduced to western and northern Europe during the Middle Ages, melons were harvested by the Spaniards and later the French and British. Christopher Columbus brought over the first honeydew seeds to North America on his second expedition. The honeydew melon was introduced to California by Spanish missionaries in 1683. 

  • Honeydew is the American name for the cultivar White Antibes that has been grown for many years in southern France and Algeria.

  • The honeydew is considered the sweetest melon.

  • Honey Dew melons are also known as “Temptation Melons.”

  • The ancient Egyptians considered honeydew (melon) to be a sacred fruit.

Grapefruits

Friday, May 21, 2021

<45 Seconds Reading Time

  • Taking a prescription cholesterol drug? Stay away from grapefruit, which contains an enzyme that can negate the drug’s effects. Drinking Grapefruit juice while taking some prescription medications can cause instant overdose and death.

  • Persons taking certain prescription drugs have to be careful what fruit they consume. Eating a grapefruit, which is a good source of Vitamin C, can become life-threatening. Since the grapefruit contains compounds which change how your body metabolizes certain drugs, the body can absorb larger amounts of the drug than is beneficial, which can cause medical problems and death.

  • Grapefruit can cause dangerous reactions with some prescription medications. From the New York Times, last year: "For 43 of the 85 drugs now on the list, consumption with grapefruit can be life-threatening, Dr. Bailey said. Many are linked to an increase in heart rhythm, known as torsade de pointes, that can lead to death."

  • "Under normal circumstances, the drugs are metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract, and relatively little is absorbed, because an enzyme in the gut called CYP3A4 deactivates them. But grapefruit contains natural chemicals called furanocoumarins, that inhibit the enzyme, and without it the gut absorbs much more of a drug and blood levels rise dramatically."

Grapes

Thursday, May 13, 2021

<1 Minute Reading Time

  • About 71% of the world’s grapes are used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, and 2% are used to make raisins.

  • It takes about 1,1 kg (2.5 pounds) of grape for the production of one bottle of wine.

  • Grapes don’t always grow in perfect bunches like the ones at the grocery store. They can actually group together in clusters that range from 6 to 300 grapes.

  • Grapes, when heated in a microwave, will actually explode.

Figs

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • Want calcium but don’t like milk? Try a half-cup of figs, which has as much calcium as a half-cup of milk.

  • Figs have a 55% natural sugar content, making them the sweetest of all fruits.

  • Figs are believed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest cultivated fruit consumed by humans. Figs are high in fiber, iron, and potassium. Fig Newton cookies have been around since 1891, a testament to the popularity of figs. Sumerian tablets dated all the way from 2500 B.C. show the use of figs for cooking. Neolithic sites from 5000 B.C. revealed remains of fig trees during excavations. Fig trees can easily live 100 years!

E

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

<10 Seconds Reading Time

Eggplants are actually fruits and not veggies. In fact, they are botanically known as berries.

Facts Brought to You by the Letter D

Monday, April 19, 2021

Reading Time

  • Dragon Fruit is full of vitamin C and is even said to help reduce acne.

  • Durian: Indonesia and Malaysia are home to the durian which is known as the ‘king of fruits in many South Asian countries. This fruit is covered in little spikes and is said to smell horrendous, which can smell like a combination of rotten eggs, sweaty socks, wet garbage, and underlying notes of sweetness. . In some places, like Japan and Thailand, it is unlawful to keep the durian fruit in public because of its pungent odor.

C Our Fun Facts

Sunday, April 11, 2021

<2 minute reading time

  • The African horned cucumber is one of the oldest fruits, with its origin of over 3,000 years ago in Africa. It is also called the ‘blowfish fruit’ because of its spine covered yellow outer shell. People use the juice of the African horned cucumber for eczema and renal problems.

  • A cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit.

  • The COCO DE MER palm tree has the earth’s largest fruit, weighing 42 kg and seeds weighing 17 kg.

  • The European cantaloupe and the American cantaloupe, are both cantaloupe but they are totally different fruits. The European cantaloupe has a smooth gray-green skin while the American cantaloupe has a tough net-like skin.

  • Cantaloupe originated in ancient times in India and Africa but soon found their way to Europe.

  • Cantaloupe is named for the papal gardens of Cantaloupe, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown.

  • Cantaloupe was first introduced to North America by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1494.

  • Cantaloupe is the most popular melon in the United States.

  • Cantaloupes are in the lead for most popular melon in the U.S.

  • In several English-speaking countries, including “Down under” in Australia, cantaloupes are actually referred to as Rockmelons. They are also considered a luxury and are commonly given as gifts in Japan!

  • Coconuts are an extremely popular fruit which contains antioxidants and many vitamins and minerals. The name coconut comes from 16th century Portuguese sailors. It is believed that the three holes on the coconut resembled a face, so the fruit was honored with the word ‘coco,’ meaning ‘grin’ or ‘grinning face.’ The nut part was added later on with the English language.

  • Chilli Peppers are often used as a spice, but they have the power to promote wound healing and blood clotting. Cayenne pepper helps regulate blood pressure and heal injuries. Whether you eat cayenne pepper or sprinkle it into a wound, it will help you heal faster. Pepper power to the rescue!

  • Coffee beans are the pit of a berry, and thus a fruit. Coffee has psychoactive properties and can make you hallucinate. 100 cups of coffee can give the human body a lethal dose of caffeine.

  • Cherry farmers hire helicopter pilots to air-dry their trees after it rains so that the cherries don't split open. Pilots get paid hundreds of dollars a day to be on stand-by during the summer in case it rains and trees need an emergency blow-drying. It sounds ridiculous, but it's worth it for farmers who raise the delicate, expensive fruit. The job is dangerous; pilots are often injured in orchard crashes.

  • Cherries are said to help calm one’s nervous system.

Cranberries

Saturday, April 3, 2021

~1 minute reading time

  • Cranberries don't actually grow underwater.

  • Despite what you might imagine based on those Ocean Spray commercials, it's only at harvest time that sandy cranberry bogs are artificially flooded with water. Cranberries have air pockets inside that let them float, which makes them easy to pick en masse.

  • But that's only for berries that are destined to be juice, jelly, Craisins, etc. Whole fresh cranberries — the kind you buy in bags at Thanksgiving — are never flooded, instead getting "dry-harvested" by picking machines that comb the berries out.

  • This magic property (which is thanks to the same air pockets that lets cranberries float) was discovered in 1880 by the compellingly named cranberry innovator John "Peg Leg" Webb, who dropped a bunch of cranberries down the stairs. Growers today actually still test berries' athletic abilities to determine their quality, and sort them accordingly, with a tool called the "bounce board separator" — the higher the bounce, the better the berry.

