An apple (español: manzana) is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus domestica). Apple trees, which originated in Central Asia, are cultivated worldwide. Its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production. Apples are rich in simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Despite their high carb and sugar contents, their glycemic index (GI) is low, ranging 29–44.
Nutrition Facts: 1 raw unpeeled medium apple (100 g)
calories 82 carbohydrates 13.8 g fat 0.2 g fiber 2.4 g phosphorous 11 mg (2% DV) protein 0.3 g vitamin B6 3 µg (3% DV) vitamin C 4.6 mg (6% DV) water 86%
Quinoa (/ˈkiːnwɑː/ from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) Chenopodium quinoa is a pseudocereal, a flowering plant related to spinach and amaranth. The gluten-free seeds are rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America and was first eaten by human beings in the regions known today as Peru and Bolivia around three thousand years ago. The United Nations declared 2013 The International Year of Quinoa because of its nutrient value and potential to contribute to food security worldwide. Quinoa can be sprinkled on salads, added to soups and stir fries, eaten alone or combined with oatmeal and other grains as a cereal.
The brussels sprout (español: coles de bruselas) is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages (Brassica oleracea), grown for its edible buds. The leaf vegetables are typically half and inch to one-and-a-half inches in diameter and look like miniature cabbages. They have long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have gained their name there. Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C. They contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer growth, decrease inflammation and promote heart health. Because of their high fiber content, they promote regularity, support digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. They are very high in Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone metabolism. The fiber and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts may help keep your blood sugar levels stable. They are a good source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, cognitive decline and blood triglycerides. Brussels sprouts can be roasted, boiled, sautéed or baked. They are a good addition to pasta or stir-fries.
Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) (español: nuez de Brasil) is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae. Brazil nuts are rich in healthy fats, selenium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, thiamine, and vitamin E. Among the claims for Brazil nuts are that they may support thyroid, heart, and brain function, and reduce inflammation.
WARNING: Individual intake should be limited to one to three a day because excessive amounts of selenium have been linked to increased risk of diabetes and prostate cancer.
Nutrition Facts: 1 ounce (28 g) of Brazil nut
calories 187 carbohydrates 3.3 g copper 55% RDI fat 19 g fiber 2.1 g magnesium 33% RDI manganese 17% RDI phosphorous 30% RDI protein 4.1 g selenium 175% RDI thiamine 16% RDI zinc 10.5% RDI vitamin E 11% RDI
The black-eyed pea (español: guisante de ojo negro) (Vigna unguiculata), also called black-eyed bean, cowpea or southern pea, is an annual plant from the pea family (Fabaceae) and is grown for its edible legumes. Black-eyed peas get their name from their appearance. They’re cream-colored with a little black spec that resembles an eye. Although their name would make you think they’re a type of pea, black-eyed peas are actually beans. Black-eyed peas are rich in fiber, iron, folate, potassium and Vitamin A. Black-eyed peas have high levels of dietary fiber, which helps to promote regular bowel movements and improve digestive health. They are high in iron and in folate, a B vitamin needed to make normal red blood cells. Low levels of folate can cause anemia. Black-eyed peas are rich in potassium, a mineral that helps keep your blood pressure levels at healthy numbers and lowers your risk of heart disease. They are surprisingly high in vitamin A, with more than one-fourth of your daily vitamin A needs in one cup. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin and mucus membranes, and it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. They are a great addition to stews, soups, curries and salads. They can also be a perfect side dish, or they can be mashed into a dip.
The jackfruit (español: yaca) (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. Its origin is in the region between the WesternGhats of southern India and the rainforests of Malaysia. Jackfruit is a common ingredient in South and SoutheastAsian cuisines. It is available internationally canned or frozen and in chilled meals as are various products derived from the fruit such as noodles and chips. Claims for jackfruit are that it may help regulate blood sugar, protect against disease with antioxidants, prevent skin problems, and promote heart health.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of sliced jackfruit
calories 155 carbohydrates 40 g copper 15% DV fiber 3 g magnesium 15% DV manganese 16% DV potassium 14% DV protein 3 g riboflavin 11% DV vitamin A 10% DV vitamin C 18% DV
Guava (español: guayaba) is a tropical fruit cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava is a small tree in the myrtle family, native to Mexico, Central America. Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves and white flowers with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruits are many-seeded berries. I was a newlywed and had just moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, when I tasted my first guayaba. I was hooked. When ripe, the guayaba, or guava, is very sweet and delicious, peeling, seeds and all. Just wash and eat it like an apple. They are also made into a popular candy called ate. (pronounced ah-tay). Guayabate is one of my favorite sweets. Among the claims for guavas are that they improve heart health; help lower blood sugar levels; relieve painful symptoms of menstruation; benefit the digestive system; are good for your skin; may aid weight loss; may have an anticancer effect; help boost immunity.
