How To Eat Fruit

how to1The following article is a small excerpt from one of my CD’S.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Eat Fresh Eruits

We all think eating fruits means simply buying fruit, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. You will benefit much more if you know how and when to eat.

Correct Way of Eating Fruits

Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach…not as dessert after your meal as it is often done. If you eat fruit like this, it will also help to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

Fruit is the Most IMportant Food

Let’s say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit.

As fruit digests faster than bread, the slice of fruit digests quickly and is ready to go straight through your stomach into your intestines, but its passage is blocked by the bread which takes longer to digestIn the meantime the whole meal ferments and turns to acid.

Consequently, when the fruit comes into contact with the food in your stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

So it is better to eat your fruit on an empty stomach or before your meals!

You have heard people complaining – Every time I eat water-melon after dinner I burp. When I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet etc –Actually all this will not happen if you eat your fruit on an empty stomach.

The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under your eyes…all these will not happen if you eat your fruit on an empty stomach.

It is incorrectly presumed that some fruits like oranges and lemons are acidic and will enhance acidity in your stomach.

Research however shows that all fruits become alkaline in your body.

When you need to drink fruit juice – drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don’t drink juice that has been heated up. Don’t eat cooked fruits because you don’t get the nutrients at all.  You only get to taste.

Cooking fruit destroys all the vitamins.

Eating the pulp or whole fruit is far better than drinking the juices. Fiber is good for you.

If you drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it.

A 3-day “fruit fast” is a very simple and effective way to cleanse and de-toxify your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

During the “fruit fast” you can eat different fruits at different times, although occasionally mixed fruit salad would also be   permissible and more interesting.

If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit myONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


vegetablesFresh vegetables add color and variety to any meal.

Demand freshness! Check for the characteristic signs of freshness such as bright, lively color and crispness. Vegetables are usually at their best quality and price at the peak of their season. Some vegetables are hardier than others, but just just being careful can prevent bruising and damage. Don’t buy because of low price alone. It doesn’t pay to buy more vegetables than you can properly store in your refrigerator or use without waste. Most fresh vegetables can be stored for 2 to 5 days, except for root vegetables, which can be stored from 1 to several weeks.

Avoid decay. It’s a waste of money to buy fresh vegetables affected by decay. Even if you do trim off the decayed area, rapid deterioration is likely to spread to the salvaged area. Paying a few cents extra for vegetables in good condition is a good investment.

Fresh vegetables provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, they are low in fat, and they provide fiber. It is recommend you eat 3 to 5 servings from the vegetable group each day. Count as a serving 1-cup raw leafy vegetables, l/2 cup of other vegetables that are cooked or chopped raw, or 3/4 cup of vegetable juice. Go easy on the fat and salt added during cooking or at the table in the form of spreads, sauces, dressings, toppings, and seasonings.

The quality of most fresh vegetables can be judged reasonably well by their external appearance.

Under federal guidelines, a substantial number of retailers must provide nutrition information for the 20 most frequently eaten raw vegetables. These vegetables are: potatoes, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, sweet corn, broccoli, green cabbage, cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, green onions, green (snap) beans, radishes, summer squash, and asparagus. Information about other vegetables may also be provided. The nutritional information may appear on posters, brochures, leaflets, or stickers near the vegetable display. It may include serving size; calories per serving; amount of protein, total carbohydrates, total fat, and sodium per serving; and percent of the Recommended Daily Allowances for iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C per serving.

There are no set rules for buying vegetables because they all have individual characteristics and values. Experience in personal selection is the best teacher.

artichokeThe globe artichoke is the large, unopened flower bud of a plant belonging to the thistle family. The many leaf-like parts making up the bud are called “scales.” Produced domestically only in California, the peak season is in April and May.

Look for plump, globular artichokes that are heavy in relation to size, and compact with thick, green, fresh looking scales. Size is not important with respect to quality.

Avoid artichokes with large areas of brown on the scales and with spreading scales (a sign of age, indicating drying and toughening of the edible portions), grayish-black discoloration (caused by bruises), mold growth on the scales, and worm injury.

Artichoke (Globe or Fresh) – Serving – 1 Medium Artichoke
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 108.723 Calcium mg 56.320 Vitamin C mg 14.976
Energy kcal 60.160 Iron mg 1.683 Thiamin mg 0.092
Energy kj 252.160 Magnesium mg 76.800 Riboflavin mg 0.084
Protein g 4.186 Phosphorus mg 115.200 Niacin mg 1.339
Fat g 0.192 Potassium mg 473.600 Pantothenic acid mg 0.433
Carbohydrate g 13.453 Sodium mg 120.320 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.148
Fiber g 6.912 Zinc mg 0.627 Folate mcg 87.040
Copper mg 0.296 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.328 Vitamin A IU 236.800
Selenium mcg 0.256 Vitamin A, RE mcg 23.040
Vitamin E mg 0.243

aspCalifornia, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan are the chief sources of domestically grown asparagus.

Look for closed, compact tips; smooth, round spears; and a fresh appearance. A rich green color should cover most of the spear. Stalks should be almost as far down as the green extends.

Avoid tips that are open and spread out, moldy or decayed tips, or ribbed spears (spears with up-and-down ridges or that are not approximately round). Those are all signs of aging, and indicate tough asparagus and poor flavor. Also avoid excessively sandy asparagus, because sand grains can lodge beneath the scales or in the tips of the spears and are difficult to remove in washing.

Asparagus – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 134.000 Calcium mg 0.764 Vitamin C mg 3.082
Energy kcal 123.816 Iron mg 28.140 Thiamin mg 17.688
Energy kj 30.820 Magnesium mg 1.166 Riboflavin mg 0.188
Protein g 128.640 Phosphorus mg 24.120 Niacin mg 0.172
Fat g 3.055 Potassium mg 75.040 Pantothenic acid mg 1.568
Carbohydrate g 0.268 Sodium mg 365.820 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.233
Fiber g 6.084 Zinc mg 2.680 Folate mcg 0.176
Copper mg 0.616 Vitamin B-12 mcg 171.520
Manganese mg 0.236 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 0.351 Vitamin A, RE mcg 781.220
Vitamin E mg 77.720

beansSnap beans, produced commercially in many States, are available throughout the year. Most beans found in the grocery store will be the common green-podded varieties, but large green pole beans and yellow wax beans are occasionally available.

Look for a fresh, bright appearance with good color for the variety. Get young, tender beans with pods in a firm, crisp condition.

Avoid wilted or flabby bean pods, serious blemishes, and decay. Thick, tough, fibrous pods indicate over maturity.

Beans, snap, canned, all styles, seasoned, solids & liquids – Serving – 1/2 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 107.502 Calcium mg 25.080 Vitamin C mg 3.534
Energy kcal 18.240 Iron mg 0.536 Thiamin mg 0.029
Energy kj 76.380 Magnesium mg 14.820 Riboflavin mg 0.056
Protein g 0.946 Phosphorus mg 18.240 Niacin mg 0.266
Fat g 0.228 Potassium mg 106.020 Pantothenic acid mg 0.112
Carbohydrate g 3.979 Sodium mg 425.220 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.050
Fiber g 1.710 Zinc mg 0.160 Folate mcg 20.520
Copper mg 0.068 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.356 Vitamin A IU 598.500
Selenium mcg 0.228 Vitamin A, RE mcg 60.420
Vitamin E mg

beetsBeets, available year-round, are grown in most parts of the Nation. Many beets are sold in bunches with the tops still attached, while others are sold with the tops removed.

Look for beets that are firm, round, with a slender tap root (the large main root), a rich, deep red color, and smooth a predominantly smooth surface. If beets are bunched, you can judge their freshness fairly accurately by the condition of the tops. Badly wilted or decayed tops indicate a lack of freshness, but the roots may be satisfactory if they are firm.

Avoid elongated beets with round, scaly areas around the top surface — these will be tough, fibrous, and strong-flavored. Also avoid wilted, flabby beets — they have been exposed to the air too long.

Beets – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 119.109 Calcium mg 21.760 Vitamin C mg 6.664
Energy kcal 58.480 Iron mg 1.088 Thiamin mg 0.042
Energy kj 244.800 Magnesium mg 31.280 Riboflavin mg 0.054
Protein g 2.190 Phosphorus mg 54.400 Niacin mg 0.454
Fat g 0.231 Potassium mg 442.000 Pantothenic acid mg 0.211
Carbohydrate g 13.002 Sodium mg 106.080 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.091
Fiber g 3.808 Zinc mg 0.476 Folate mcg 148.240
Copper mg 0.102 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.447 Vitamin A IU 51.680
Selenium mcg 0.952 Vitamin A, RE mcg 5.440
Vitamin E mg 0.408

brocA member of the cabbage family, and a close relative of cauliflower, broccoli is available throughout the year.
California is the heaviest producer, although other States also produce large amounts of broccoli.

Look for a firm, compact cluster of small flower buds, with none opened enough to show the bright-yellow flower. Bud clusters should be dark green or sage green — or even green with a decidedly purplish cast. Stems should not be too thick or too tough.

Avoid broccoli with spread bud clusters, enlarged or open buds, yellowish-green color, or wilted condition, which are all signs of over maturity. Also avoid broccoli with soft, slippery, water-soaked spots on the bud cluster. These are signs of decay.

Broccoli – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 79.807 Calcium mg 42.240 Vitamin C mg 82.016
Energy kcal 24.640 Iron mg 0.774 Thiamin mg 0.057
Energy kj 102.960 Magnesium mg 22.000 Riboflavin mg 0.105
Protein g 2.622 Phosphorus mg 58.080 Niacin mg 0.561
Fat g 0.308 Potassium mg 286.000 Pantothenic acid mg 0.471
Carbohydrate g 4.611 Sodium mg 23.760 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.140
Fiber g 2.640 Zinc mg 0.352 Folate mcg 62.480
Copper mg 0.040 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.202 Vitamin A IU 1356.960
Selenium mcg 2.640 Vitamin A, RE mcg 135.520
Vitamin E mg 1.461

Brussels Sprouts
brusselAnother close relative of the cabbage, Brussels sprouts develop as enlarged buds on a tall stem, one sprout appearing where each main leaf is attached. The “sprouts” are cut off and, in most cases, are packed in small consumer containers, although some are packed loose, in bulk. Although they are often available about 10 months of the year, peak supplies appear from October through December.

Look for a fresh, bright-green color, tight fitting outer leaves, firm body, and freedom from blemishes.