B Side Facts

Friday, March 26, 2021

~1 minute reading time

  • In many countries around the world, Brussels sprouts reign as the least enjoyable vegetable out there. Some claim that their bitter flavor prevents true enjoyment and cooking them to remove the bitterness is more of an art than a skill. What you likely don’t know is that Brussels sprouts are among the most nutritious veggies out there. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, has virtually no calories, no fat, no cholesterol, and it even fills you up. You can find a variety of recipes that help deal with the occasionally bitter flavor but you should definitely try to pack more of these puppies into your diet.

  • Broccoli got a bad rap a few years ago when President George W Bush proclaimed that he would never eat it again. Sadly, that was probably a bad move because broccoli is actually quite good for you. Aside from the usual nutrition one garners from eating veggies, broccoli in general has a great deal of protein. Calorie for calorie, there is more protein in broccoli than steak. Since it doesn’t come with all those saturated and trans fats or cholesterol, you can get all the protein you need with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Let’s not forget all of the other awesome nutrition it provides. Pumpkin seeds are also a good choice as they have more protein than a similar amount of ground beef.

  • Blueberries were called “star berries” by Native Americans because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape.

  • Blackberry juice was used to dye clothes.

  • There are more than 1,000 known species of blackberries.

Banana Facts

Thursday, March 18, 2021

~3 minutes reading time

  • Bananas can cheer up your mood! They are the only fruit that contains amino acids, tryptophan plus Vitamin B6, which together help the body produce serotonin. So, if you are ever feeling down, make sure to eat a banana. It’s a win-win.

  • Humans and bananas have 50% of the same DNA.

  • Bananas are a natural antacid. Feeling a bit of heartburn? Down a banana and you’ll feel better. Bananas are also a great way to chase away muscle cramps, thanks to their potassium content.

  • Want your bananas to ripen more quickly? Put them in a brown paper bag with a tomato.

  • Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world: in fact, over 100 billion bananas are eaten around the world every year, and around 51% of these are eaten at breakfast time.

  • Horticulturists believe bananas to have originated up to 10,000 years ago and some scientists believe they may have been the world’s first fruit.

  • A banana is not a fruit, it is a herb! Bananas are considered an herb in botanical terms because it never forms a woody stem (or trunk) the way a tree does. Rather, it forms a succulent stalk, or pseudostem.

  • Being easy to digest and highly nutritious, these are the first fruits offered to babies.

  • There are over 100 different kinds of bananas and not all of them are yellow. Some varieties are actually red.

  • It is also the most interesting fruit in the world.

  • In the 1950s, a disease called the Panama Disease all but wiped out an entire species of banana which motivated farmers to use the Cavendish banana which we all eat today. The bananas we eat are actually all cloned from a single banana plant in southeast Asia which means that every single banana is exactly the same banana.

  • There are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas in nature but most of them are not good to eat. Most bananas sold in stores today are the Cavendish Banana chosen because of its resistance to a fungal disease. Although it is resistant to that one disease, it is now being threatened by others and because of a lack of genetic diversity, the entire banana species is at risk of being eradicated.

  • Bananas, as we know them, are in danger of being completely wiped out by disease. Despite the fact that there are more than 1,000 banana varieties on earth, almost every single imported banana on the commercial market belongs to a single variety, called the Cavendish. These bananas became dominant throughout the industry in the 1960s because they were resistant to a fungal disease (called Panama Race One) that wiped out what had previously been the most popular banana, the Gros Michel. But signs point, pretty convincingly, to the Cavendish's own demise within the next decade. Here's why:

  • Cavendish bananas are sterile and seedless, so they reproduce asexually (through suckers that grow off the "mother" plant), meaning that each plant is genetically identical.

  • This lack of genetic diversity makes all Cavendish bananas vulnerable to the threat of Tropical Race Four, a new, even more, devastating fungal disease.

  • Race Four has already wiped out Cavendish bananas throughout Asia and Australia. Most growers view it as only a matter of time before the disease makes its way to Latin America, where it will make short work of the plantations that supply North American consumers.

  • If you're interested to know more, read this fascinating 2011 New Yorker report on growers' efforts to cope with Race Four, or check out journalist Dan Koeppel's book Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. And then eat a banana while tears stream down your face.

  • Bananas get artificially ripened (after being shipped) to one of seven "shades" of ripeness. Bananas are shipped green because they're too delicate and perishable otherwise, so distribution facilities use extremely precise storage technology to then trick bananas into ripening before they go to market.

  • "The most popular shades are between 2.5 and 3.5, but much depends on the retailer’s size and target market. The grocery chain Fairway, which sources its bananas from Banana Distributors of New York, expects to hold bananas for a couple of days, and will therefore buy greener bananas than a smaller bodega that turns its stock over on a daily basis. 'Street vendors,' Rosenblatt notes, as well as shops serving a mostly Latin American customer base, 'like full yellow.'"

  • The Banana Distributors of New York in the Bronx is one of just three facilities that process about 2 million bananas each week for all of New York City's stores and vendors.

  • Bananas are a favorite fruit around the world. It tastes good, it’s high in potassium, and it’s delicious when placed in a dish with ice cream and chocolate syrup.

5 A+ Fruity Facts

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

  1. According to one study, avocados are the most nutritious fruits in the world.

  2. Avocados contain the most fat of any fruit or vegetable on the planet. Since avocado trees release an enzyme that prevents the fruit from maturing fully while on the tree, farmers can use the trees to store avocados until ready to go to market.

  3. Avocado leaves can prove fatal to various types of birds.

4. The almond is a member of the peach family and is not actually a nut.

5. The Asian Pear is sometimes referred to as a Nashi. Because of their texture, they are sometimes referred to as Apple pears, but they’re not related to apples. Even though it looks like a cross between an apple and a pear, the resemblance is only skin deep.

Apples

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

~2 minutes reading time

  • Apples float because 25% of their mass is air.

  • An apple tree will start bearing fruit 8-10 years after it is planted.

  • The average apple tree produces 400 apples each year.

  • There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples cultivated around the world and none of them are native to America. Actually, they’re said to have originated from Kazakhstan.

  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.

  • The apple is the official state fruit of Washington, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

  • The apple is popularly known as the supposed forbidden fruit of Eden. But this is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible! Contrary to popular belief, there is no mention of an apple as the forbidden fruit in the Bible. It is referred to as "fruit from the Tree of Knowledge" with no specification as to which kind of fruit. It was Hugo van der Goes who first implicated the apple as the forbidden fruit in his 1470 A.D. painting, 'The Fall of Man'. After that, it became popular to depict the apple as the forbidden fruit.

  • There is a classic story that Sir Isaac Newton came up with his law of gravity when an apple fell on his head.

  • In Chinese culture, the word for apples is pronounced as ‘ping’ which also stands for peace. This is why apples are a popular gift to give when visiting someone in China.

