Most of us eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. After all, they have been a part of our diet since the dawn of humanity. We eat them raw, cooked and frozen, drink them as juices, and combine them with just about every other food we eat. But rather like anything else that’s been around for so long, there are many things you probably didn't know about fruits and veggies that can be very useful and important to learn.
1. Never mix grapefruits with medications.
Grapefruits are among the most nutritious fruits out there, but they can also be bad for you if you are taking certain medication. The chemicals in a grapefruit can cause a bad reaction with some drugs which can even have fatal results. If you’re on medication, be sure to check with a medical professional before drinking or eating any amount of grapefruit.
2. Fruits and veggies have a lot of fiber.
The benefits of fiber include keeping your bowel movements regular, helping lower cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and helping you feel fuller for a longer time. Even if you don't need any more of the vitamins, minerals and other healthy ingredients in fruits and vegetables, they are still one of the best things you can eat on a daily basis.
3. The skin is usually the best part.
In many fruits and veggies, such as carrots, apples, and cucumbers, a high percentage of the nutrition is actually stored in the skin. This means that when you peel it off, you’re actually peeling away nutritious benefits. Make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables well before eating them and I guarantee you'll get used to eating them with the peel in no time.
4. Bananas are fascinating.
Two incredible things you never knew about these delicious sources of potassium and vitamins: first, bananas are technically herbs and belong to the same "botanical family" as mint or basil. Secondly, in 1950 almost all of the banana species in the world were wiped out by the Panama Disease. Today, most of the bananas sold and eaten around the whole world are direct descendants of the same Asian breeds that survived the disease.
5. Eating fruits and vegetables hardly affects your weight.
All fruits and vegetables are low in calories, this is why you hear nutrition professionals and doctors telling you to eat them as snacks. While a bag of chips contains fat, oil, and a lot of calories, a handful of carrots contains none of those things. It is absurd how much fruit and vegetables you can eat before the calories start stacking up, so don’t be afraid to eat them. That said, some fruits carry a high amount of sugar, so don't overdo it on sweet fruit.
6. Broccoli has more protein than a steak.
Calorie for calorie, there is more protein in broccoli than there is in an average steak, and with no saturated and trans fats or cholesterol, you can get all the protein you need with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. So, if you are trying to grow and strengthen your muscles, broccoli is the food for you.
7. The most hated vegetable in the world is one of the best.
Brussels sprouts reign supreme as the least enjoyable vegetable for children, and also some adults. It might be because of their bitter taste, the repugnant smell or even just its bad reputation. However, Brussels sprouts are among the most nutritious veggies you can ever find. They have no fat, no cholesterol, hardly any calories and plenty of vitamins and minerals. It's a shame that none of these facts make them more appealing to some people…
8. Orange peels are amazing.
It's been said before that the skin of the fruit can be better than the fruit itself. Orange peels have over four times the amount of fiber then the actual fruit, and contain more antioxidants than the "flesh" inside. The only drawback is that it’s difficult to find a way to eat it. The best way to do it is to grate it up like cheese into an orange zest. You can use is to season all sorts of foods, add to baked goods or mix with your yogurt or cereals.
9. Peppers encourage clotting.
While most people use them as a spice and not as a whole food, peppers (spicy ones in particular) can work wonders to promote the clotting of blood over wounds. According to some experts, you can even sprinkle some cayenne pepper into a wound where it will act as gauze.
10. "Negative calorie foods" are a myth.
You may have heard that some fruits and vegetables require more calories to digest than they actually give, meaning eating them will actually make you thinner. Unfortunately this is wrong. While there are foods that have very few calories, you still only burn about 10% to 20% of their calorie intake. Let's take, for example, a stalk of celery that’s about 10 calories. While eating and digesting it you will burn about 2 calories, which means you still had an intake of 8 calories.
12. Pineapples are bad for your taste buds.
Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down proteins in your mouth, namely your taste buds. After eating a pineapple your palate will be much less sensitive until your mouth can heal itself, which takes about a day. Pineapple is still a great fruit for you, but you should probably let a freshly sliced pineapple sit in the fridge for a bit before eating it. This will give time for the enzymes to break down and they will have a much weaker effect.
13. Apples can wake you up better than a cup of coffee.
It's hard to believe this fact so just try it for yourself and see. If you’re finding yourself a little low on energy during the afternoon then consider eating an apple in the morning. Thanks to its high carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral content, an apple can give you a steady supply of nutrients to help you stay energized all day.