Brussel Sprouts – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 75.680 Calcium mg 36.960 Vitamin C mg 74.800
Energy kcal 37.840 Iron mg 1.232 Thiamin mg 0.122
Energy kj 158.400 Magnesium mg 20.240 Riboflavin mg 0.079
Protein g 2.974 Phosphorus mg 60.720 Niacin mg 0.656
Fat g 0.264 Potassium mg 342.320 Pantothenic acid mg 0.272
Carbohydrate g 7.885 Sodium mg 22.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.193
Fiber g 3.344 Zinc mg 0.370 Folate mcg 53.768
Copper mg 0.062 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.297 Vitamin A IU 77.040
Selenium mcg 1.408 Vitamin A, RE mcg 77.440
Vitamin E mg 0.774

cabbageThree major groups of cabbage varieties are available: smooth-leaved green cabbage; crinkly-leaved green Savoy cabbage; and red cabbage. All types are suitable for any use, although the Savoy and red varieties are more in demand for use in slaw and salads.
Cabbage may be sold fresh (called “new” cabbage) or from storage. Cabbage is available throughout the year, since it is grown in many States. California, Florida, and Texas market most new cabbage. Many Northern States grow cabbage for late summer and fall shipment or to be held in storage for winter sale.

Look for firm or hard heads of cabbage that are heavy for their size. Outer leaves should be a good green or red color (depending on type), reasonably fresh, and free from serious blemishes. The outer leaves (called “wrapper” leaves) fit loosely on the head and are usually discarded, but too many loose wrapper leaves on a head cause extra waste.
Some early-crop cabbage may be soft or only fairly firm, but is suitable for immediate use if the leaves are fresh and crisp. Cabbage out of storage is usually trimmed of all outer leaves and lacks green color, but is satisfactory if not wilted or discolored.

Avoid new cabbage with wilted or decayed outer leaves or with leaves turned decidedly yellow. Worm-eaten outer leaves often indicate that the worm injury penetrates into the head.

Storage cabbage with badly discolored, dried, or decayed outer leaves probably is over-aged. Separation of the stems of leaves from the central stem at the base of the head also indicates over-age.

Cabbage – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 82.014 Calcium mg 41.830 Vitamin C mg 28.658
Energy kcal 22.250 Iron mg 0.525 Thiamin mg 0.045
Energy kj 93.450 Magnesium mg 13.350 Riboflavin mg 0.036
Protein g 1.282 Phosphorus mg 20.470 Niacin mg 0.267
Fat g 0.240 Potassium mg 218.940 Pantothenic acid mg 0.125
Carbohydrate g 4.833 Sodium mg 16.020 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.085
Fiber g 2.047 Zinc mg 0.160 Folate mcg 38.270
Copper mg 0.020 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.142 Vitamin A IU 118.370
Selenium mcg 0.801 Vitamin A, RE mcg 11.570
Vitamin E mg 0.093

carrotsFreshly harvested carrots are available year round. Most are marketed when relatively young, tender, well colored, and mild-flavored — an ideal stage for use as raw carrot sticks. Larger carrots are packed separately and used primarily for cooking or shredding. California and Texas market most domestic carrots, but many other States produce large quantities.

Look for carrots, which are well formed, smooth, well colored, and firm. If tops are attached, they should be fresh and of a good green color.

Avoid roots with large green “sunburned” areas at the top (which must be trimmed) and roots, which are flabby from wilting or show spots of soft rot.

Carrots – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 112.371 Calcium mg 34.560 Vitamin C mg 11.904
Energy kcal 55.040 Iron mg 0.640 Thiamin mg 0.124
Energy kj 230.400 Magnesium mg 19.200 Riboflavin mg 0.076
Protein g 1.318 Phosphorus mg 56.320 Niacin mg 1.188
Fat g 0.243 Potassium mg 413.440. Pantothenic acid mg 0.252
Carbohydrate g 12.979 Sodium mg 44.800 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.188
Fiber g 3.840 Zinc mg 0.256 Folate mcg 17.920
Copper mg 0.060 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.182 Vitamin A IU 36005.120
Selenium mcg 1.408 Vitamin A, RE mcg 3600.640
Vitamin E mg 0.589

cauliflowerAlthough most abundant from September through January, cauliflower is available during every month of the year. California, New York, and Florida are major sources. The white edible portion is called “the curd” and the heavy outer leaf covering is called “the jacket leaves.” Cauliflower is generally sold with most of the jacket leaves removed, and is wrapped in plastic film.

Look for white to creamy-white, compact, solid, and clean curds. A slightly granular or “ricey” texture of the curd will not hurt the eating quality if the surface is compact. Ignore small green leaflets extending through the curd. If jacket leaves are attached, a good green color is a sign of freshness.

Avoid a spreading of the curd — a sign of aging or over maturity. Also avoid severe wilting or discolored spots on the curd. A smudgy or speckled appearance of the curd is a sign of insect injury, mold growth, or decay, and should be avoided.

Cauliflower – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 91.910 Calcium mg 22.000 Vitamin C mg 46.400
Energy kcal 25.000 Iron mg 0.440 Thiamin mg 0.057
Energy kj 105.000 Magnesium mg 15.000 Riboflavin mg 0.063
Protein g 1.980 Phosphorus mg 44.000 Niacin mg 0.526
Fat g 0.210 Potassium mg 303.000 Pantothenic acid mg 0.652
Carbohydrate g 5.200 Sodium mg 30.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.222
Fiber g 2.500 Zinc mg 0.280 Folate mcg 57.000
Copper mg 0.042 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.156 Vitamin A IU 19.000
Selenium mcg 0.600 Vitamin A, RE mcg 2.000
Vitamin E mg 0.040

celeryCelery, a popular vegetable for a variety of uses, is available throughout the year. Production is concentrated in California, Florida, Michigan, and New York. Most celery is of the so-called “Pascal” type, which includes thick-branched, green varieties.

Look for freshness and crispness in celery. The stalk should have a solid, rigid feel and leaflets should be fresh or only slightly wilted. Also look for a glossy surface, stalks of light green or medium green, and mostly green leaflets.

Avoid: wilted celery and celery with flabby upper branches or leaf stems. You can freshen celery somewhat by placing the butt end in water, but badly wilted celery will never become really fresh again.

Celery with pithy, hollow, or discolored centers in the branches also should be avoided. Celery with internal discoloration will show some gray or brown on the inside surface of the larger branches near where they are attached to the base of the stalk.
Also avoid celery with blackheart, a brown or black discoloration of the small center branches; insect injury in the center branches or the insides of outer branches; and long, thick seed stems in place of the usually small, tender heart branches.

Celery – Serving – 1 Cup Diced
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 113.568 Calcium mg 48.000 Vitamin C mg 8.400
Energy kcal 19.200 Iron mg 0.480 Thiamin mg 0.055
Energy kj 80.400 Magnesium mg 13.200 Riboflavin mg 0.054
Protein g 0.900 Phosphorus mg 30.000 Niacin mg 0.388
Fat g 0.168 Potassium mg 344.400 Pantothenic acid mg 0.223
Carbohydrate g 4.380 Sodium mg 104.400 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.104
Fiber g 2.040 Zinc mg 0.156 Folate mcg 33.600
Copper mg 0.041 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.122 Vitamin A IU 160.800
Selenium mcg 1.080 Vitamin A, RE mcg 15.600
Vitamin E mg 0.432

Chicory, Endives, Escarole
chicoryThese vegetables, used mainly in salads, are available practically all year round but primarily in the winter and spring. Chicory or endive has narrow, notched edges, and crinkly leaves resembling the dandelion leaf. Chicory plants often have “blanched” yellowish leaves in the center, which are preferred by many people. Escarole leaves are much broader and less crinkly than those of chicory.

Look for freshness, crispness, tenderness, and a good green color of the outer leaves.

Avoid plants with leaves which have brownish or yellowish discoloration or which have insect injury.

Endive – Serving – 1 Head
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 481.143 Calcium mg 266.760 Vitamin C mg 33.345
Energy kcal 87.210 Iron mg 4.258 Thiamin mg 0.410
Energy kj 364.230 Magnesium mg 76.950 Riboflavin mg 0.385
Protein g 6.412 Phosphorus mg 143.640 Niacin mg 2.052
Fat g 1.026 Potassium mg 1610.820 Pantothenic acid mg 4.617
Carbohydrate g 17.186 Sodium mg 112.860 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.103
Fiber g 15.903 Zinc mg 4.053 Folate mcg 728.460
Copper mg 0.508 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 2.155 Vitamin A IU 10516.500
Selenium mcg 1.026 Vitamin A, RE mcg 1051.650
Vitamin E mg 2.257

cornSweet corn is available practically every month of the year, but is most plentiful from early May until mid-September. Yellow-kernel corn is the most popular, but some white-kernel and mixed-color corn is sold. Sweet corn is produced in a large number of States during the spring and summer, but most mid-winter supplies come from south Florida.

For best quality, corn should be refrigerated immediately after being picked. Corn will retain fairly good quality for a number of days, if it has been kept cold and moist since harvesting. Therefore, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible and kept moist until used.

Look for fresh, succulent husks with good green color, silk-ends that are free from decay or worm injury, and stem ends (opposite from the silk) that are not too discolored or dried. Select ears that are well covered with plump, not-too-mature kernels. Sweet corn is sometimes sold husked in over wrapped film trays.

Avoid ears with under-developed kernels which lack yellow color (in yellow corn), old ears with very large kernels, and ears with dark yellow or dried kernels with depressed areas on the outer surface. Also avoid ears of corn with yellowed, wilted, or dried husks, or discolored and dried-out stem ends.

Corn (Sweet, Yellow) – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 116.978 Calcium mg 3.080 Vitamin C mg 10.472
Energy kcal 132.440 Iron mg 0.801 Thiamin mg 0.308
Energy kj 554.400 Magnesium mg 56.980 Riboflavin mg 0.092
Protein g 4.959 Phosphorus mg 137.060 Niacin mg 2.618
Fat g 1.817 Potassium mg 415.800 Pantothenic acid mg 1.170
Carbohydrate g 29.291 Sodium mg 23.100 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.085
Fiber g 4.158 Zinc mg 0.693 Folate mcg 70.532
Copper mg 0.083 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.248 Vitamin A IU 432.740
Selenium mcg 0.924 Vitamin A, RE mcg 43.120
Vitamin E mg 0.139

cucu,bersAlthough cucumbers are produced at various times of the year in many States, and imported during the colder months, the supply is most plentiful in the summer months.

Look for cucumbers with good green color that are firm over their entire length. They should be well developed, but not too large in diameter.