  • Eating an apple is a more reliable method of staying awake than consuming a cup of coffee as it gives you more energy. The natural sugar in an apple is more potent than the caffeine in coffee.

  • Apples are a member of the rose family of plants along with pears, peaches, plums, and cherries.

  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.

  • Every American eats 19.6 pounds of apples every year.

  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.

  • The apple you're eating might be a year old. Apples are one of those fruits that are available for sale year-round, even though the actual season for harvesting is rather short. Apples are for sale in grocery stores and farmers' markets year-round, even though their harvesting season (at least in the U.S.) only lasts a few months in the fall. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated cold storage technology, apples are able to be stored and preserved, between the gap of being harvested and actually making it to market. So in short, an apple purchased and eaten today may actually be up to a year old. It's possible (and/or likely) that the crisp, juicy apple you're eating in August 2020 was actually harvested in October 2019.

  • Apples increase mental alertness, thanks to their high levels of boron. Eating an apple will deliver a more healthy energy boost, than drinking a cup of coffee. Thanks to its high carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral content, apples have the perfect storm of nutrition to help you stay energized all day.

  • Apples are also a member of the rose family. If you ever don’t feel like paying for a dozen roses, just get a dozen apples … basically the same thing!

  • People were pretty serious about playing catch in ancient Greece. If a boy tossed an apple at a girl it was seen as a marriage proposal. If she caught it, she accepted.

  • Applesauce was the first food eaten in space by an American astronaut.

  • The longest unbroken apple peel was as long as an Olympic-sized pool.

Did You Know?

Monday, February 22, 2021

~20 seconds reading time

  1. The stickers placed on fruits are made out of edible paper, meaning that they are, technically, able to be consumed.

  2. Some fruits that most people haven’t ever heard of–but are worth learning more about–include the following: cotton candy grapes, lemon cucumbers, kiwi berries, cherimoya, jackfruit, pomelo, water apples, etc.

3. Some nutritionists call guavas a “superfruit.” Others under this title include apples, bananas, grapefruit, citrus fruits, and cantaloupe.

4. Bananas, like apples and watermelons, can float.

5. When put in a bowl with bananas, pears will ripen faster than normal.

25 Fruity Facts

Sunday, February 14, 2021

~7 1/2 minutes reading time

  1. The study of fruits is called POMOLOGY.

  2. Fruits are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin C), and antioxidants. A lot of people knew this one already but what they don’t know are the benefits of fiber. It can help keep your bowel movements regular, help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and help you feel fuller for longer. Pretty much all of those things can lead to you feeling healthier, losing weight, and eating less bad food.

  3. Red-colored fruits keep your heart strong.

  4. Orange -colored fruits tend to keep your eyes healthy.

  5. Yellow-colored fruits prevent you from getting sick.

  6. Green-colored fruits help in making your bones and teeth strong.

  7. Dark green veggies have more vitamin C when compared to light-colored veggies.

  8. Purple and blue fruits help enhance memory. A new fad among chefs around the industry are purple vegetables. In some grocery stores you can find a lot of vegetables in purple including carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, corn, and asparagus. Purple vegetables have anthocyanins. Early studies suggest that this flavanoid has a lot of health benefits such as the prevention of heart disease, some cancers, improved general health, and could even protect our brains as we age. If you find some purple veggies, give them a try because they’re pretty awesome. You can also find anthocyanins in high quantities in blackberries.

  9. In most cases, the outside of the fruit or vegetable in question is more nutritious than the inside. The stalk, rind or skin of a fruit is typically more nutritious than the actual fruit. So, if you peel your fruits before eating them, you may be making a nutritional mistake. On many fruits and veggies such as carrots, apples, and cucumbers, a good percentage of the nutrition is actually stored in the skin. That means when you peel them, you’re actually peeling away nutritious benefit. The skins also contain a lot of fiber and we’ve already talked about all the great things that fiber can do.

  10. Dried fruits are delicious, but can be higher in calories than fresh fruits as the process of drying reduces the water content and volume. Enjoy, but in moderation.

  11. Apples, cherries, apricots, pears, plums, peaches and raspberries are all members of the rose family.

  12. Pumpkins and avocados are not vegetables. They are fruits.

  13. In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering. In common language usage, “fruit” normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour, and edible in the raw state, such as apples, bananas, grapes, lemons, oranges, and strawberries. Many botanical fruits are known as vegetables in common language such as tomato, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, cucumber, olives, beans, green beans, and peas. Also, botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, rice, or wheat, is also a kind of fruit.

  14. Blackberries and strawberries are not technically berries as they are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds including, the tomato, pumpkin and watermelon.

  15. There’s a tree called SALAD TREE that sprouts 3 to 7 different fruits in the same tree.

  16. Grapes, once picked, are unable to ripen. This is unlike the banana or orange, which are typically picked green, and then allowed to ripen in warehouses.

  17. Most commercial fruits shown for sale at supermarkets are clones. Which, when you actually look at supermarket displays of perfectly identical apples and oranges and peaches, isn't that shocking. This genetic manipulation of fruit is caused through grafting, so that customers are able to purchase fruit they have a consistent look and taste. Producers want specific varieties of fruit, called cultivars (say, Fuji apples or Bosc pears) to remain perfectly consistent, without all the unpredictable genetic mutations you get with old-fashioned sexual reproduction (pollinating flowers, planting seeds, and seeing what the heck comes up). If natural pollination occurred, the fruit for sale might be more like picking from a box of chocolates. There would be a lot more unexpected results!

  18. The clone tree armies are grown by grafting. If you ate a Macintosh apple and planted the seed, the tree it grew would produce apples that looked and tasted nothing like Macintoshes. So, instead of planting seeds, growers attach a cutting from the genetically desirable tree onto an existing branch or sapling (called the "rootstock") so that the grafted bit produces apples genetically identical to those on the tree it was cut from. If you look closely at the tree in the photo, you can see that there are multiple types of apples on the different branches, all grafted onto one rootstock tree.

  19. With seedless fruit, like some citrus, the necessity of grafting is even more extreme: Since the trees don't produce seeds (originally a genetic mutation that was noticed and propagated because it's so darn convenient), they're incapable of reproducing without being cloned by humans.

  20. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that eating fruits and veggies are required for a truly healthy diet. However, a little known fact is that some fruits and veggies contain toxic chemicals. The most widely known toxin in fruits is cyanide. Cyanide is a toxin found in certain fruits, like apples, peaches, apricots, and cassava roots. Potatoes contain occasionally harmful amounts of a toxin called solanine, which can cause paralysis, hallucinations, or death. There are rarely enough in potatoes to cause harm and farmers grow them in a specific manner to keep the toxin low. Even so, if you’ve consumed any of these fruits or veggies, you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re not from pesticides for once. Thankfully, you can consume these plants without worrying, as the toxin levels are very low.