Nutrition Facts: 1 raw guava (100 g)
calories 63 carbohydrates 14.32 g fat 0.95 g fiber 5.4 g sugars 8.92 g vitamin A 624 IU vitamin C 228.3 mg
Zucchini (español: calabacita), also known as courgette, is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family, which includes melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers. It can grow to more than 3.2 feet (1 meter) in length but is usually harvested when still immature — typically measuring under 8 inches (20 cm). Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit. It occurs in several varieties, which range in color from deep yellow to dark green. Zucchini is delicious raw or cooked. Since the skin of the plant contains high levels of antioxidants, it is best served unpeeled. Zucchini can be grated, sliced, or stuffed. It is delicious boiled, steamed, grilled, baked, broiled, or breaded and fried. It is a healthy ingredient in salads, soups, and breads, and a tasty addition to many favorite dishes. Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Cooked zucchini is particularly high in vitamin A. It is rich in water and fiber, promoting healthy digestion. Zucchini’s fiber may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing risk of type 2 diabetes. Zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease. It contributes to healthy vision and may lower risk of age-related eye conditions.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of sliced zucchini (113 g)
calories 19 carbohydrates 4 g copper 8% DV fat 0.4 g fiber 11 g folate 8% DV magnesium 10% DV manganese 16% DV potassium 8% DV protein 3% DV thiamine 5% DV vitamin A 40% DV vitamin B6 7% DV vitamin C 14% DV vitamin K 9% DV
The blackberry (español: zarzamora) is an edible fruit produced by many species in the genus Rubus in the Rosaceae family. The taxonomy of the blackberries has historically been confused because of hybridization and apomixis, so that species have often been grouped together and called species aggregates. Blackberries are delicious just as they are with no more preparation than washing. They make a delicious and healthy addition to smoothies, fruit salads, or green salads. They are rich in fiber, manganese and Vitamins C and K. They are credited with improving brain and oral health. With a Glycemic Index (GI) of 25 and a Glycemic Load (GL) of 4, blackberries are an excellent food for weight loss and diabetes control. There is promising ongoing research that indicates blackberries fight cancer and help prevent heart disease. The leaves are rich in tannin and have antibacterial properties. They have been used medicinally since at least the time of the ancient Greeks. They are made into an astringent tea which is used to relieve sore throats, mouth ulcers, diarrhea and thrush.
Nutrition Facts: 3.5 ounces (100 g) of blackberries
calcium 29 mg calories 43 carbohydrates 9.61 g fat 0.49 g fiber 5.3 g folate 25 µg iron 0.62 mg magnesium 20 mg mangnese 0.9 mg niacin 0.646 mg phosphorous 22 mg potassium 162 mg protein 1.39 g riboflavin 0.026 mg thiamine 002 mg zinc 0.53 mg vitamin A 214 IU vitamin B6 0.03 mg vitamin C 21.0 mg vitamin E 1.17 mg vitamin K 19.8 µg
The beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant, usually known in North America as the beet. It is one of several cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and leaves (called beet greens). Beets can be served raw or cooked in a variety of ways. The greens are edible too, and can be added to a salad or cooked and served as a side dish. They are low in calories and a source of many nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamin C. They also contain nitrates and pigments that may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance.
When I switched to plant-based living after a lifetime of meals planned around a main course of meat, I immediately felt positive effects and found it surprisingly easy, even fun, to change my habits and explore new ways of enjoying food. Fruit and Stuff is a collection of some of the many things I have learned since I started the journey. Even if you are not ready to give up meat, you will benefit from adding more plant foods to your daily meals. I hope you’ll find something useful here. The most recent articles appear first on the Home page, and the tabs at the top of every page are for locating any article, past or present. The Glossary links to facts about plant-based foods, the Recipe tab will direct you to the recipe index, and the Resources consist of news and opinions about plant-based living.