Avoid overgrown cucumbers that are large in diameter and have a dull color, turning yellowish. Also avoid cucumbers with withered or shriveled ends — signs of toughness and bitter flavor.

Cucumber (Peeled) – Serving – 1 Cup Sliced
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 114.823 Calcium mg 16.660 Vitamin C mg 3.332
Energy kcal 14.280 Iron mg 0.190 Thiamin mg 0.025
Energy kj 59.500 Magnesium mg 14.280 Riboflavin mg 0.013
Protein g 0.678 Phosphorus mg 24.990 Niacin mg 0.124
Fat g 0.190 Potassium mg 176.120 Pantothenic acid mg 0.339
Carbohydrate g 2.975 Sodium mg 2.380 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.086
Fiber g 0.933 Zinc mg 0.167 Folate mcg 16.660
Copper mg 0.038 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.101 Vitamin A IU 88.060
Selenium mcg 0.000 Vitamin A, RE mcg 8.330
Vitamin E mg 0.094

eggEggplants are most plentiful during late summer, but are available all year. Although the purple eggplant is more common, white eggplant is occasionally seen in the marketplace.

Look for firm, heavy, smooth, and uniformly dark purple eggplants.

Avoid those, which are poorly colored, soft, shriveled, cut, or which show decay in the form of irregular dark-brown spots.

Eggplant (Cooked, Boiled, Drained, With Salt – Serving – 1 Cup (1″ Cubes)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 90.852 Calcium mg 5.940 Vitamin C mg 1.287
Energy kcal 27.720 Iron mg 0.346 Thiamin mg 0.075
Energy kj 115.830 Magnesium mg 12.870 Riboflavin mg 0.020
Protein g 0.822 Phosphorus mg 21.780 Niacin mg 0.594
Fat g 0.228 Potassium mg 245.520 Pantothenic acid mg 0.074
Carbohydrate g 6.574 Sodium mg 236.610 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.085
Fiber g 2.475 Zinc mg 0.148 Folate mcg 13.860
Copper mg 0.107 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.135 Vitamin A IU 63.360
Selenium mcg 0.396 Vitamin A, RE mcg 5.940
Vitamin E mg

greensA large number of widely differing species of plants are grown for use as “greens.” The better-known kinds are spinach, kale, collard, turnip, beet, chard, mustard, broccoli leaves, chicory, endive, escarole, dandelion, cress, and sorrel. Many others, some of them wild, are also used to a limited extent as greens.

Look for leaves that are fresh, young, tender, free from defects, and that have a good, healthy, green color. Beet tops and red chard show reddish color.

Avoid leaves with coarse, fibrous stems, yellowish-green color, softness (a sign of decay), or those in a wilted condition. Also avoid greens with evidence of insects — especially aphids — which are sometimes hard to see and equally hard to wash away.

Greens, Collard – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 32.598 Calcium mg 52.200 Vitamin C mg 12.708
Energy kcal 10.800 Iron mg 0.068 Thiamin mg 0.019
Energy kj 45.360 Magnesium mg 3.240 Riboflavin mg 0.047
Protein g 0.882 Phosphorus mg 3.600 Niacin mg 0.267
Fat g 0.151 Potassium mg 60.840 Pantothenic acid mg 0.096
Carbohydrate g 2.048 Sodium mg 7.200 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.059
Fiber g 1.296 Zinc mg 0.047 Folate mcg 59.760
Copper mg 0.014 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.099 Vitamin A IU 1376.640
Selenium mcg 0.468 Vitamin A, RE mcg 137.520
Vitamin E mg 0.814

letAmong the leading U.S. vegetables, lettuce owes its prominence to the growing popularity of salads in our diets. It’s available throughout the year in various seasons from California, Arizona, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and other States. Four types of lettuce are generally sold: iceberg, butter-head, Romaine, and leaf.

Iceberg lettuce is the major type. Heads are large, round, and solid, with medium-green outer leaves and lighter green or pale-green inner leaves.
Butter-head lettuce, including the Big Boston and Bibb varieties, has a smaller head than iceberg. This type will have soft, succulent light-green leaves in a rosette pattern in the center.

Romaine lettuce plants are tall and cylindrical with crisp, dark-green leaves in a loosely folded head.

Leaf lettuce includes many varieties — none with a compact head. Leaves are broad, tender, succulent, and fairly smooth, and they vary in color according to variety.
Look for signs of freshness in lettuce. For iceberg and Romaine, the leaves should be crisp. Other lettuce types will have a softer texture, but leaves should not be wilted. Look for a good, bright color — in most varieties, medium to light green. Some varieties have red leaves.

Avoid heads of iceberg type which are very hard and which lack green color (signs of over maturity). Such heads sometimes develop discoloration of the inner leaves and midribs, and may have a less desirable flavor. Also avoid heads with irregular shapes and hard bumps on top, which indicate the presence of overgrown central stems.
Check the lettuce for tip burn, a tan or brown area around the margins of the leaves. Look for tip burn of the edges of the head leaves. Slight discoloration of the outer or wrapper leaves will usually not hurt the quality of the lettuce, but serious discoloration or decay definitely should be avoided.

Lettuce, Iceberg (Includes Crisp head Types) Serving – 1 Cup Shredded or Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 52.739 Calcium mg 10.450 Vitamin C mg 2.145
Energy kcal 6.600 Iron mg 0.275 Thiamin mg 0.025
Energy kj 27.500 Magnesium mg 4.950 Riboflavin mg 0.017
Protein g 0.555 Phosphorus mg 11.000 Niacin mg 0.103
Fat g 0.104 Potassium mg 96.900 Pantothenic acid mg 0.025
Carbohydrate g 1.149 Sodium mg 4.950 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.022
Fiber g 0.770 Zinc mg 0.121 Folate mcg 30.800
Copper mg 0.015 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.083 Vitamin A IU 181.500
Selenium mcg 0.110 Vitamin A, RE mcg 18.150
Vitamin E mg 0.154

mushGrown in houses, cellars, or caves, mushrooms are available year-round in varying amounts. Most come from Pennsylvania, but many are produced in California, New York, Ohio, and other States.
We usually describe mushrooms as having a cap (the wide portion on top), gills (the numerous rows of paper-thin tissue seen underneath the cap when it opens), and a stem.

Look for young mushrooms that are small to medium in size. Caps should be either closed around the stem or moderately open with pink or light-tan gills. The surface of the cap should be white or creamy, or uniform light brown if of a brown type.

Avoid overripe mushrooms (shown by wide-open caps and dark, discolored gills underneath) and those with pitted or seriously discolored caps.

Mushrooms – Serving – 1 Cup Pieces or Slices
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 64.267 Calcium mg 3.500 Vitamin C mg 2.450
Energy kcal 17.500 Iron mg 0.868 Thiamin mg 0.071
Energy kj 73.500 Magnesium mg 7.000 Riboflavin mg 0.314
Protein g 1.463 Phosphorus mg 72.800 Niacin mg 2.881
Fat g 0.294 Potassium mg 259.000 Pantothenic acid mg 1.540
Carbohydrate g 3.255 Sodium mg 2.800 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.068
Fiber g 0.840 Zinc mg 0.511 Folate mcg 14.770
Copper mg 0.344 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.078 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 8.610 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.000
Vitamin E mg 0.084

okraOkra is the immature seedpod of the okra plant, generally grown in Southern States.

Look for tender pods (the tips will bend with very slight pressure) under 4-1/2 inches long. They should be bright green color and free from blemishes.

Avoid tough, fibrous pods, indicated by tips which are stiff and resist bending, or by a very hard body of the pod, or by pale, faded green color.

Okra – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 89.580 Calcium mg 81.000 Vitamin C mg 21.100
Energy kcal 33.000 Iron mg 0.800 Thiamin mg 0.200
Energy kj 138.000 Magnesium mg 57.000 Riboflavin mg 0.060
Protein g 2.000 Phosphorus mg 63.000 Niacin mg 1.000
Fat g 0.100 Potassium mg 303.000 Pantothenic acid mg 0.245
Carbohydrate g 7.630 Sodium mg 8.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.215
Fiber g 3.200 Zinc mg 0.600 Folate mcg 88.000
Copper mg 0.094 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.990 Vitamin A IU 660.000
Selenium mcg 0.700 Vitamin A, RE mcg 66.000
Vitamin E mg 0.690


onionsThe many varieties of onions grown commercially fall into three general classes, distinguished by color: yellow, white, and red.
Onions are available year-round, either fresh or from storage.
Major onion-growing States are California, New York, Texas, Michigan, Colorado, Oregon, and Idaho.

Look for hard or firm onions that are dry and have small necks. They should be reasonably free from green sunburn spots or other blemishes.

Avoid onions with wet or very soft necks, which usually are immature or affected by decay. Also avoid onions with thick, hollow, woody centers in the neck or with fresh sprouts.

Onions – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 143.488 Calcium mg 32.000 Vitamin C mg 10.240
Energy kcal 60.800 Iron mg 0.352 Thiamin mg 0.067
Energy kj 254.400 Magnesium mg 16.000 Riboflavin mg 0.032
Protein g 1.856 Phosphorus mg 52.800 Niacin mg 0.237
Fat g 0.256 Potassium mg 251.200 Pantothenic acid mg 0.170
Carbohydrate g 13.808 Sodium mg 4.800 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.186
Fiber g 2.880 Zinc mg 0.304 Folate mcg 30.400
Copper mg 0.096 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.219 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 0.960 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.000
Vitamin E mg 0.208

peasGreen peas provide vitamins A, folate, potassium, protein and fibre.

Look for firm fresh, bright green pods.

Avoid flabby, wilted pods and any sign of decay

Peas, Green – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 114.347 Calcium mg 36.250 Vitamin C mg 58.000
Energy kcal 117.450 Iron mg 2.131 Thiamin mg 0.386
Energy kj 491.550 Magnesium mg 47.850 Riboflavin mg 0.191
Protein g 7.859 Phosphorus mg 156.600 Niacin mg 3.030
Fat g 0.580 Potassium mg 353.800 Pantothenic acid mg 0.151
Carbohydrate g 20.967 Sodium mg 7.250 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.245
Fiber g 7.395 Zinc mg 1.798 Folate mcg 94.250
Copper mg 0.255 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.594 Vitamin A IU 928.000
Selenium mcg 2.610 Vitamin A, RE mcg 92.800
Vitamin E mg 0.566

parsnipsAlthough available to some extent throughout the year, parsnips are primarily late-winter vegetables because the flavor becomes sweeter and more desirable after long exposure to cold temperatures, below 40 °F.