  21. People who have an allergy to latex are more likely to be allergic to mangoes and kiwis.

  22. Grapes and raisins can be fatal to dogs and other pets as it can cause kidney failure.

  23. Japanese Yubari cantaloupes are the most expensive fruit in the world; two melons once sold at auction for $23,500. People in Japan pay astronomical prices for luxury fruit like tattooed apples and coddled cantaloupes, usually given as gifts. Demand has dropped in recent years, but the numbers are still pretty staggering.

  24. It’s a wildly popular rumor that frozen veggies and fruits aren’t as nutritious as their frozen counterparts. This simply isn’t true. Studies by the FDA have confirmed that any decrease in nutrition from freezing vegetables is negligible at best. So you can eat it fresh, frozen, or even drink it and you’ll get the same benefits! Do keep in mind that if you drink it, it has to be 100% juice. A brand with only 10% is obviously not going to be more nutritious.

  25. There is a long-standing myth out there that you can eat some fruits and vegetables that require more calories to digest than they actually give. Unfortunately, this is total hogwash. There are foods out there that have very few calories. For instance, a stalk of celery has between six and ten calories. There is a metric called TEF (Thermal Effect of Food) that measures how many calories are used to digest food. Generally speaking, it’s only about 10% to 20%. That means a ten-calorie stalk of celery still gives you eight calories even after digestion. Now you know! All fruits and all vegetables are low in calories. You can eat two pounds of vegetables and barely crack 300 calories. This is why you hear nutrition professionals, doctors, and other health-conscious people tell you to eat them for snacks. A back of chips contains fat, oil, and a lot of calories. A pound of carrots contains none of those things. It is absolutely absurd how much fruit and vegetables you can eat before the calories start stacking up. One stalk of celery is about ten calories. For the average 2,000 calorie diet, you would have to consume 200 stalks of celery. Good luck with that!

Honey

Saturday, February 6, 2021

~3 1/2 minutes reading time

Since ancient times, honey has been used as both food and medicine. It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy when used instead of refined sugar, which is 100% empty calories.

1. Honey Contains Some Nutrients:

Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. It contains virtually no fiber, fat, or protein. It also contains trace amounts — under 1% of the RDI — of several vitamins and minerals, but you would have to eat many pounds to fulfill your daily requirements. Where honey shines is in its content of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Darker types tend to be even higher in these compounds than lighter types.

2. High-Quality Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants

High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Scientists believe that the combination of these compounds gives honey its antioxidant power.

Interestingly, two studies have shown that buckwheat honey increases the antioxidant value of your blood.

Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and some types of cancer. They may also promote eye health.

3. Honey Is “Less Bad” Than Sugar for Diabetics

The evidence on honey and diabetes is mixed. On one hand, it can reduce several risk factors for heart disease common in people with type 2 diabetes. For example, it may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.

However, some studies have found that it can also increase blood sugar levels — just not as much as refined sugar.

While honey may be slightly better than refined sugar for people with diabetes, it should still be consumed with caution. In fact, people with diabetes may do best by minimizing all high-carb foods. Keep in mind, too, that certain types of honey may be adulterated with plain syrup. Although honey adulteration is illegal in most countries, it remains a widespread problem.

4. The Antioxidants in It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it. This is because it contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to lower blood pressure.

Studies in both rats and humans have shown modest reductions in blood pressure from consuming honey.

5. Honey Also Helps Improve Cholesterol

High LDL cholesterol levels is a strong risk factor for heart disease. This type of cholesterol plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Interestingly, several studies show that honey may improve your cholesterol levels. It reduces total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while significantly raising “good” HDL cholesterol.

For example, one study in 55 patients compared honey to table sugar and found that honey caused a 5.8% reduction in LDL and a 3.3% increase in HDL cholesterol. It also led to modest weight loss of 1.3%.

6. Honey Can Lower Triglycerides

Elevated blood triglycerides are another risk factor for heart disease. They are also associated with insulin resistance, a major driver of type 2 diabetes. Triglyceride levels tend to increase on a diet high in sugar and refined carbs.

Interestingly, multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar. For example, one study comparing honey and sugar found 11–19% lower triglyceride levels in the honey group.

7. The Antioxidants in It Are Linked to Other Beneficial Effects on Heart Health

Again, honey is a rich source of phenols and other antioxidant compounds. Many of these have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. They may help the arteries in your heart dilate, increasing blood flow to your heart. They may also help prevent blood clot formation, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, one study in rats showed that honey protected the heart from oxidative stress. All told, there is no long-term human study available on honey and heart health. Take these results with a grain of salt.

8. Honey Promotes Burn and Wound Healing

Topical honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt and is still common today.

A review of 26 studies on honey and wound care found honey most effective at healing partial-thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery.

Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, which are serious complications that can lead to amputation.

One study reported a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment. In another study, topical honey healed a whopping 97% of patients’ diabetic ulcers.

Researchers believe that honey’s healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to nourish surrounding tissue. What’s more, it can help treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis and herpes lesions. Manuka honey is considered especially effective for treating burn wounds.

9. Honey Can Help Suppress Coughs in Children

Coughing is a common problem for children with upper respiratory infections. These infections can affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents. However, mainstream medications for cough are not always effective and can have side effects. Interestingly, honey may be a better choice, and evidence indicates it is very effective. One study found that honey worked better than two common cough medications. Another study found that it reduced cough symptoms and improved sleep more than cough medication.

Vanilla

Friday, January 29, 2021

~15 seconds reading time

  • Its extract contains small amounts of B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. These vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.

  • This condiment spice also contains small traces of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

Raisins

Thursday, January 21, 2021

~2 minutes reading time

Despite their small size, raisins are packed with energy and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Raisins are naturally sweet and high in sugar and calories, but they’re beneficial to our health when eaten in moderation. In fact, raisins can aid digestion, boost iron levels, and keep your bones strong. Raisins contain healthy vitamins and minerals. They are also fat-free and cholesterol-free, high in antioxidants, and an excellent source of fiber. Raisins may help you:

  • relieve constipation

  • prevent anemia

  • build and maintain strong bones

  • protect your teeth

  • lower your risk of cancer and heart disease

Raisins contain enough sugar to give you a burst of energy and are a great addition to a healthy diet for most people.

For endurance athletes, raisins are a great alternative for expensive sports chews and gels. They offer a quick source of much-needed carbohydrates and can help improve your performance. A 2011 study found that raisins were just as effective as a brand of sports jelly beans in improving performance for athletes engaging in moderate- to high-intensity endurance exercise.

Fiber: One-half cup of raisins will give you 3.3 grams of fiber or roughly 10 -24% of your daily needs, depending on your age and gender. Fiber helps aid your digestion by softening and increasing the weight and size of your stool. Bulkier stools are easier to pass and can help prevent constipation. Fiber also helps keep you full for longer because it slows down the emptying of your stomach. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating fibrous foods may help. Fiber also plays a role in cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber is known to decrease levels of the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) type of cholesterol.

