Facts About Fruits & Vegetables


Did you know that bell peppers are actually fruits? Fruit is defined by the scientists as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds, so not only bell peppers but squash, cucumber and pumpkins are also fruits. Just try those in your “fruit” salad! Boy, would that make it interesting, huh?

Berry is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary, so even bananas are considered a berry. Add grapes and kiwis to that category. Hard to think of “peeling” a berry, isn’t it?

Raw broccoli has cancer-fighting compounds. The florets have more nutrients than the stalks and the leaves have some nutrients that are not in the stem or the florets. Steaming that broccoli will cut your cholesterol.

Here again, if it has seeds they are considered a fruit. Avocados are in that group but they have a lot of fat. That particular fat is good and actually lowers cholesterol. Your body might also absorb nutrients from avocados, just like from tomatoes.

It’s really amazing to think that potatoes have even more potassium in them than bananas. This potassium is needed to strengthen our muscles and control our blood pressure. The good news is that potatoes don’t have fat, but are a good source of vitamins, iron and that needed potassium.

According to the law, tomatoes are vegetables but they are also fruits. This began in the 1800’s when New York’s port taxed veggies, but not fruits. To cut costs they went to court saying tomatoes were fruits. The Supreme Court ruled in “common language” that produce often served with meats or fish is a vegetable, so they ended up paying tomato tax.

Milk isn’t the only thing that contains calcium. Reach for that fruit bowl and try some of those figs. There is as much calcium in a cup of dried figs as in the same amount of milk. They are also a really great source of fiber but they have a lot of sugar and calories, so don’t overdo!

Why do they call blackberries “berries” when they aren’t berries? Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries aren’t “berries” at all but little tiny clumps of individual fruits that grew together. But, they still taste as sweet and enjoyable as ever!

Roses have a cousin. Would you believe it would be apples? They are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and taste so sweet and smell the same. Not only apples but also pears, cherries and plums are some of the fruits that come from the same family tree as the rose. Sweet-smelling potpourri really smells great when dried apple slices are used to make this concoction.

Grabbing those cute “little” carrots aren’t really the baby carrots you might think. These are cut from the full-grown varieties that are sweeter and thinner than the traditional carrots. If they turn a bit white, they’re just drying out, but if they turn slimy, throw them out. They are vitamin-rich just like the full-sized varieties.

No matter what they’re called, enjoy them all. Make them a part of your daily diet for staying healthy and happy while enjoying all their good tastes and smells.

Dr. Fredda Branyon

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