Celery (español: apio) has the scientific name Apium graveolens. is a vegetable in the plant family called Apiaceae. Celery stalks are the best-known part of this plant, but the green leaves and seeds are edible and beneficial too. Celery seeds are known to help lower inflammation and fight bacterial infections. Celery is high in antioxidants, beneficial enzymes, fiber, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols. Celery supports liver, skin, eye and digestive health. Parts of this vegetable were administered in folk medicine as natural anti-hypertensive agents. Recent pharmacological studies have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Celery acts as a natural detox tonic that may prevent sickness because of its hydrating qualities and high nutritional content.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup chopped raw celery (100 g)
calories 16.2 carbohydrates 3.5 g calcium 4% DV fat 0.2 g fiber 1.6 g folate 9% DV magnesium 3% DV manganese 5% DV potassium 8% DV protein 0.7 g riboflavin 3% DV vitamin A 9% DV vitamin B6 4% DV vitamin C 5% DV vitamin K 37% DV
The nopal cactus, native to Mexico, is commonly known in English as the prickly pear cactus (español: nopal y tuna). It is known for high antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content. Nopales are the pads of the nopal cactus. Sauteed nopales can be added to many dishes, such as salads, quesadillas or scrambled eggs. The sweet and colorful prickly pears, called tunas in Spanish, are delicious just as they are. Just peel and eat. The prickly pear fruit contains the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin, which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
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.
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
Basil (español: albahaca) (Ocimum basilicum) is a culinaryherb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). Basil is used in cuisines all over the world. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. Basil is used as a fresh herb in recipes all over the world. It is an essential ingredient in many Italian dishes. Basil is also used to create perfumes, household cleaners and in dental-care products. Basil is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. It helps prevent diabetes. It is used to reduce pain and fever, combat stress, and boost the immune system. It fights cancer and protects blood vessels and liver.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of fresh basil
calories 2 manganese .24 mg (12% DV) vitamin A 56 mg (24% DV) vitamin C 4 mg (8% DV) itamin K 88 mg (108% DV)
Barley (español: cebada) (Hordeum vulgare), a member of the grassfamily, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates all over the world. It was one of the first cultivated grains, going back as much as 10,000 years. Barley has been used as animal fodder, a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilledbeverages, and a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation. Barley is a rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It improves digestion, and can help with weight loss and control of blood sugar levels. It lowers cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease and cancer.
Nutrition Facts: 1/4 cup of uncooked dry hulled barley
A banana (español: plátano) is an edible fruit–botanically a berry–produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains, distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Among the claims for bananas are that they are high in fiber and antioxidants and relatively low in calories; they moderate blood sugar levels and improve digestive and kidney health. Bananas are good as they are–just peel and eat. They are a delicious addition to a smoothie, and very ripe bananas make exquisite banana bread. Cooking bananas, known as plantains, can be fried, baked, or sliced and added to a stew. In southern Mexico, tamales are wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks.
Nutrition Facts: 1 medium banana (118 g)
calories 105 carbohydrates 24 g copper 10% DV fat 0.4 g fiber 3.1 g magnesium 8% DV manganese 14% DV potassium 9% DV protein 1.3 g vitamin B6 33% DV vitamin C 11% DV
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.