Iron: Raisins are a good source of iron. One-half cup of raisins contains 1.3 milligrams of iron. That’s about 7% of the recommended daily amount for most adult females and 16%for adult men. Iron is important for making red blood cells and helping them carry oxygen to the cells of your body. You need to eat enough iron in order to prevent iron-deficiency anemia.

Calcium and boron: Raisins have about 45 milligrams of calcium per 1/2-cup serving. This translates to about 4% of your daily needs. Calcium is essential for healthy and strong bones and teeth. If you’re a postmenopausal woman, raisins are a great snack for you because the calcium helps prevent the development of osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by bone loss that usually occurs as you age.

To add to that, raisins contain a high amount of the trace element boron. Boron works with vitamin D and calcium to keep your bones and joints healthy. It also plays a role in treating osteoporosis.

Antioxidants: Raisins are an exceptional source of naturally occurring chemicals called phytonutrients, such as phenols and polyphenols. These types of nutrients are considered antioxidants. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from your blood and may prevent damage to your cells and DNA. This can lead to diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Antimicrobial compounds: A 2009 study noted that raisins contain phytochemicals that could promote healthy teeth and gums. Phytochemicals present in raisins, including oleanolic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, fight the bacteria in your mouth that lead to cavities. In other words, eating raisins in place of sugary snack foods can actually keep your smile healthy.

Limes

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

~3 minutes reading time

They’re nutritional powerhouses — high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Because limes are loaded with nutrients, they may help boost your immunity, reduce heart disease risk factors, prevent kidney stones, aid iron absorption, and promote healthy skin. Though small, limes are loaded with nutrients — particularly vitamin C. One whole, medium lime (67 grams) provides:

  • Calories: 20

  • Carbs: 7 grams

  • Protein: 0.5 grams

  • Fat: 0.1 grams

  • Fiber: 1.9 grams

  • Vitamin C: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

  • Iron: 2% of the RDI

  • Calcium: 2%% of the RDI

  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI

  • Thiamine: 2% of the RDI

  • Potassium: 1% of the RDI

Limes also contain small amounts of riboflavin, niacin, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Health benefits of limes: Eating lime fruit or drinking lime juice provides a variety of health benefits.

Good source of antioxidants: Antioxidants are important compounds that defend your cells against molecules called free radicals. In high amounts, free radicals can damage your cells, and this damage has been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer.

Limes are high in active compounds that function as antioxidants in your body, including flavonoids, limonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, and ascorbic acid.

May boost immunity: Limes are high in vitamin C, a nutrient that may help boost your immune system.

In test-tube studies, vitamin C helped increase the production of white blood cells, which help protect your body against infections and disease.

In human studies, taking vitamin C helped shorten the duration and severity of colds.

Also, vitamin C could help wounds recover faster by reducing inflammation and stimulating collagen production. Collagen is an essential protein that aids wound repair.

Besides vitamin C, limes are also a great source of antioxidants, which help strengthen your immune system by defending cells against free radical damage.

Could promote healthy skin: Limes have several properties that may promote healthy skin. First, they’re high in vitamin C, which is necessary to make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin firm and strong. A medium lime (67 grams) provides over 20% of the RDI for this nutrient.

For instance, one study in over 4,000 women found that those who ate more vitamin C had a lower risk of wrinkles and dry skin as they aged.

Second, limes are high in antioxidants, which may help combat age-related skin changes. Oxidative stress is a condition resulting from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. It can lead to signs of premature aging.

A mouse study found that drinking a citrus drink positively affected some of these signs by reducing wrinkles and increasing collagen production, for example.

May reduce heart disease risk: Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Research shows that limes may reduce several heart disease risk factors. For starters, limes are high in vitamin C, which may help lower high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Also, vitamin C may protect against atherosclerosis — a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries, making them too narrow.

An animal study found that feeding rabbits lime peels and juice helped slow down the progression of atherosclerosis.

May prevent kidney stones: Kidney stones are small mineral crystals that are often painful to pass. They can form inside your kidneys when your urine is very concentrated or when you have high levels of stone-forming minerals, such as calcium, in your urine. Citrus fruits like limes are high in citric acid, which may prevent kidney stones by raising levels of citrate and binding stone-forming minerals in the urine. One study found that people who ate more citrus fruits had a significantly lower risk of kidney stones.

Increases iron absorption: Iron is an essential nutrient needed to make red blood cells and transport oxygen around your body. Low blood iron levels can cause iron deficiency anemia. Signs of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, trouble breathing during exercise, paleness, and dry skin and hair. People on a vegan or vegetarian diet are at a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia, as plant-based products contain a form of iron that isn’t as well absorbed as the iron from meat and other animal products. Foods high in vitamin C, such as limes, may help prevent iron deficiency anemia by improving the absorption of iron from plant-based foods.

For instance, one study in people following a vegetarian diet found that drinking a glass of lemonade (8.5 ounces or 250 ml) alongside a plant-based meal increased iron absorption by up to 70%.

May lower your risk of certain cancers: Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal cell growth. Citrus fruits have compounds that have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. In particular, flavonoids — which act as antioxidants — may help stop the expression of genes that promote cancer progression.

What’s more, test-tube studies indicate that citrus fruits may suppress the growth or spread of colon, throat, pancreas, breast, bone marrow, lymphomas, and other cancer cells.

Lemons

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

~2 1/2 minutes reading time

Lemons (Citrus limon) are among the world’s most popular citrus fruits. They grow on lemon trees and are a hybrid of the original citron and lime. A great source of vitamin C and fiber, lemons contain many plant compounds, minerals, and essential oils. These yellow fruits also have many potential health benefits. Eating lemons may lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and kidney stones.

Nutrition facts: Lemons contain very little fat and protein. They consist mainly of carbs (10%) and water (88–89%). A medium lemon provides only about 20 calories. The nutrients in 1/2 cup (100 grams) of raw, peeled lemon are:

  • Calories: 29

  • Water: 89%

  • Protein: 1.1 grams

  • Carbs: 9.3 grams

  • Sugar: 2.5 grams

  • Fiber: 2.8 grams

  • Fat: 0.3 grams

Carbs: The carbohydrates in lemons are primarily composed of fibers and simple sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

Fiber: The main fiber in lemons is pectin. Soluble fibers like pectin can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Dietary fibers are an important part of a healthy diet and linked to numerous health benefits.

Vitamins and minerals: Lemons provide several vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C. An essential vitamin and antioxidant, vitamin C is important for immune function and skin health.

  • Potassium. A diet high in potassium can lower blood pressure levels and have positive effects on heart health.

  • Vitamin B6. A group of related vitamins, B6 is involved in converting food into energy.

