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Fruit Fact Sheet

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Fruit Fact Sheet

Loads of things you never knew about some of your favourite fruit! And pay careful attention because some of these may give you answers to the fruit quiz questions!

A fruit is the seed-bearing part of a plant so a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable.

Fruit contains no cholesterol but is high in all sorts of minerals, vitamins and fibre that help the body work as it should, and fruit’s also great for helping to fend off disease. Because it’s so good for us it’s recommended that we eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. And it’s good to mix and match your colours, the greens and oranges, red and yellows, as different coloured fruits contain different elements. Fruit juice counts as one of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetables.

Apples

In Greek mythology the apple was the symbol for love; in the Bible in the Garden of Eden it was the symbol for knowledge. According to archaeologists and historians, apples originated in the Middle East more than 5,000 years ago and have been grown in the UK for at least 1,000 years.

More than 80% of an apple is water. Carbohydrates make up about 10% while minerals and vitamins take up 4%. There are about 40 calories in an average apple but no fat. While most of an apple’s fibre content is in the peel there’s also some in the core. However, if you eat the core, remember that apple pips contain traces of cyanide – but not enough to poison you! But that explains the bitter taste. Another reason to eat the peel of an apple – after washing it – is that most of the apple’s vitamin C is just under the skin.

Royal Gala, Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippins and Granny Smiths are amongst the most popular varieties in the UK but specialist greengrocers and supermarkets are beginning to stock a far wider variety of British apples, giving consumers greater choice and helping to preserve some of the old-fashioned flavoursome varieties.

Bananas

A banana tree isn’t a tree but a herb, Musa sapientium, that originated in Asia some 4,000 years ago. The name comes from the Arabic for finger, banan.

Bananas are so good for you that it’s a wonder the government haven’t passed a law making us all eat at least one a day! Eating just two bananas will give you the energy for a 90 minute aerobic workout. Eating a potassium-rich banana for breakfast helps wake your brain up and the potassium in a banana is also good for calming you down when you’re stressed. A banana is high in iron, fibre, vitamin A and vitamin B. Eating a banana is recommended if you have heartburn or an ulcer because of its antacid effect. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin – the happy hormone! See what we mean about how good it is?!

It’s even said that sticking a piece of peel, yellow side out, on a wart will get rid of the wart. But it’s not all good: there are, on average, 300 banana-related accidents a year.

Oranges

Strictly speaking an orange is a berry, consisting of several segments, each with seeds. Orange trees originated in South Asia but are now grown commercially throughout warm regions of the world, producing sweet, navel and bitter oranges.

Fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free, oranges have a high level of antioxidants, which combat ageing. High in fibre, a medium-sized orange will supply you with 130% of your daily requirement of vitamin but once you’ve cut or squeezed an orange, eat it soon as it will quickly lose its vitamin C content.

Ripe oranges sometimes draw green chlorophyll back into themselves from the leaves, giving the orange a green colour. This doesn’t affect the taste; it just proves that the orange is ripe and might even make the fruit sweeter than it would have been.

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