Look for parsnips of small or medium width that are well-formed, smooth, firm, and free from serious blemishes or decay.

Avoid large, coarse roots (which probably have woody, fibrous, or pithy centers) and badly wilted and flabby roots (which will be tough when cooked).

Parsnips – Serving – 1 Cup Slices
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 105.775 Calcium mg 47.880 Vitamin C mg 22.610
Energy kcal 99.750 Iron mg 0.785 Thiamin mg 0.120
Energy kj 417.620 Magnesium mg 38.570 Riboflavin mg 0.067
Protein g 1.596 Phosphorus mg 94.430 Niacin mg 0.931
Fat g 0.399 Potassium mg 498.750 Pantothenic acid mg 0.798
Carbohydrate g 23.927 Sodium mg 13.300 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.120
Fiber g 6.517 Zinc mg 0.785 Folate mcg 89.100
Copper mg 0.160 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.745 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 2.394 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.000
Vitamin E mg

peppersMost of the peppers that you’ll find are the sweet green peppers, available in varying amounts throughout the year, but most plentiful during late summer. (Fully matured peppers of the same type have a bright red color.) A variety of colored peppers are also available, including white, yellow, orange, red, and purple.

Look for peppers with deep, characteristic color, glossy sheen, relatively heavy weight, and firm walls or sides.

Avoid peppers with very thin walls (indicated by lightweight and flimsy sides), peppers that are wilted or flabby with cuts or punctures through the walls, and pepper with soft watery spots on the sides (evidence of decay).

Peppers, Sweet, Green, Raw – Serving – 1 large (3 – 3/4″ long, 3″ dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 151.192 Calcium mg 14.760 Vitamin C mg 146.452
Energy kcal 44.280 Iron mg 0.754 Thiamin mg 0.108
Energy kj 185.320 Magnesium mg 16.400 Riboflavin mg 0.049
Protein g 1.460 Phosphorus mg 31.160 Niacin mg 0.835
Fat g 0.312 Potassium mg 290.280 Pantothenic acid mg 0.131
Carbohydrate g 10.545 Sodium mg 3.280 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.407
Fiber g 2.952 Zinc mg 0.197 Folate mcg 36.080
Copper mg 0.107 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.190 Vitamin A IU 1036.480
Selenium mcg 0.492 Vitamin A, RE mcg 103.320
Vitamin E mg 1.132

potFor practical purposes, potatoes can be put into three groups, although the distinctions between them are not clear-cut, and there is much overlap.

“New potatoes” is a term most frequently used to describe those potatoes freshly harvested and marketed during the late winter or early spring. The name is also widely used in later crop producing areas to designate freshly dug potatoes, which are not fully matured. The best uses for new potatoes are boiling or creaming. They vary widely in size and shape, depending upon variety, but are likely to be affected by “skinning” or “feathering” of the outer layer of skin. Skinning usually affects only their appearance.
“General purpose potatoes” include the great majority of supplies, both round and long types, offered for sale in markets. With the aid of air-cooled storage, they are amply available throughout the year. As the term implies, they are used for boiling, frying, and baking, although many of the common varieties are not considered to be best for baking.
Potatoes grown specifically for their baking quality also are available. Both variety and area where grown are important factors affecting baking quality. A long variety with fine, scaly netting on the skin, such as the Russet Burbank, is commonly used for baking.

With new potatoes, look for firm potatoes that are free from blemishes and sunburn (a green discoloration under the skin). Some amount of skinned surface is normal, but potatoes with large skinned and discolored areas are undesirable. For general-purpose and baking potatoes, look for reasonably smooth, firm potatoes free from blemishes, sunburn, and decay.

Avoid potatoes with large cuts, bruises, or decay (they’ll cause waste in peeling) and sprouted or shriveled potatoes. Also avoid green potatoes. The green portions, which contain the alkaloid solanin, may penetrate the flesh and cause bitter flavor.

Potatoes (Flesh and Skin) – Serving – 1 Medium (2-1/4″ to 3″ dia.)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 96.331 Calcium mg 8.540 Vitamin C mg 24.034
Energy kcal 96.380 Iron mg 0.927 Thiamin mg 0.107
Energy kj 403.820 Magnesium mg 25.620 Riboflavin mg 0.043
Protein g 2.525 Phosphorus mg 56.120 Niacin mg 1.810
Fat g 0.122 Potassium mg 662.460 Pantothenic acid mg 0.464
Carbohydrate g 21.936 Sodium mg 7.320 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.317
Fiber g 1.952 Zinc mg 0.476 Folate mcg 15.616
Copper mg 0.316 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.321 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 0.366 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.000
Vitamin E mg 0.073

radRadishes, available the year-round, are most plentiful from May through July. California and Florida produce most of our winter and spring supplies, while several Northern States provide radishes the rest of the year.

Look for medium-size radishes — 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter — that are plump, round, firm, and of a good, red color.

Avoid very large or flabby radishes (likely to have pithy centers). Also avoid radishes with yellow or decayed tops (sign of over-age).

Radishes – Serving – 1 Medium (3/4″ to 1″ dia.)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 4.268 Calcium mg 0.945 Vitamin C mg 1.026
Energy kcal 0.900 Iron mg 0.013 Thiamin mg 0.000
Energy kj 3.780 Magnesium mg 0.405 Riboflavin mg 0.002
Protein g 0.027 Phosphorus mg 0.810 Niacin mg 0.013
Fat g 0.024 Potassium mg 10.440 Pantothenic acid mg 0.004
Carbohydrate g 0.162 Sodium mg 1.080 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.003
Fiber g 0.072 Zinc mg 0.013 Folate mcg 1.215
Copper mg 0.002 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.003 Vitamin A IU 0.360
Selenium mcg 0.032 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.045
Vitamin E mg 0.000

rhuThis highly specialized vegetable is used like a fruit in sweetened sauces and pies. Very limited supplies are available during most of the year, with best supplies available from January to June.

Look for fresh, firm rhubarb stems with a bright, glossy appearance. Stems should have a large amount of pink or red color, although many good-quality stems will be predominantly light green. Be sure that the stem is tender and not fibrous.

Avoid either very slender or extremely thick stems, which are likely to be tough and stringy. Also avoid rhubarb that is wilted and flabby.

Rhubarb – Serving – 1 Cup Diced
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 114.204 Calcium mg 104.920 Vitamin C mg 9.760
Energy kcal 25.620 Iron mg 0.268 Thiamin mg 0.024
Energy kj 107.360 Magnesium mg 14.640 Riboflavin mg 0.037
Protein g 1.098 Phosphorus mg 17.080 Niacin mg 0.366
Fat g 0.244 Potassium mg 351.360 Pantothenic acid mg 0.104
Carbohydrate g 5.539 Sodium mg 4.880 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.029
Fiber g 2.196 Zinc mg 0.122 Folate mcg 8.540
Copper mg 0.026 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.239 Vitamin A IU 122.000
Selenium mcg 1.342 Vitamin A, RE mcg 12.200
Vitamin E mg 0.244

Summer Squash
ssquashSummer squash includes those varieties, which are harvested while still immature, and when the entire squash is tender and edible. They include the yellow Crookneck, the large Straight neck, the greenish-white Patty Pan, and the slender green Zucchini. Some of these squash are available at all times of the year.

Look for squash that are tender and well developed, firm, and fresh in appearance. You can identify a tender squash, because the skin is glossy instead of dull, and it is neither hard nor tough.

Avoid stale or over mature squash, which will have a dull appearance and a hard, tough surface. Such squash usually have enlarged seeds and dry, stringy flesh. Also avoid squash with discolored or pitted areas.

Squash, Zucchini – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 118.147 Calcium mg 18.600 Vitamin C mg 11.160
Energy kcal 17.360 Iron mg 0.521 Thiamin mg 0.087
Energy kj 73.160 Magnesium mg 27.280 Riboflavin mg 0.037
Protein g 1.438 Phosphorus mg 39.680 Niacin mg 0.496
Fat g 0.174 Potassium mg 307.520 Pantothenic acid mg 0.103
Carbohydrate g 3.596 Sodium mg 3.720 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.110
Fiber g 1.488 Zinc mg 0.248 Folate mcg 27.404
Copper mg 0.071 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.157 Vitamin A IU 421.600
Selenium mcg 0.248 Vitamin A, RE mcg 42.160
Vitamin E mg 0.149

Fall Squash

fallsWinter squash are those varieties, which are marketed only when fully mature. Some of the most important varieties are the small-corrugated Acorn (available all year-round), Butternut, Buttercup, green and blue Hubbard, green and gold Delicious, and Banana. Winter squash is most plentiful from early fall until late winter.

Look for full maturity, indicated by a hard, tough rind. Also look for squash that is heavy for its size (meaning a thick wall and more edible flesh). Slight variations in skin color do not affect flavor.

Avoid squash with cuts, punctures, sunken spots, or moldy spots on the rind. These are indications of decay. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is a sign of poor eating quality in winter squash varieties.

Fall Squash – Serving – 1 cup (cubes)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 122.892 Calcium mg 46.2 Vitamin C mg 15.4
Energy kcal 56.000 Iron mg .98 Thiamin mg .196
Energy kj 233.8 Magnesium mg 44.800 Riboflavin mg .014
Protein g 1.12 Phosphorus mg 50.4 Niacin mg .98
Fat g .14 Potassium mg 485.00 Pantothenic acid mg .560
Carbohydrate g 14.588 Sodium mg 4.2 Vitamin B-6 mg .216
Fiber g 2.100 Zinc mg .182 Folate mcg 23.800
Copper mg .091 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg .0234 Vitamin A IU 476.00
Selenium mcg 0.780 Vitamin A, RE mcg 47.60
Vitamin E mg 0.364

Sweet Potatoes
sweet potTwo types of sweet potatoes are available in varying amounts the year-round. Moist sweet potatoes, sometimes called yams, are the most common type. They have orange-colored flesh and are very sweet. (The true yam is the root of a tropical vine, which is not grown commercially in the United States.) Dry sweet potatoes have pale-colored flesh and are low in moisture. Most sweet potatoes are grown in the Southern tier and some Eastern States, in an area from Texas to New Jersey. California also is a major producer.

Look for firm sweet potatoes with smooth, bright, uniformly colored skins, free from signs of decay. Because they are more perishable than white potatoes, extra care should be used in selecting sweet potatoes.