Other plant compounds: Plant compounds are natural bioactive substances found in plants, some of which have powerful health benefits. The plant compounds in lemons and other citrus fruit may have beneficial effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation. These are the main plant compounds in lemons:

  • Citric acid. The most abundant organic acid in lemons, citric acid may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

  • Hesperidin. This antioxidant may strengthen your blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) inside your arteries.

  • Diosmin. An antioxidant used in some drugs that affect the circulatory system, diosmin improves muscle tone and reduces chronic inflammation in your blood vessels.

  • Eriocitrin. This antioxidant is found in lemon peel and juice.

  • D-limonene. Found primarily in the peel, d-limonene is the main component of lemon essential oils and responsible lemons’ distinct aroma. In isolation, it can relieve heartburn and stomach reflux.

Many of the plant compounds in lemons are not found in high amounts in lemon juice, so it is recommended to eat the whole fruit — excluding the peel — for maximum benefit.

Health benefits of lemons: Citrus fruits, including lemons, are associated with numerous health benefits. Their vitamins and fiber, as well as their powerful plant compounds, are likely responsible.

Heart health: Heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes, is the world’s most common cause of death. Intake of fruits high in vitamin C is linked to reduced heart disease risk. Low levels of vitamin C in the blood are also associated with increased risk of stroke, especially among those who are overweight or have high blood pressure.

Intake of isolated fibers from citrus fruits has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemons can protect LDL (bad) cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized.

Recent studies in rats show that the plant compounds hesperidin and diosmin may have beneficial effects on some key risk factors for heart disease.

Prevention of kidney stones: The citric acid in lemons may reduce your risk of kidney stones.

Some studies have shown that lemon juice and lemonade can be effective at preventing kidney stones, but other studies have found no effect.

Anemia prevention: Anemia is often caused by iron deficiency and most common in pre-menopausal women. Lemons contain small amounts of iron, but they are a great source of vitamin C and citric acid, which can increase the absorption of iron from other foods. Because lemons can enhance the absorption of iron from foods, they may help prevent anemia.

Cancer: Lemons may help reduce the risk of many types of cancers, including breast cancer. This is thought to be due to plant compounds like hesperidin and d-limonene

Pears

Monday, December 28, 2020

~4 1/2 minutes reading time

1. Highly nutritious

Pears come in many different varieties. Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears are among the most popular, but around 100 types are grown worldwide. A medium-sized pear (178 grams) provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 101

  • Protein: 1 gram

  • Carbs: 27 grams

  • Fiber: 6 grams

  • Vitamin C: 12% of the Daily Value (DV)

  • Vitamin K: 6% of DV

  • Potassium: 4% of the DV

  • Copper: 16% of DV

This same serving also provides small amounts of folate, provitamin A, and niacin. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function and energy production, while provitamin A supports skin health and wound healing. Pears are likewise a rich source of important minerals, such as copper and potassium. Copper plays a role in immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function, whereas potassium aids muscle contractions and heart function. What’s more, these fruits are an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants, which protect against oxidative damage. Be sure to eat the whole pear, as the peel boasts up to six times more polyphenols than the flesh.

2. May promote gut health

Pears are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are essential for digestive health. These fibers help maintain bowel regularity by softening and bulking up stool. One medium-sized pear (178 grams) packs 6 grams of fiber — 22% of your daily fiber needs. Additionally, soluble fibers feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. As such, they’re considered prebiotics, which are associated with healthy aging and improved immunity. Notably, fiber may help relieve constipation.

In a 4-week study, 80 adults with this condition received 24 grams of pectin — the kind of fiber found in fruit — per day. They experienced constipation relief and increased levels of healthy gut bacteria.

As pear skin contains a substantial amount of fiber, it’s best to eat this fruit unpeeled. From helping you maintain a healthy weight to reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, eating enough fiber is integral to a well-balanced diet. Not to mention, we're very thankful for the digestive benefits a high-fiber diet provides (fiber makes your poop softer and bulkier, making it easier to go), and we love that we can get over 20 percent of our daily recommended value from a pear.

3. Contain beneficial plant compounds

Pears offer many beneficial plant compounds that give these fruits their different hues. For instance, anthocyanins lend a ruby-red hue to some pears. These compounds may improve heart health and strengthen blood vessels. Though specific research on pear anthocyanins is needed, numerous population studies suggest that a high intake of anthocyanin-rich foods like berries is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Pears with green skin feature lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds necessary to keep your vision sharp, especially as you age. Again, many of these beneficial plant compounds are concentrated in the skin.

4. Have anti-inflammatory properties

Although inflammation is a normal immune response, chronic or long-term inflammation can harm your health. It’s linked to certain illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Pears are a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which help fight inflammation and may decrease your risk of disease.

Several large reviews tie high flavonoid intake to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. This effect may be due to these compounds’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. What’s more, pears pack several vitamins and minerals, such as copper and vitamins C and K, which also combat inflammation.

The vitamin C in pears fight off free radicals, which can put your cells under oxidative stress and lead to chronic disease. This means eating pears, and other foods high in antioxidants, can reduce your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even neurodegenerative diseases like dementia!

5. May offer anticancer effects

Pears contain various compounds that may exhibit anti-cancer properties. For example, their anthocyanin and cinnamic acid contents have been shown to fight cancer.

A few studies indicate that diets rich in fruits, including pears, may protect against some cancers, including those of the lung, stomach, and bladder.

Some population studies suggest that flavonoid-rich fruits like pears may also safeguard against breast and ovarian cancers, making this fruit a particularly smart choice for women. While eating more fruit may reduce your cancer risk, more research is needed.

6. Linked to a lower risk of diabetes

Pears — particularly red varieties — may help decrease diabetes risk.

One large study in over 200,000 people found that eating 5 or more weekly servings of anthocyanin-rich fruits like red pears was associated with a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, a mouse study noted that plant compounds, including anthocyanins, in pear peel exhibited both anti-diabetes and anti-inflammatory effects.

What’s more, the fiber in pears slows digestion, giving your body more time to break down and absorb carbs. This can also help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially helping prevent and control diabetes.

Even though pears have some natural sugar, their high fiber content ensures your blood sugar won't go soaring after eating one (which makes them a perfect on-the-go snack for people with diabetes). Plus, their low-glycemic-index means you won't be hungry minutes after snacking on one.

7. May boost heart health

Pears may lower your risk of heart disease. Their procyanidin antioxidants may decrease stiffness in heart tissue, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. The peel contains an important antioxidant called quercetin, which is thought to benefit heart health by decreasing inflammation and reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

One study in 40 adults with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increases your heart disease risk, found that eating 2 medium pears each day for 12 weeks lowered heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and waist circumference.

A large, 17-year study in over 30,000 women revealed that every daily 80-gram portion of fruit decreased heart disease risk by 6–7%. For context, 1 medium pear weighs around 178 grams.

