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20 Incredible Facts About Eating Fruits And Vegetables That You Probably Didn’t Know

20 Incredible Facts About Eating Fruits And Vegetables That You Probably Didn’t Know

Fruits and vegetables have been in the human diet over the entirety of human history. We eat them raw, cooked, chilled, frozen, and in ever creative combinations with other fruits and vegetables. We drink them in juices and in the case of things like orange peel, we even use them as seasoning for other foods. As with everything that’s been around that long, there is a lot to know about fruits and veggies so let’s talk about some of them!

1. There is no such thing as negative calorie foods.

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!

2. Bananas are fascinating.

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. It is also the most interesting fruit in the world. In the 1950’s, 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. Also, bananas are technically herbs.

3. Fruits and vegetables are nutritious in every form.

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.

4. Fruits and veggies have a ton of fiber.

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.

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5. Some fruits and veggies contain toxins.

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. As many people know, cyanide occur in low levels in apples. It can also occur in apricots, peaches, and cassava roots. Potatoes contain occasionally harmful amounts of a toxin called solanine. 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.

6. The world’s most hated vegetable is one of the best for you.

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.

7. Broccoli contains more protein than steak.

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.

8. Pineapples can destroy your taste buds.

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 that the enzyme bromelain is used in meat tenderizer. 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.

9. Peppers can encourage proper clotting.

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.

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10. Apples give you more energy than coffee.

In no way would we ever try to convince the coffee aficionados in our readership to give up their precious morning coffee. We’re not crazy. However, if you’re finding yourself a little low on energy during the afternoon then consider eating an apple in the morning with your coffee. Thanks to its high carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral content, apples have the perfect storm of nutrition to help you stay energized all day.

11. Watermelons can keep you hydrated.

Watermelons aren’t just giant and nutritious but they can also play a key role in keeping you hydrated. In the days before modern plumbing when water became plentiful, people used to carry around watermelons on long trips to stay hydrated. Due to its thick skin and the fact that it’s 92% water, explorers and desert-faring folks carried the fruit around so they had something to drink. This is why watermelons make great food for picnics, beach visits, or other outdoor activities that take place predominately when it is hot outside. Bring it along, it can keep you from getting dehydrated!

12. Grapefruits are a horrible idea if you take certain medications.

Grapefruits are among the most nutritious fruits out there for you. Unfortunately, they come with a little bit of a stigma. Okay, it’s actually a pretty big stigma because grapefruit can kill you. If you take certain medication, the chemicals in grapefruit can cause a bad reaction that can have fatal results. If you’re on medications, be sure to check with a medical professional before drinking or consuming any grapefruit because it could end very badly for you. We’d include a list of drugs you shouldn’t eat grapefruit while taking but it’s a fairly comprehensive list.

13. According to United States law, tomatoes are vegetables.

One of the most enjoyable parts of United States culture are the faces of awe you get when you tell someone that tomatoes are actually fruit because they have seeds. It is technically true and a lot of people don’t know that they have a fruit in their salad. However, in the late 1800’s, the US Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are to be considered a vegetable. This was because of a trade tariff back then that taxes imported vegetables but not imported fruits. The Supreme Court ruled tomatoes a vegetable so they could be taxed like a vegetable when imported into the country. So when you eat one, it’s botanically a fruit but legally a vegetable.

14. The skin usually has the most nutrition.

If you peel your fruits and vegetables before you eat 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.

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15. Eating fruits and vegetables to gain weight is really difficult to do.

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!

16. It does make you more healthy.

You hear it all the time that fruits and veggies can make you more healthy and help prevent disease. The unfortunate part is that no one tells you why. The list of reasons why are way too long but we’ll go over a couple of them here. As we discussed, the high fiber content can help you lower cholesterol which will help prevent all diseases that can be caused by high cholesterol. Eating fruits and veggies instead of sugary or fatty junk food can prevent weight gain which can prevent diabetes as well as virtually all other diseases and conditions that comes with being overweight. The list goes on and on. People don’t just say that fruits and vegetables can prevent diseases as a marketing tactic. They actually do these things for valid reasons.

17. Onions are ridiculously good for you.

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.

18. Chefs are trying to bring more purple veggies to the dinner table.

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.

19. Orange peels are amazing.

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.

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20. The stalk, rind, or skin of a fruit or veggie is typically better than the actual fruit.

In most cases, the outside of the fruit or vegetable in question is more nutritious than the inside. This is depressing because the inside is usually the part that tastes good. Much like the orange peels mentioned earlier, there are creative ways to get these nutritious parts of the vegetable into your meals.

Wrap up

As we’ve stated numerous times already, fruits and vegetables rock. They’re low in calories, high in nutrition, high in fiber, and most of them taste pretty good. It seems like every year we find another new awesome thing that fruits and vegetables can do for us and our bodies. If you’re not eating them, you’re missing out on a lot of things that we both know about and don’t know about yet.

Featured photo credit: Johnston Health via johnstonhealth.org

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Joseph Hindy

A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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