Diet & Exercise: Fun and interesting facts about fruits and vegetables

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

If you’ve not heard from me about your free consultation, you will soon; I’m in the process of moving my studio, and will start back with consultations soon. Most folks agree we all need several servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

The amounts I recommend are, for children 2-8 years: 1 to 1 ½ cups a day, girls 9-18 years: 1 ½ cups a day, boys 9-18 years: 1 ½ to 2 cups a day, women 19-30 years: 2 cups a day, women 30+ years: 1 ½ cups a day, men 19 + years: 2 cups a day.

Now that we know the daily volume of fruits and vegetables we should have each day, let’s just have some fun.

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I’d like to share with you some interesting, but true facts about fruits and vegetables you might not know. Here we go…A strawberry isn’t really a berry, but a banana is. India is the #1 banana producer in the world.

A banana ripens more quickly if placed in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato.

Apples float in water, because they are composed of 25% air. There are 7000 different types of apples grown all over the world.

Frozen vegetables are just as beneficial to health as fresh ones (I did an article on that once).

Sugar beets are the second most important source of processed sugar after sugar cane.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family.

Blackberries belong to the rose family.

Avocado leaves, bark, and fruit are very poisonous to animals (including horses).

Kiwis were once called Chinese gooseberries.

The largest zucchini measured 69 ½ inches long, and weighed 65 pounds.

A watermelon consists of 92 percent water, and is actually very nutritious.

Pineapples are actually clusters of berries.

Strawberries are the only fruit which grows seeds on the outside.

Raspberries are members of the rose family.

Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same.

There are 10,000 types of tomatoes.

Some radishes can grow 3 feet long and weigh 100 pounds.

There are 700 varieties of peaches.

Potatoes do not have to be stored in the refrigerator, but should be kept in a dark, dry place. Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing French fried potatoes to America.

Although a fruit, it took a ruling by the Supreme court in 1893 to make, by law, the tomato a vegetable.

One horn worm can eat an entire tomato plant in one day.

The persimmon is Japan’s national fruit. California produces 95 percent of the nectarines grown in the United States.

Pears are members of the rose family.

Cauliflower is one of two vegetables that are actually flowers. The other is artichoke. The word cauliflower means “cabbage flower”.

Garlic, leeks, chives, and onions belong to the lily family.

Asparagus can grow 10 inches in 24 hours, and they too, are a member of the lily family.

Zucchini, eggplant, olives, capsicum, avocados, pea pods, cucumber, pumpkin, and butternut pumpkin are all actually fruits.

It takes just one ounce of celery seed to produce an entire acre of celery.

Corn is actually a type of domesticated grass, and is grown on every continent except Antarctica, but does not exist in the wild. In Latin apricot means “precious”.

The rutabaga began as a cross between wild cabbage and the turnip, and got its name from the Swedish word “rotabagge” meaning round root.

Mushrooms are not plants, but rather a separate kingdom of fungi.

A mango tree can grow as tall as 100 feet.

Microwaving a lime for 15 seconds before squeezing yields twice the juice

The French used to refer to the tomato as the “apple of love”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these interesting facts. Remember, eating more fruits and vegetables could significantly reduce risk for many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.

If you are not crazy about many fruits and vegetables, take a stroll down your grocer’s produce isle or visit your local farmers market. You might see produce you’re never tried or even thought of. Also, there are so many new (to us) exotic fruits and vegetables to try.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at Or text to 864-494-6215. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years.