Furthermore, regular intake of pears and other white-fleshed fruits is thought to lower stroke risk. One 10-year study in over 20,000 people determined that every 25 grams of white-fleshed fruit eaten daily decreased stroke risk by 9%.

According to Harvard Health, eating more fiber-rich foods provides wonderful health benefits. Thought to play a role in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, getting enough fiber in your diet decreases your risk of developing heart disease. Since pears are high in fiber and potassium (which helps counteract excess sodium), they're a great snack to incorporate into a heart-healthy diet!

8. May help you lose weight

Pears are low in calories, high in water, & packed with fiber. This combination makes them a weight-loss-friendly food, as fiber and water can help keep you full.

When full, you’re naturally less prone to keep eating.

In one 12-week study, 40 adults who ate 2 pears daily lost up to 1.1 inches (2.7 cm) off their waist circumference.

Plus, a 10-week study found that women who added 3 pears per day to their usual diet lost an average of 1.9 pounds (0.84 kg). They also saw improvements in their lipid profile, a marker of heart health.

Plums

Sunday, December 20, 2020

~2 1/2 minutes reading time

1. They Contain Many Nutrients

Plums and prunes are impressively high in nutrients. They contain over 15 different vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. Plums are relatively low in calories, but contain a fair amount of important vitamins and minerals. One plum contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 30

  • Carbs: 8 grams

  • Fiber: 1 gram

  • Sugars: 7 grams

  • Vitamin A: 5% of the RDI

  • Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI

  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI

  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI

  • Copper: 2% of the RDI

  • Manganese: 2% of the RDI

Additionally, one plum provides a small amount of B vitamins, phosphorus and magnesium.

2. Plums and Prunes Are Rich in Antioxidants

Plums and prunes are rich in antioxidants, which are helpful for reducing inflammation and protecting your cells from damage by free radicals. They are particularly high in polyphenol antioxidants, which have positive effects on bone health and may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

In fact, some studies have shown that plums contain more than twice the amount of polyphenol antioxidants as other popular fruits, such as nectarines and peaches.

Many lab and animal studies have found the polyphenols in plums and prunes to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, as well as the ability to prevent damage to cells that often leads to disease.

In one test-tube study, the polyphenols in prunes significantly reduced inflammatory markers associated with joint and lung diseases. Anthocyanins, a specific type of polyphenol, appear to be the most active antioxidants found in plums and prunes. They may have powerful health effects, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Yet while all of these findings are promising, more human studies are needed.

3. They May Help Lower Your Blood Sugar

Plums have properties that may help with blood sugar control. Despite being fairly high in carbs, plums and prunes do not appear to cause a substantial rise in blood sugar levels after they’re eaten. This is attributed to their potential to increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in blood sugar regulation.

Additionally, the fiber in plums may be partly responsible for their effects on blood sugar. Fiber slows the rate at which your body absorbs carbs after a meal, causing blood sugar to rise gradually, rather than spike.

What’s more, consuming fruits like plums and prunes is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Plums and Prunes May Benefit Heart Health

Consuming plums and prunes on a regular basis may have a protective effect on heart health. They have been studied for their potential to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are major risk factors for heart disease.

In one study, subjects who drank prune juice and ate three or six prunes each morning for eight weeks were compared to a group that drank only a glass of water on an empty stomach. Those who consumed the prunes and prune juice had significantly lower blood pressure levels, total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol than the group that drank water.

Another study found that men who had been diagnosed with high cholesterol had lower LDL cholesterol levels after consuming 12 prunes daily for eight weeks.

Several animal studies have produced similar results.

Generally, mice fed dried plum powder and plum juice appear to have lower cholesterol levels and increased “good” HDL cholesterol. However, these results cannot be generalized to humans.

The positive effects plums and prunes appear to have on heart disease risk factors are likely due to their high content of fiber, potassium and antioxidants. While the results of these studies are promising, keep in mind that more human research is needed to support the heart-protective effects of plums and prunes.

Honeydew

Saturday, December 12, 2020

~4 minutes reading time

1. Rich in Nutrients

The diverse nutrient profile of honeydew is arguably its most valuable asset. A wedge of honeydew provides more than half the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C and

has about 64 calories and 14 grams of natural fruit sugar. In fact, the various nutrients and plant compounds may be responsible for its many potential health benefits. A 1-cup (177-gram) serving of honeydew melon provides:

  • Calories: 64

  • Carbs: 16 grams

  • Fiber: 1.4 grams

  • Protein: 1 gram

  • Fat: 0 grams

  • Vitamin C: 53% of the reference daily intake (RDI)

  • Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI

  • Folate: 8% of the RDI

  • Vitamin K: 6% of the RDI

  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI

  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI

In addition, the honeydew fruit and seeds also contain compounds with strong antioxidant capacity, including beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), phytoene, quercetin, and caffeic acid.

2. May Help Reduce Blood Pressure

In general, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. More specifically, it’s well established that a low-sodium diet and an adequate potassium intake can positively influence your blood pressure regulation. As honeydew melon is a low-sodium and potassium-rich fruit, it may help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels. If you’re looking to increase your potassium intake, try adding honeydew to your diet. It’s a good source of potassium, with a 1-cup (177-gram) serving providing 12% of the RDI.

3. Contains Nutrients Vital to Bone Health

Honeydew melon contains several nutrients that are vital for repairing and maintaining strong bones, including folate, vitamin K, and magnesium.

In particular, the melon is a good source of folate — with 1 cup (177 grams) providing 8% of the RDI. Folate is essential for the breakdown of homocysteine — elevated levels of which have been linked to reduced bone mineral density over time. Though more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions on the relationship between folate and bone health, eating foods that contain folate, such as honeydew, may promote healthy bones by ensuring homocysteine levels stay within the normal range.

Vitamin K is involved in the production of a major structural protein in the bone known as osteocalcin. Therefore, adequate vitamin K intake is essential for healthy bones. A serving of honeydew provides 6% of the RDI of this vitamin.

In addition, you can meet about 4% of your daily magnesium needs with one serving of honeydew. The cells responsible for building and breaking down bone tissue require magnesium to function properly. Thus, magnesium is another nutrient vital for bone health.

Honeydew also contains small amounts of other bone-supporting nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. While these nutrients are not highly concentrated in honeydew, adding the fruit to your diet can still support your bone health when paired with a balanced diet that includes a variety of other nutrient-dense foods.

4. May Improve Blood Sugar Control

Some research indicates that eating fruits, such as honeydew melon, regularly may promote healthy blood sugar levels.