Avoid sweet potatoes with worm holes, cuts, grub injury, or any other defects which penetrate the skin; this causes waste and can readily lead to decay. Even if you cut away the decayed portion, the remainder of the potato flesh may have a bad taste.
Decay is the worst problem with sweet potatoes and is of three types: wet, soft decay; dry, firm decay which begins at the end of the potato, making it discolored and shriveled; and dry rot in the form of sunken, discolored areas on the sides of the potato.
Sweet potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potatoes – Serving – 1 Sweet Potatoe (5″)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 94.692 Calcium mg 28.600 Vitamin C mg 29.510
Energy kcal 136.500 Iron mg 0.767 Thiamin mg 0.086
Energy kj 570.700 Magnesium mg 13.000 Riboflavin mg 0.191
Protein g 2.145 Phosphorus mg 36.400 Niacin mg 0.876
Fat g 0.390 Potassium mg 265.200 Pantothenic acid mg 0.768
Carbohydrate g 31.564 Sodium mg 16.900 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.334
Fiber g 3.900 Zinc mg 0.364 Folate mcg 17.940
Copper mg 0.220 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.461 Vitamin A IU 26081.900
Selenium mcg 0.780 Vitamin A, RE mcg 2607.800
Vitamin E mg 0.364

tomExtremely popular and nutritious, tomatoes are in moderate to liberal supply throughout the year. Florida, California, and a number of other States are major producers, but imports supplement domestic supplies.
The best flavor usually comes from locally grown tomatoes produced on nearby farms. This type of tomato is allowed to ripen completely before being picked. Many areas, however, now ship tomatoes, which are picked right after the color has begun to change from green to pink.

If your tomatoes need further ripening, keep them in a warm place but not in direct sunlight. Unless they are fully ripened, do not store tomatoes in a refrigerator — the cold temperatures might keep them from ripening later on and ruin the flavor.

Look for tomatoes, which are smooth, well ripened, and reasonably free from blemishes.
For fully ripe fruit, look for an overall rich, red color and a slight softness. Softness is easily detected by gentle handling.
For tomatoes slightly less than fully ripe, look for firm texture and color ranging from pink to light red.

Avoid soft, overripe, or bruised tomatoes, and tomatoes with sunburn (green or yellow areas near the steam scar), and growth cracks (deep brown cracks around the steam scar). Also avoid decayed tomatoes, which will have soft, water-soaked spots, depressed areas, or surface mold.

Tomatoes, italian, ripe, raw – Serving – 1 Tomato
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 58.131 Calcium mg 3.100 Vitamin C mg 16.120
Energy kcal 13.020 Iron mg 0.279 Thiamin mg 0.037
Energy kj 54.560 Magnesium mg 6.820 Riboflavin mg 0.030
Protein g 0.527 Phosphorus mg 14.880 Niacin mg 0.389
Fat g 0.205 Potassium mg 137.640 Pantothenic acid mg 0.153
Carbohydrate g 2.877 Sodium mg 5.580 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.050
Fiber g 0.682 Zinc mg 0.056 Folate mcg 9.300
Copper mg 0.046 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.065 Vitamin A IU 386.260
Selenium mcg 0.248 Vitamin A, RE mcg 38.440
Vitamin E mg 0.236


turnipsThe most popular turnip has white flesh and a purple tope (reddish-purple tinting of the upper surface). It may be sold “topped” (with leaves removed) or in bunches with tops still on, and is available in some grocery stores most of the year.

Look for small or medium-size, smooth, fairly round, and firm vegetables. If sold in bunches, the tops should be fresh and should have a good green color.

Avoid large turnips with too many leaf scars around the top and with obvious fibrous roots.

Turnip – Serving 1 cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 119.431 Calcium mg 39.00 Vitamin C mg 27.300
Energy kcal 35.100 Iron mg 0.390 Thiamin mg 0.052
Energy kj 146.900 Magnesium mg 14.300 Riboflavin mg 0.039
Protein g 1.170 Phosphorus mg 35.100 Niacin mg 0.520
Fat g 0.130 Potassium mg 248.300 Pantothenic acid mg 0.260
Carbohydrate g 8.099 Sodium mg 87.100 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.117
Fiber g 0.910 Zinc mg 0.351 Folate mcg 18.850
Copper mg 0.111 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.174 Vitamin A IU 0.000
Selenium mcg 0.910 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.000
Vitamin E mg 0.039

watercressWatercress is a small, round-leaved plant that grows naturally (or it may be cultivated) along the banks of freshwater streams and ponds. It is prized as an ingredient of mixed green salads and as a garnish, because of its spicy flavor. Watercress is available in limited supply through most of the year.

Look for watercress that is fresh, crisp, and that has a rich green color.

Avoid bunches with yellow, wilted, or decayed leaves.

Watercress – Serving – 1 Cup Chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 32.337 Calcium mg 40.800 Vitamin C mg 14.620
Energy kcal 3.740 Iron mg 0.068 Thiamin mg 0.031
Energy kj 15.640 Magnesium mg 7.140 Riboflavin mg 0.041
Protein g 0.782 Phosphorus mg 20.400 Niacin mg 0.068
Fat g 0.034 Potassium mg 112.200 Pantothenic acid mg 0.105
Carbohydrate g 0.439 Sodium mg 13.940 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.044
Fiber g 0.510 Zinc mg 0.037 Folate mcg 3.060
Copper mg 0.026 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.083 Vitamin A IU 1598.000
Selenium mcg 0.306 Vitamin A, RE mcg 159.800
Vitamin E mg 0.340


fruitsIf you walk into any grocery store you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables available in fairly constant supply throughout the year. Fresh fruits add color and variety to any meal and because of their natural sweetness, are great for dessert and are a good low-fat snack alternative.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind

There is no substitute for your own expertise when choosing the right quality of fresh fruit or vegetables. In addition it seldom pays to buy perishable fruits and vegetables just because the price is low. Unless the lower price is a result of overabundance, the so-called bargain may be undesirable.

Buy only what you need. Refrigeration makes it possible to keep an adequate supply of most perishable fruits and vegetables on hand, but never buy more than you can properly refrigerate and use without waste — even if the product is cheaper in quantity.

Keep on the lookout for deterioration. Even with the most modern handling methods, product quality can decline rapidly while on display. Sometimes, this off quality can be bought for less money, but the waste in preparation may offset the price reduction.
Often a very attractive fruit or vegetable may not taste good because of a varietals characteristic, or because of some internal condition such as over maturity. On the other hand, a poor appearance due to poor color or superficial blemishes may be delicious.

Quality is usually higher and prices are more reasonable when fruits and vegetables are bought in season. Out-of-season produce is generally more expensive. When you must handle a fruit or vegetable to judge its quality, use care to prevent injury. Rough handling causes spoilage and waste and you pay for carelessness in the long run.

Fresh fruits and fruit juices contain many vitamins and minerals, they are low in fat (except avocados) and sodium, and they provide dietary fiber. Whole, unpeeled fruit is higher in fiber than peeled fruit or fruit juice. It is recommended that you consume 2 to 4 servings from the fruit group each day. Count as a serving an individual unit (one medium apple, pear, banana, orange), a fraction of a unit (grapefruit half, melon wedge), 1/2-cup berries, and 1/2 cup chopped or cooked fruit, or 3/4-cup fruit juice.

Under federal guidelines, a substantial number of retailers must provide nutrition information for the 20 most frequently eaten raw fruits. These fruits are: bananas, apples, watermelons, oranges, cantaloupes, grapes, grapefruit, strawberries, peaches, pears, nectarines, honeydew melons, plums, avocados, lemons, pineapples, tangerines, sweet cherries, kiwifruit, and limes. Information about other fruits may also be provided. The nutritional information may appear on posters, brochures, leaflets, or stickers near the fruit display. It may include serving size; calories per serving; amount of protein, total carbohydrates, total fat, and sodium per serving; and percent of the Recommended Daily Allowances for iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C per serving.

The following alphabetical list of fruits is designed as a reference to help you shop more intelligently.

applesThe many varieties of apples differ widely in appearance, flesh characteristics, seasonal availability, and suitability for different uses.

The best varieties to eat fresh are the commonly available: Red Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Empire, and Golden Delicious. For making pies and applesauce, use tart or slightly acid varieties such as Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Jonathan, and Newtown.
For baking, the firmer fleshed varieties — Rome Beauty, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greening, Winesap, and York Imperial — are widely used.

Look for firm, crisp, well-colored apples. Flavor varies in apples, and depends on the stage of maturity at the time that the fruit is picked. Apples must be mature when picked to have a good flavor, texture, and storing ability. Immature apples lack color and are usually poor in flavor. They may have a shriveled appearance after being held in storage.

Avoid overripe apples (indicated by a yielding to slight pressure on the skin, and soft, mealy flesh) and apples affected by freeze (indicated by internal breakdown and bruised areas).

Scald on apples (irregularly shaped tan or brown areas) may not seriously affect the taste.

Apple – Serving – 1 medium apple

 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 115.823 Calcium mg 9.660 Vitamin C mg 7.866
Energy kcal 81.420 Iron mg 0.248 Thiamin mg 0.023
Energy kj 340.860 Magnesium mg 6.900 Riboflavin mg 0.019
Protein g 0.262 Phosphorus mg 9.660 Niacin mg 0.106
Fat g 0.497 Potassium mg 158.700 Pantothenic acid mg 0.084
Carbohydrate g 21.045 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.066
Fiber g 3.726 Zinc mg 0.055 Folate mcg 3.864
Copper mg 0.057 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.062 Vitamin A IU 73.140
Selenium mcg 0.414 Vitamin A, RE mcg 6.900
Vitamin E mg 0.442

apricotsMost fresh apricots are found in June and July, but a limited supply of imported apricots is available in large cities during December and January. Domestic apricots are grown principally in California, Washington, and Utah.

Apricots develop their flavor and sweetness on the tree, and should be mature but firm at the time that they are picked.

Look for apricots that are plump and juicy looking, with a uniform, golden-orange color. Ripe apricots will yield to gentle pressure on the skin.

Avoid dull-looking, soft, or mushy fruit, and very firm, pale yellow, or greenish-yellow fruit. These indicate over maturity or immaturity, respectively.

