Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on September 10, 2020
Bell Peppers Are Fruits
Surprised? Scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. So that means bell peppers -- along with squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins -- are fruits. It's up to you whether or not to include any of those items in your next fruit salad.
Bananas Are Berries
A true berry is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary. The ovary is the female part of a flower. That means grapes, kiwis, and even bananas are berries. Think about that the next time you peel into a banana.
It May Be Best to Steam Broccoli
If you're trying to cut your cholesterol, steam your broccoli -- that helps it lower your levels more. Raw broccoli has cancer-fighting compounds, though. In a part-by-part breakdown, the florets have a few more nutrients than the stalks. And the leaves, which most people throw out, have some nutrients not found in either the stem or the florets.
Avocados Are Fruits
Avocados have seeds, so that makes them fruits. They have a lot of fat, but it’s the good kind that lowers cholesterol. The creamy fruit also helps your body absorb nutrients in other produce, like tomatoes. So toss some diced tomatoes into your next batch of guacamole.
Potatoes Top Bananas in Potassium
We need potassium to help strengthen our muscles and control our blood pressure. Bananas are high in it, but they aren't the best source. Why not try a spud instead? Potatoes have more potassium. They don't have any fat and are a good source of vitamins and iron, too.
Tomatoes Are Fruits and Veggies
Tomatoes are fruits. But, according to law, they're vegetables. Here's the juicy backstory: In the 1800s, New York’s port taxed veggies, but not fruits. An importer wanting to cut costs went to court saying their tomatoes were fruits. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that, in “common language,” produce often served with meats or fish is a vegetable. So, the man had to pay tomato tax.
Figs Match Milk in Calcium
Trying to get more calcium? Instead of pouring another glass of milk, you could reach for the fruit bowl. Figs are high in calcium. A cup of dried ones has as much calcium as the same amount of milk. And unlike the cool drink, figs are also a great source of fiber. But don’t overdo it. They pack a lot of sugar and calories .
Blackberries Aren’t Really Berries
Don't let their names fool you. In the plant world, blackberries, raspberries, and even strawberries aren't berries at all, but clumps of tiny individual fruits that grew together. Even by other names, they'd still taste as sweet, though.
Kiwis Beat Oranges in Vitamin C
Ounce for ounce, kiwis pack the biggest nutritional punch of any fruit in your produce aisle. They have twice the vitamin C of an orange, and they’re another high-potassium, low-salt alternative to bananas. They’re packed with other vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy nutrients, too.
Apples Are Cousins of Roses
Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. As you take a bite of one, do you notice a sweet smell? Apples, pears, cherries, and plums are just some of the fruits that come from the same family tree as the rose. Try using dried apple slices to make a sweet-smelling potpourri.
Tiny Carrots Aren’t Really 'Babies'
Those cute little bagged carrots in the grocery store aren’t baby veggies. They’re cut from full-grown varieties that are sweeter and thinner than traditional carrots. When they turn a bit white, they’re just drying out. But if they’re slimy, it’s time to throw them out. Aside from being convenient, they're vitamin-rich like full-size varieties.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
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Columbia Health, Go Ask Alice: “Avocados are fatty—Are they healthy?”
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Jiang, J. National Public Radio, Dec. 26, 2013.
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Kopec, R. Dissertation, Graduate Program in Ohio State University Nutrition Program, 2012.
Mayo Clinic, Nutrition-wise: “Fruit or vegetable—Do you know the difference?”
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Sheboygan Area School District, Food Services: “Bell Peppers.”
Stanford Alumni Magazine: "Bananas Are Berries?”
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University of Maryland Medical Center: “Potassium.”
University of Illinois Extension: “Apples and More.”
World Carrot Museum: “Baby Carrots: The Origin and Evolution of Baby Carrots.”