A recent seven-year study in half a million people found that those who consumed fresh fruit daily were 12% less likely to develop diabetes, compared to those who rarely ate fruit. In those participants who already had diabetes at the beginning of the study, eating fruit at least three times per week led to a 13–28% lower risk of experiencing diabetes-related health complications in addition to a 17% lower risk of premature death. Though honeydew melon contains carbs that can raise your blood sugar temporarily, it also provides fiber and other nutrients that may help improve blood sugar control over time.

5. Rich in Electrolytes and Water

When you think of hydration, the first thing that probably comes to mind is water. However, to effectively and properly hydrate, your body needs more than that — it needs electrolytes, too. Honeydew melon is about 90% water and contains electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. This combination of water and nutrients makes honeydew great for hydrating after a workout, during illness, or if you’re just trying to stay hydrated throughout your day.

6. May Support Healthy Skin

Eating honeydew melon may support healthy skin due to its high vitamin C content. Adequate vitamin C intake is imperative for the proper production of collagen, a major structural protein that’s vital for repairing and maintaining your skin tissue. Additionally, because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, some research indicates that it may protect your skin against sun damage. Honeydew melon is an excellent source of vitamin C — a single cup (177 grams) provides 53% of the RDI. Though you can obtain vitamin C from a variety of foods, eating honeydew is an easy way to quickly meet your daily needs — promoting healthy skin in the process.

7. May Boost Your Immune System

Vitamin C is arguably best known for its role in supporting immune function, and honeydew melon is loaded with it. The human immune system is complex and requires a wide array of nutrients to function properly — vitamin C is a critical component. In fact, research suggests that adequate intake of dietary vitamin C may both prevent and treat various respiratory and systemic infections, such as pneumonia and the common cold. A 1-cup (177-gram) serving of honeydew provides over half of the RDI for vitamin C, making it a great food to add to your diet as you prepare for this year’s cold season.

8. May Promote Proper Digestion

Honeydew melon contains fiber, a nutrient that is well known for improving digestive health. Adequate intake of dietary fiber slows blood sugar response and promotes bowel regularity and the growth of healthy gut bacteria. A single cup (177 gram) provides about 1.5 grams or roughly 5% of the RDI for fiber. Though many other fruits contain more fiber per serving, honeydew can still contribute to your daily fiber intake. In fact, for some people with certain digestive disorders or those who are newly introducing or reintroducing fiber into their diet, a lower-fiber fruit like honeydew may be better tolerated than other high-fiber foods.

9. May Support Vision and Eye Health

Honeydew melon contains two potent antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoid compounds are well known for supporting eye health and preventing the development of age-related vision loss. Research indicates that regularly eating foods that contain these antioxidants, such as honeydew melon, may support proper eye function throughout your life.

Habanero Peppers

Friday, December 4, 2020

~2 1/2 minutes reading time

A native of South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, habaneros are among the hottest chili peppers there are. An ordinary habanero typically ranks between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale of spiciness; for comparison, a typical jalapeno ranks at 2,500 to 5,000.

Rich in Capsaicin

As one of the hottest chili peppers, habaneros have a high capsaicin content. A phytonutrient, capsaicin is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help treat arthritis and headaches. Capsaicin works as an anti-inflammatory by reducing your body's production of Substance P, which is what causes the swelling and pain that occurs alongside inflammation. A study published in "Cell Signal" in 2003 confirmed that the capsaicin from hot peppers showed anti-inflammatory properties. The capsaicin in habanero peppers may also be able to block the activity of nuclear transcription factors which can trigger inflammatory reactions that may lead to premature aging and cancer. Research shows that people who regularly eat spicy foods – that is, foods rich in capsaicin – live longer than those who don't, and they're less likely to die from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.

Important Nutrients to Note

A 4.5-gram serving of habanero peppers has 15 calories and no fat. A single serving of habaneros also has 3 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of carbohydrates. The same size serving also has 1 gram of dietary fiber. You can rest easy knowing that adding habaneros to a dish for extra flavor will not greatly increase the sodium, fat, or calorie content.

Vitamins and Minerals

A single serving of habaneros has 128 milligrams of potassium, which is a relatively high amount for such a small serving size. According to "The Herb Society of America's Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herb," habaneros are also high in vitamin C. Green habaneros, unripe peppers, have a higher vitamin C content than their red and orange counterparts. A single habanero pepper contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. The same pepper also contains a bit of vitamin A – 9% of your recommended intake – plus 4% of your recommended potassium intake, 3% of your recommended iron intake, and a scant 1% of your recommended daily calcium intake.

May Help Prevent Diabetes

A diet rich in habanero peppers may help regulate insulin levels, especially in people who are already overweight. A study published in 2006 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that capsaicin reduced the likelihood of insulin spikes following a meal. Scientists concluded that regular capsaicin consumption could help diabetics control their insulin levels. Since post-meal insulin spikes often lead to Type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded that regularly eating chili peppers may decrease diabetes risk. Scientists also found that meals containing capsaicin increased fat oxidation, which may indicate capsaicin's ability to regulate obesity. However, further study on human subjects is needed.

Decreased Cancer Risk

The capsaicin in habaneros may also prevent cancer. In the laboratory, scientists have demonstrated that capsaicin can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, and may protect cells from becoming cancerous. In addition, habaneros contain significant amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A, both of which act as antioxidants, compounds that may decrease the risk of cancer by inhibiting the DNA-damaging effects of free radicals. Each half-cup serving of habanero peppers provides 300% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 20% of the RDA of vitamin A.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong report that laboratory hamsters fed a high-cholesterol diet had higher LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels and more cholesterol-related arterial plaques than hamsters who were fed the same diet, but supplemented with capsaicin. The scientists hypothesized that eating chili peppers such as habaneros may lower cholesterol and decrease cardiovascular disease risk, but warned that additional studies and clinical trials were necessary.

Onions

Thursday, November 26, 2020

~5 minutes Reading Time

The medicinal properties of onions have been recognized since ancient times, when they were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease and mouth sores.

1. Packed With Nutrients

Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. One medium onion has just 44 calories but delivers a considerable dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

This vegetable is particularly high in vitamin C, a nutrient involved in regulating immune health, collagen production, tissue repair, and iron absorption. Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body, protecting your cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. An antioxidant, this vitamin is needed for immune function and maintenance of skin and hair.

Onions are also rich in B vitamins, including folate (B9) and pyridoxine (B6) — which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production, and nerve function. A water-soluble B vitamin, folate is essential for cell growth and metabolism and especially important for pregnant women. Found in most foods, Vitamin B6 is involved in the formation of red blood cells.

Lastly, they’re a good source of potassium, a mineral which many people are lacking. In fact, the average potassium intake of Americans is just over half the recommended daily value (DV) of 4,700 mg. Normal cellular function, fluid balance, nerve transmission, kidney function, and muscle contraction all require potassium. This essential mineral can have blood-pressure-lowering effects and is important for heart health.

2. May Benefit Heart Health

Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides, and