Apricot – Serving – 1 Apricot

 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 30.223 Calcium mg 4.900 Vitamin C mg 3.500
Energy kcal 16.800 Iron mg 0.189 Thiamin mg 0.011
Energy kj 70.350 Magnesium mg 2.800 Riboflavin mg 0.014
Protein g 0.490 Phosphorus mg 6.650 Niacin mg 0.210
Fat g 0.137 Potassium mg 103.600 Pantothenic acid mg 0.084
Carbohydrate g 3.892 Sodium mg 0.350 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.019
Fiber g 0.840 Zinc mg 0.091 Folate mcg 3.010
Copper mg 0.031 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.028 Vitamin A IU 914.200
Selenium mcg 0.140 Vitamin A, RE mcg 91.350
Vitamin E mg 0.311

avoAvocados, grown in California and Florida, are available all year. Two general types, and a number of varieties of each, are grown. Depending upon type and variety, avocados vary greatly in shape, size, and color. Most tend to be pear-shaped, but some are almost spherical. Fruits weighing less than 1/2 pound are most commonly available. Some have rough or leathery textured skin, while others have smooth skin. The skin color of most varieties is some shade of green, but certain varieties turn maroon, brown, or purplish-black as they ripen.

Despite this variation in appearance, avocados are of good eating quality when they are properly ripened, becoming slightly soft. This ripening process normally takes from 3 to 5 days at room temperature for the quite firm avocados usually found in grocery stores. Ripening can be slowed by refrigeration.

For immediate use look for slightly soft avocados, which yield to gentle pressure on the skin. For use in a few days, buy firm fruits that do not yield to the squeeze test. Leave them at room temperature to ripen. Irregular light-brown markings are sometimes found on the outside skin. These markings generally have no effect on the flesh of the avocado.

Avoid avocados with dark sunken spots in irregular patches or cracked or broken surfaces. These are signs of decay.

When preparing avocados, immediately place the peeled fruit in lemon juice until ready for use to avoid the browning of the flesh when exposed to the air

Avocados – Serving – 1 Cup Cubes
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 111.405 Calcium mg 16.500 Vitamin C mg 11.850
Energy kcal 241.500 Iron mg 1.530 Thiamin mg 0.162
Energy kj 1011.000 Magnesium mg 58.500 Riboflavin mg 0.183
Protein g 2.970 Phosphorus mg 61.500 Niacin mg 2.882
Fat g 22.980 Potassium mg 898.500 Pantothenic acid mg 1.457
Carbohydrate g 11.085 Sodium mg 15.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.420
Fiber g 7.500 Zinc mg 0.630 Folate mcg 92.850
Copper mg 0.393 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.339 Vitamin A IU 918.000
Selenium mcg 0.600 Vitamin A, RE mcg 91.500
Vitamin E mg 2.010


bananasBananas develop their best eating quality after they are harvested. This allows bananas to be shipped great distances. Almost our entire supply of bananas, available year-round, is imported from Central and South America. Bananas are sensitive to cool temperatures and will be injured in temperatures below 55 °F. For this reason, they should never be kept in the refrigerator. The ideal temperature for ripening bananas is between 60 and 70 °F. Higher temperatures cause them to ripen too rapidly.

Look for bananas, which are firm, bright in appearance, and free from bruises or other injury. The state of ripeness is indicated by skin color. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow color is specked with brown. At this stage, the flesh is mellow and the flavor is fully developed. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor potential.

Avoid bruised fruit (indicating rapid deterioration and waste); discolored skins (a sign of decay); a dull, grayish, aged appearance (showing that the bananas have been exposed to cold and will not ripen properly). Occasionally, the skin may be entirely brown and yet the flesh will still be in prime condition.

Bananas – Serving – 1 Medium
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 87.627 Calcium mg 7.080 Vitamin C mg 10.738
Energy kcal 108.560 Iron mg 0.366 Thiamin mg 0.053
Energy kj 454.300 Magnesium mg 34.22 Riboflavin mg 0.118
Protein g 1.215 Phosphorus mg 23.600 Niacin mg 0.637
Fat g 0.566 Potassium mg 467.280 Pantothenic acid mg 0.307
Carbohydrate g 27.647 Sodium mg 1.180 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.682
Fiber g 2.832 Zinc mg 0.189 Folate mcg 22.538
Copper mg 0.123 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.179 Vitamin A IU 95.580
Selenium mcg 1.298 Vitamin A, RE mcg 9.440
Vitamin E mg 0.319

blueFresh blueberries are on the market from May through September. Generally, the large berries are cultivated varieties and the smaller berries are wild varieties.

A dark blue color with a silvery bloom is the best indication of quality. This silvery bloom is a natural, protective, waxy coating. Buy blueberries that are plump, firm, uniform in size, dry, and free from stems or leaves.

Avoid soft, mushy, or leaking berries.

Blueberries – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 122.685 Calcium mg 8.700 Vitamin C mg 18.840
Energy kcal 81.200 Iron mg 0.247 Thiamin mg 0.070
Energy kj 339.300 Magnesium mg 7.250 Riboflavin mg 0.072
Protein g 0.972 Phosphorus mg 14.500 Niacin mg 0.521
Fat g 0.551 Potassium mg 129.050 Pantothenic acid mg 0.135
Carbohydrate g 20.488 Sodium mg 8.700 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.052
Fiber g 3.915 Zinc mg 0.160 Folate mcg 9.280
Copper mg 0.088 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.409 Vitamin A IU 145.000
Selenium mcg 0.870 Vitamin A, RE mcg 14.500
Vitamin E mg 1.450

cherryMost sweet cherries found in grocery stores are produced in the Western States and are available from May through August. Red tart cherries, also called sour or pie cherries and used mainly in cooked desserts, have a softer flesh, lighter red color, and a tart flavor. They generally are shipped to processing plants and are sold frozen or canned.

Good cherries have bright, glossy, plump-looking surfaces and fresh-looking stems.
A very dark color is your most important indication of good flavor and maturity in sweet cherries. Bing, Black Tartarian, Schmidt, Chapman, and Republican varieties should range from deep maroon or mahogany red to black for richest flavor. Lambert cherries should be dark red. Rainier cherries should be straw-colored.

Avoid over mature cherries lacking in flavor, indicated by shriveling, dried stems, and a generally dull appearance. Decay is fairly common at times on sweet cherries, but because of the normal dark color, decayed areas are often inconspicuous. Soft, leaking flesh, brown discoloration, and mold growth are indications of decay.

Cherries – Serving – 1 cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 117.102 Calcium mg 21.750 Vitamin C mg 10.150
Energy kcal 104.400 Iron mg 0.566 Thiamin mg 0.072
Energy kj 436.450 Magnesium mg 15.950 Riboflavin mg 0.087
Protein g 1.740 Phosphorus mg 27.550 Niacin mg 0.580
Fat g 1.392 Potassium mg 324.800 Pantothenic acid mg 0.184
Carbohydrate g 23.997 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.052
Fiber g 3.335 Zinc mg 0.087 Folate mcg 6.090
Copper mg 0.138 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.133 Vitamin A IU 310.300
Selenium mcg 0.870 Vitamin A, RE mcg 30.450
Vitamin E mg 0.189

cranA number of varieties of fresh cranberries are marketed in large volume from September through January. They differ considerably in size and color, but are not identified by variety names in your grocery store.

For the best quality look for plump, firm berries with a lustrous color. Duller varieties should at least have some red color.

Avoid brown or dark, discolored berries and soft, spongy, or leaky berries should be sorted out before cooking, because they may produce an off-flavor.

Cranberries – Serving – 1 cup chopped
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 95.194 Calcium mg 7.70 Vitamin C mg 14.850
Energy kcal 53.900 Iron mg 0.220 Thiamin mg 0.033
Energy kj 225.500 Magnesium mg 5.500 Riboflavin mg 0.022
Protein g 0.429 Phosphorus mg 9.900 Niacin mg 0.110
Fat g 0.220 Potassium mg 78.100 Pantothenic acid mg 0.241
Carbohydrate g 13.948 Sodium mg 1.100 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.072
Fiber g 4.620 Zinc mg 0.143 Folate mcg 1.870
Copper mg 0.064 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.173 Vitamin A IU 50.600
 Selenium mcg 0.660 Vitamin A, RE mcg 5.500
Vitamin E mg 0.110

grapefruitGrapefruit is available all year, with most abundant supplies from January through May. While Florida is the major source of fresh grapefruit, there also is substantial production in Texas, California, and Arizona. Several varieties are marketed, but the principal distinction in your grocery store is between those which are “seedless” (having few or no seeds) and the “seeded” type. Another distinction is color of flesh. Pink- or red-fleshed fruit is most common, but white-fleshed varieties are also available.

Grapefruit is picked “tree ripe” and is ready to eat when you buy it in the store.

For best eating look for firm fruits, that are heavy for their size.. Thin-skinned fruits have more juice than coarse-skinned ones. If a grapefruit is pointed at the stem end, it is likely to be thick-skinned. Rough, ridged, or wrinkled skin can also be an indication of thick skin, pulpiness, and lack of juice. Grapefruit often have skin defects such as scale, scars, thorn scratches, or discoloration. This usually does not affect how the fruit tastes.

Soft, water-soaked areas, lack of bright color, and soft, tender peel that breaks easily with finger pressure are symptoms of decay.

Grapefruit – Serving – 1/2 
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 112.397 Calcium mg 13.530 Vitamin C mg 46.863
Energy kcal 36.900 Iron mg 0.148 Thiamin mg 0.042
Energy kj 154.980 Magnesium mg 9.840 Riboflavin mg 0.025
Protein g 0.677 Phosphorus mg 11.070 Niacin mg 0.235
Fat g 0.123 Potassium mg 158.670 Pantothenic acid mg 0.348
Carbohydrate g 9.446 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.052
Zinc mg 0.086 Folate mcg 15.006
Copper mg 0.054 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.012 Vitamin A IU 318.570
Vitamin A, RE mcg 31.980

grapesMost table grapes available in grocery stores are of the European type, grown principally in California and Arizona. Only small quantities of Eastern-grown American-type grapes are sold for table use.

European types are firm-fleshed and generally have high sugar content. Common varieties are Thompson seedless (an early, green grape), Red seedless (an early, red grape), Tokay and Cardinal (early, bright-red, seeded grapes), and Emperor (late, deep-red, seeded grapes). These all have excellent flavor when well matured.

American-type grapes have softer flesh and are juicier than European types. The outstanding variety for flavor is the Concord, which is blue-black when fully matured. Delaware and Catawba are also popular.

Look for well-colored, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. White or green grapes are sweetest when the color has a yellowish cast or straw color, with a tinge of amber. Red varieties are better when red is visible on all or most of the grapes. Bunches are more likely to hold together if the stems are predominantly green and pliable.

Avoid soft or wrinkled grapes, or bunches of grapes with stems that are brown and brittle; these are the effects of freezing or drying. Also avoid grapes with bleached areas around the stem ends (indicating injury and poor quality), and leaking berries (a sign of decay).

