Fun Food Facts

I love doing what I do because every day I get to learn new, exciting things about food and science and share those things with you. In that spirit, this entire blog is dedicated to fun food facts that you may – or may not – know. I can tell you that some of these surprised me when I learned them myself!

An Apple A Day … for 20 Years?
Not only can that apple a day keep the doctor away, did you know that there are actually 7,500 types of them? That means if you tried a new kind of apple every day, it still would take you 20 years to try them all. What all those apples DO have in common is they all belong to the rose family, making apples and roses related. Yeah, you heard that right. Apples belong to the rose family, along with pears plums, and a number of other fruits. Also, a quick tip to share at your next Halloween party: Apples float because 25% of their volume is water.

Treat yourself tonight to a cinnamon-dusted apple on Phase 1.
Prep Time: 2 minutes; Total Time: 2 minutes
1 apple
Ground cinnamon to taste
Core and slice the apple, and sprinkle with cinnamon just before eating.
Check out the Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook for more apple-inspired snacks.

I Like To Eat, Eat, Eat Apples…and Bananas
While they’re not a part of the FMD until Maintenance (Phase 4), bananas are a fascinating food. They offer so many possibilities as limitless as overcoming depression. How? Bananas are high in tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, the happy stuff. That’s no monkey business. What else can bananas do?  They strengthen your blood, help with constipation AND diarrhea, regulate blood sugar, build strong bones, and make you smarter and more alert due to the high potassium. Bonus: Have a bug bite? Rub the inside of the banana peel on your bite to relieve itching.

Yam vs. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes and yams are not synonymous. In fact, they aren’t even related! Why the mix-up? It seems they have been mislabeled starting with the USDA. Sweet potatoes come in a golden skin with white flesh and a copper skin with orange flesh and it seems that the darker-fleshed get the term “yam.”

Yams are native to Africa and Asia and have an almost black like skin and white, purple or reddish flesh. They run in size from as small as regular potatoes too as big as five feet long. Bonus Fact: They can be stored for a very long time.

Mr. and Mrs. Bell Pepper
Does a bell pepper have a gender? Some believe that flipping the pepper over and counting the lobes (4 = female, 3 = male), answers this question. It turns out; this is untrue. Peppers grow from flowers that have both male and female parts, and the flower has the gender, not the pepper. What the rumor may be good for is helping us select the best pepper for its use. The female peppers with more lobes contain more seeds and are sweeter when eaten raw. The male peppers with three lobes are better for grilling and cooking.

More Facts
Once you start digging into fun foods facts, there’s almost no stop. Here are some others that I found interesting.
– Did you know that coconut water is a universal donor and is identical to blood plasma in the human body? This is why coconut water is referred to as the “fluid of life.”
– 200 years ago, ketchup was used as medicine to treat diarrhea as well as other ailments.
– Pea..legumes? Did you know peanuts aren’t nuts at all – but legumes? That’s because nuts, like walnuts and almonds, grow in trees; peanuts grow underground. But peanuts are nuts in all other ways, so really, what’s in a name? The more you know, right?