Did you know...?
Lyndel Costain

... that the deeper the colour of a fruit or vegetable the more nutritious it is! Discover lots more interesting food facts below.

  1. Avocados are cholesterol-free and provide heart-healthy vitamin E, folic acid and potassium. They are high in fat for a fruit, but most of this is the healther unsaturated type.
  2. Tomatoes are actually a type of berry and these once-exotic fruits were called 'love apples' in the 16th century.
  3. Pasta, oats and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) are good sources of 'slow-release' carbohydrates that help to keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels on an even keel.
  4. All types of fruit and vegetables count towards the recommended five servings a day, whether they're fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned.
  5. A small (200g) can of baked beans counts as one of your recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables.
  6. Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain as much calcium as full-cream milk, so make a healthy choice.
  7. 'Low' or 'reduced-fat' foods aren't necessarily lower in calories thanks to the extra sugars or starches they often contain. Always check the calorie content before you buy.
  8. Research from the University of Cardiff found that people who ate high-fibre breakfast cereal (bran flakes, All Bran) every day reported feeling less tired and stressed than those who ate low-fibre cereals such as cornflakes.
  9. Food eaten late at night is not more fattening. Studies have found that it's your total calorie intake over the day that counts.
  10. Frozen vegetables can be at least as nutritious as fresh alternatives, especially if the fresh ones have been kept at room temperature for a few days or so.
  11. All fruit and vegetables contain different phytochemicals (phyto = plant), which give them their distinctive colours and flavours, and can benefit our health. Mix your colours for optimal benefits.
  12. Don't like Brussels sprouts? It could be inherited. Some people carry a gene, which makes them taste unpleasantly bitter. Pity, as the bitter part is good for you!
  13. Chocolate tastes so great it seems we release feel-good endorphin chemicals in the brain when we eat it, which is why we want to come back for more. Fortunately, it also provides antioxidants (in the cocoa) and minerals including magnesium and copper. Milk chocolate contains calcium too.
  14. Oysters are the richest source of the mineral zinc, needed for immunity, wound healing, healthy skin and fertility. They were also reputed to be Cassanova's favourite food!
  15. A pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories. So to lose a pound in a week you need to eat 500 calories less each day (7 x 500 = 3,500) and vice versa for weight gain.

This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks in October 2005.
First published in May 2001.

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