Grapes -Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 74.796 Calcium mg 12.880 Vitamin C mg 3.680
Energy kcal 61.640 Iron mg 0.267 Thiamin mg 0.085
Energy kj 257.600 Magnesium mg 4.600 Riboflavin mg 0.052
Protein g 0.580 Phosphorus mg 9.200 Niacin mg 0.276
Fat g 0.322 Potassium mg 175.720 Pantothenic acid mg 0.022
Carbohydrate g 15.778 Sodium mg 1.840 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.101
Fiber g 0.920 Zinc mg 0.037 Folate mcg 3.588
Copper mg 0.037 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.661 Vitamin A IU 92.000
Selenium mcg 0.184 Vitamin A, RE mcg 9.200
Vitamin E mg 0.313

kiwiThe kiwifruit is a relatively small, ellipsoid-shaped fruit with a bright green, slightly acidic-tasting pulp surrounding many small, black, edible seeds, which in turn surround a pale heart. The exterior of the kiwifruit is unappealing to some, being somewhat “furry” and light to medium brown in color. (While the furry skin is edible, some prefer to peel the fruit before eating.) Domestic kiwifruit is produced primarily in California, but imported kiwifruit is also commonly marketed.

Look for plump, unwrinkled fruit, either firm or slightly yielding. Kiwifruit is fully ripe when it is yielding to the touch but not soft. Firm kiwifruit can be ripened at home in a few days by leaving it at room temperature. Use of a ripening bag or bowl will speed the process.

Avoid kiwi that show signs of shriveling, mold, or excessive softening, all of which indicate spoilage. Some kiwifruit may appear to have a “water-stained” exterior. This is perfectly normal for the fruit and does not affect interior quality in any way.

Kiwifruit contains an enzyme, actinidin, similar to papain in papayas that reacts chemically to break down proteins. (It has been used as a “secret ingredient” to tenderize meat.) Actinidin prevents gelatin from setting, so if you are going to serve kiwifruit in a gelatin dish, cook the fruit for a few minutes before adding it to the gelatin.

Kiwifruit – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 146.999 Calcium mg 46.020 Vitamin C mg 173.460
Energy kcal 107.970 Iron mg 0.726 Thiamin mg 0.035
Energy kj 451.350 Magnesium mg 53.100 Riboflavin mg 0.088
Protein g 1.752 Phosphorus mg 70.800 Niacin mg 0.885
Fat g 0.779 Potassium mg 587.640 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.159
Carbohydrate g 26.338 Sodium mg 8.850 Folate mcg 67.260
Fiber g 6.018 Zinc mg 0.301 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Copper mg 0.278 Vitamin A IU 309.750
Selenium mcg 1.062 Vitamin A, RE mcg 31.860
Vitamin E mg 1.982

lemonsMost of the commercial lemon supply comes from California and Arizona, and is available year-round.

Look for lemons with a rich yellow color, reasonably smooth-textured skin with a slight gloss, and those, which are firm and heavy. A pale or greenish-yellow color indicates very fresh fruit with slightly higher acidity. Coarse or rough skin texture is a sign of thick skin and not much flesh.

Avoid lemons with a darker yellow or dull color, or with hardened or shriveled skin (signs of age), and those with soft spots, mold on the surface, and punctures of the skin (signs of decay).

Lemons – Serving – 1 wedge or slice (1/8 of one 2-1/8 dia lemon)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 6.229 Calcium mg 1.820 Vitamin C mg 3.710
Energy kcal 2.030 Iron mg 0.042 Thiamin mg 0.003
Energy kj 8.470 Magnesium mg 0.560 Riboflavin mg 0.001
Protein g 0.077 Phosphorus mg 1.120 Niacin mg 0.007
Fat g 0.021 Potassium mg 9.660 Pantothenic acid mg 0.013
Carbohydrate g 0.652 Sodium mg 0.140 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.006
Fiber g 0.196 Zinc mg 0.004 Folate mcg 0.742
Copper mg 0.003 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.002 Vitamin A IU 2.030
Selenium mcg 0.028 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.210
Vitamin E mg 0.017

limesMost limes sold at retail are produced in Florida or imported from Mexico, and are marketed when mature. Imported limes are mostly the smaller “seeded” lime.

Look for limes with glossy skin and heavy weight for the size.

Avoid limes with dull, dry skin (a sign of aging and loss of acid flavor), and those showing evidence of decay (soft spots, mold, and skin punctures.)
Selection of melons for quality and flavor is difficult, challenging the skill of even the most experienced buyer. Although no absolute formula exists, considering several factors when judging a melon will increase the likelihood of success.

Limes Serving – 1 Lime (2″ Dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 59.134 Calcium mg 22.110 Vitamin C mg 19.497
Energy kcal 20.100 Iron mg 0.402 Thiamin mg 0.020
Energy kj 84.420 Magnesium mg 4.020 Riboflavin mg 0.013
Protein g 0.469 Phosphorus mg 13.060 Niacin mg 0.134
Fat g 0.134 Potassium mg 68.340 Pantothenic acid mg 0.145
Carbohydrate g 7.062 Sodium mg 1.340 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.029
Fiber g 1.876 Zinc mg 0.074 Folate mcg 5.494
Copper mg 0.044 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.005 Vitamin A IU 6.700
Selenium mcg 0.268 Vitamin A, RE mcg 0.670
Vitamin E mg 0.161

THE MELONS (Cantaloupe, Honey Dew and Watermelon)

cantaCantaloupes, generally available from May through September, are produced principally in California, Arizona, and Texas. Some are also imported early in the season.

There are three major signs of full maturity. First, the stem should be gone, leaving a smooth symmetrical, shallow base called a “full slip.” If all or part of the stem base remains, or if the stem scar is jagged or torn, the melon is probably not fully matured. Second, the netting, or veining, should be thick, coarse, and corky, and should stand out in bold relief over some part of the surface. Third, the skin color (ground color) between the netting should have changed from green to yellowish-buff, yellowish-gray, or pale yellow.

A cantaloupe might be mature, but not ripe. A ripe cantaloupe will have a yellowish cast to the rind, a pleasant aroma, and yield slightly to light thumb pressure on the blossom end of the melon. Most cantaloupe are quite firm when freshly displayed in retail stores. While some may be ripe, most have not yet reached their best eating stage. Hold them for 2 to 4 days at room temperature to allow completion of ripening. After conditioning the melons, some people like to place them in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

Over ripeness is indicated by a pronounced yellow rind color, a softening over the entire rind, and soft, watery, and insipid flesh. Small bruises normally will not hurt the fruit, but large bruised areas should be avoided, since they generally cause soft, water-soaked areas underneath the rind. Mold growth on the cantaloupe (particularly in the stem scar, or if the tissue under the mold is soft and wet) is a sign of decay.

Cantaloupe – Serving – 1 Medium Wedge (1/8 of medium melon)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 61.948 Calcium mg 7.590 Vitamin C mg 29.118
Energy kcal 24.150 Iron mg 0.145 Thiamin mg 0.025
Energy kj 100.740 Magnesium mg 7.590 Riboflavin mg 0.014
Protein g 0.607 Phosphorus mg 11.730 Niacin mg 0.396
Fat g 0.193 Potassium mg 213.210 Pantothenic acid mg 0.088
Carbohydrate g 5.768 Sodium mg 6.210 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.079
Fiber g 0.552 Zinc mg 0.110 Folate mcg 11.730
Copper mg 0.029 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.032 Vitamin A IU 2224.560
Selenium mcg 0.276 Vitamin A, RE mcg 222.180
Vitamin E mg 0.103

Honey Dew

honeyThe outstanding flavor characteristics of honeydews make them highly prized as a dessert fruit. The melon is large (4 to 8 lb.), bluntly oval in shape, and generally very smooth with only occasional traces of surface netting. The rind is firm and ranges from creamy white to creamy yellow, depending on the stage of ripeness. The stem does not separate from the fruit, and must be cut for harvesting.
Honey dew are available to some extent almost all year round, due in part to imports during the winter and spring. Chief sources, however, are California, Arizona, and Texas. The most abundant supplies are available from July through October.

A soft, velvety texture indicates maturity. Slight softening at the blossom end, a faint pleasant fruit aroma, and yellowish-white to creamy rind color indicate ripeness.

Dead-white or greenish-white color and a hard, smooth feel are signs of immaturity. Large, water-soaked, bruised areas are signs of injury; and cuts or punctures through the rind usually lead to decay. Small, superficial, sunken spots do not damage the melon for immediate use, but large decayed spots will.

Honeydew Melon – Serving – 1 Wedge (1/8 of 5-1/4 dia melon)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 112.075 Calcium mg 7.500 Vitamin C mg 31.000
Energy kcal 43.750 Iron mg 0.087 Thiamin mg 0.096
Energy kj 182.500 Magnesium mg 8.750 Riboflavin mg 0.022
Protein g 0.575 Phosphorus mg 12.500 Niacin mg 0.750
Fat g 0.125 Potassium mg 338.750 Pantothenic acid mg 0.259
Carbohydrate g 11.475 Sodium mg 12.500 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.074
Fiber g 0.750 Zinc mg 0.087 Folate mcg 7.500
Copper mg 0.051 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.022 Vitamin A IU 50.000
Selenium mcg 0.500 Vitamin A, RE mcg 5.000
Vitamin E mg 0.188

watermelonWatermelons are available to some degree from early May through September, but peak supplies come in June, July, and August. Judging the quality of a watermelon is very difficult unless it is cut in half or quartered.

Look for firm, juicy flesh with good red color that is free from white streaks; and seeds that are dark brown or black. Seedless watermelons often contain small white, immature seeds, which are normal for this type.

Avoid melons with pale-colored flesh, white streaks (or “white heart”), and whitish seeds (indicating immaturity). Dry, mealy flesh, or watery stringy flesh is a sign of over maturity or aging after harvest.

If you want to buy an uncut watermelon, here are a few appearance factors, which may be helpful (though not totally reliable) in guiding you to a satisfactory selection. The watermelon surface should be relatively smooth; the rind should have a slight dullness (neither shiny nor dull); the ends of the melon should be filled out and rounded; and the underside, or “belly” of the melon should have a creamy color.

Watermelon – Serving – 1 Wedge (1/16 of Melon)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 261.719 Calcium mg 22.880 Vitamin C mg 27.456
Energy kcal 91.520 Iron mg 0.486 Thiamin mg 0.229
Energy kj 383.240 Magnesium mg 31.460 Riboflavin mg 0.057
Protein g 1.773 Phosphorus mg 25.740 Niacin mg 0.572
Fat g 1.230 Potassium mg 331.760 Pantothenic acid mg 0.606
Carbohydrate g 20.535 Sodium mg 5.720 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.412
Fiber g 1.430 Zinc mg 0.200 Folate mcg 6.292
Copper mg 0.092 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.106 Vitamin A IU 1046.760
Selenium mcg 0.286 Vitamin A, RE mcg 105.820
Vitamin E mg 0.429

nextarinesNectarines, which are available from June through September from California, combines characteristics of both the peach and the plum.

Look for rich color and plumpness, and a slight softening along the “seam” of the fruit. Most varieties have an orange-yellow background color between the red areas, but some varieties have a greenish background color. Bright-looking fruits, which are firm to moderately hard, will probably ripen within 2 or 3 days at room temperature.

Avoid hard, dull fruits or slightly shriveled fruits (which may be immature — picked too soon — and of poor eating quality) and soft or overripe fruits or those with cracked or punctured skin or other signs of decay. Russeting or staining of the skin may affect the appearance but not detract from the internal quality of the nectarine.

Nectarines – Serving – 1 Nectarine (2-1/2 Dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 117.341 Calcium mg 6.800 Vitamin C mg 7.344
Energy kcal 66.640 Iron mg 0.204 Thiamin mg 0.023
Energy kj 278.800 Magnesium mg 10.880 Riboflavin mg 0.056
Protein g 1.278 Phosphorus mg 21.760 Niacin mg 1.346
Fat g 0.626 Potassium mg 288.320 Pantothenic acid mg 0.215
Carbohydrate g 16.021 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.034
Fiber g 2.176 Zinc mg 0.122 Folate mcg 5.032
Copper mg 0.099 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.060 Vitamin A IU 1000.960
Selenium mcg 0.544 Vitamin A, RE mcg 100.640
Vitamin E mg 1.210

orangesCalifornia, Florida, Texas, and Arizona produce our year-round supply of oranges. Leading varieties from California and Arizona are the Washington Navel and the Valencia, both characterized by a rich orange skin color. The Navel orange, available from November until early May, has a thicker, somewhat more pebbled skin than the Valencia; the skin is more easily removed by hand, and the segments separate more readily. It is ideally suited for eating as a whole fruit or in segments in salads. The western Valencia orange, available from late April through October, is excellent either for juicing or for slicing in salads.

Florida and Texas orange crops are marketed from early October until late June. Parson Brown and Hamlin are early varieties, while the Pineapple orange — an important, high-quality orange for eating — is available from late November through March. Florida and Texas Valencia’s are marketed from late March through June. The Florida Temple orange is available from early December until early March. Somewhat like the California Navel, it peels easily, separates into segments readily, and has excellent flavor.

Oranges are required by strict State regulations to be mature before being harvested and shipped out of the producing State. Thus, skin color is not a reliable index of quality, and a greenish cast or green spots do not mean that the orange is immature. Often fully matured oranges will turn greenish (called “regreening”) late in the marketing season. Some oranges are artificially colored to improve their appearance. This practice has no effect on eating quality, but artificially colored fruits must be labeled “color added.”

“Discoloration” is often found on Florida and Texas oranges, but not on California oranges. This is a tan, brown, or blackish mottling or specking over the skin. It has no effect on eating quality, and in fact often occurs on oranges with thin skin and superior eating quality.

Look for firm and heavy oranges with fresh, bright-looking skin, which is reasonably smooth for the variety.

Avoid lightweight oranges, which are likely to lack flesh content and juice. Very rough skin texture indicates abnormally thick skin and less flesh. Dull, dry skin and spongy texture indicate aging and deteriorated eating quality. Also avoid decay — shown by cuts or skin punctures, soft spots on the surface, and discolored, weakened areas of skin around the stem end or button.

Oranges – Serving – 1 Orange ( 2-5/8″ dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 113.642 Calcium mg 52.400 Vitamin C mg 69.692
Energy kcal 61.570 Iron mg 0.131 Thiamin mg 0.114
Energy kj 258.070 Magnesium mg 13.100 Riboflavin mg 0.052
Protein g 1.231 Phosphorus mg 18.340 Niacin mg 0.369
Fat g 0.157 Potassium mg 237.110 Pantothenic acid mg 0.328
Carbohydrate g 15.393 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.079
Fiber g 3.144 Zinc mg 0.092 Folate mcg 39.693
Copper mg 0.059 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.033 Vitamin A IU 268.550
Selenium mcg 0.655 Vitamin A, RE mcg 27.510
Vitamin E mg 0.314

peachesA great many varieties of peaches are grown, but only an expert can distinguish one from another. These varieties, available May to November, fall into two general types: freestone (flesh readily separates from the pit) and clingstone (flesh clings tightly to the pit). Freestones are usually preferred for eating fresh or for freezing, while clingstones are used primarily for canning, although they are sometimes sold fresh.

Look for peaches, which are fairly firm, or becoming a trifle soft. The skin color between the red areas (ground color) should be yellow or at least creamy.

Avoid very firm or hard peaches with a distinctly green ground color, which are probably immature and won’t ripen properly. Also avoid very soft fruits, which are overripe. Don’t buy peaches with large flattened bruises (they’ll have large areas of discolored flesh underneath) or peaches with any sign of decay. Decay starts as a pale tan spot, which expands in a circle and gradually turns darker in color.

Peaches – Serving – 1 Medium
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 85.907 Calcium mg 4.900 Vitamin C mg 6.468
Energy kcal 42.140 Iron mg 0.108 Thiamin mg 0.017
Energy kj 176.400 Magnesium mg 6.860 Riboflavin mg 0.040
Protein g 0.686 Phosphorus mg 11.760 Niacin mg 0.970
Fat g 0.088 Potassium mg 193.060 Pantothenic acid mg 0.167
Carbohydrate g 10.878 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.018
Fiber g 1.960 Zinc mg 0.137 Folate mcg 3.332
Copper mg 0.067 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.046 Vitamin A IU 524.300
Selenium mcg 0.392 Vitamin A, RE mcg 52.920
Vitamin E mg 0.686

pearsThe most popular variety of pear is the Bartlett, which are produced in great quantities (in California, Washington, and Oregon) both for canning and for sale as a fresh fruit. With the aid of cold storage, Bartlett pears are available from early August through November.

Several fall and winter varieties of pears are grown in Washington, Oregon, and California, and shipped to fresh fruit markets. These varieties — Anjou, Bosc, Winter Nellis, and Comice — keep well in cold storage and are available over a long period, from November until May.

Look for firm pears of all varieties. The color depends on variety. For Bartletts, look for a pale yellow to rich yellow color; Anjou or Comice — light green to yellowish-green; Bosc — greenish-yellow to brownish-yellow (the brown cast is caused by skin russeting, a characteristic of the Bosc pear); Winter Nellis — medium to light green.
Pears, which are hard when you find them in the grocery store, will probably ripen if kept at room temperature, but it is wise to select pears that have already begun to soften — to be reasonably sure that they will ripen satisfactorily.

Avoid wilted or shriveled pears with dull-appearing skin and slight weakening of the flesh near the stem, which indicates immaturity. These pears will not ripen. Also avoid spots on the sides or blossom ends of the pear, which means that corky tissue may be underneath.

Pears – Serving – 1 Medium
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 139.125 Calcium mg 18.260 Vitamin C mg 6.640
Energy kcal 97.940 Iron mg 0.415 Thiamin mg 0.033
Energy kj 410.020 Magnesium mg 9.960 Riboflavin mg 0.066
Protein g 0.647 Phosphorus mg 18.260 Niacin mg 0.166
Fat g 0.644 Potassium mg 207.500 Pantothenic acid mg 0.116
Carbohydrate g 25.083 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.030
Fiber g 3.984 Zinc mg 0.199 Folate mcg 12.118
Copper mg 0.188 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.126 Vitamin A IU 33.200
Selenium mcg 1.660 Vitamin A, RE mcg 3.320
Vitamin E mg 0.830

pineapplesPineapples are available all year, but are most abundant from March through June. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Mexico are principal suppliers. Present marketing practices, including air shipments, allow pineapples to be harvested as nearly ripe as possible. They are delivered to market near the peak of sweetness, with color ranging from green to orange and yellow. A mature green pineapple will normally turn yellow to orange within a few days at room temperature, but many are already fully colored when you find them in the grocery store.

Look for bright color, fragrant pineapple aroma, and a very slight separation of the eyes or pips — the berry-like fruitlets patterned in a spiral on the fruit core. At their mature stage, pineapples are usually dark green, firm, plump, and heavy for their size. The larger the fruit, the greater the proportion of edible flesh.

As the popular varieties ripen, the green color turns to orange and yellow. When fully colored, pineapples are golden yellow, orange-yellow, or reddish brown, depending on the variety.

Avoid pineapples with sunken or slightly pointed pips, dull yellowish-green color, and a dried appearance — all signs of immaturity. Also avoid bruised fruit, shown by discolored or soft spots, which are susceptible to decay. Other signs of decay are traces of mold, unpleasant odor, and eyes, which are dark and watery.

Pineapple – Serving – 1 Cup Diced
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 134.075 Calcium mg 10.850 Vitamin C mg 23.870
Energy kcal 75.950 Iron mg 0.574 Thiamin mg 0.143
Energy kj 317.750 Magnesium mg 21.700 Riboflavin mg 0.056
Protein g 0.605 Phosphorus mg 10.850 Niacin mg 0.651
Fat g 0.667 Potassium mg 175.150 Pantothenic acid mg 0.248
Carbohydrate g 19.204 Sodium mg 1.550 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.135
Fiber g 1.860 Zinc mg 0.124 Folate mcg 16.430
Copper mg 0.171 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 2.556 Vitamin A IU 35.650
Selenium mcg 0.930 Vitamin A, RE mcg 3.100
Vitamin E mg 0.155

Plums and Prunes

plumsQuality characteristics for both are very similar, and the same buying tips apply to both.  Plums — A number of varieties of plums are produced in California and are available from June to September. Varieties differ slightly in appearance and flavor, so you should buy and taste one to see if that variety appeals to you.
Prunes — Only a few varieties of prunes are commonly marketed, and they are all very similar. Prunes are purplish-black or bluish-black, with a moderately firm flesh, which separates freely from the pit. Most commercial production is in the Northwestern States. Fresh prunes are available in grocery stores from August through October.

Look for plums and prunes with a good color for the variety, that are in a fairly firm to slightly soft stage of ripeness.

Avoid fruits with skin breaks, punctures, or brownish discoloration. Also avoid immature fruits (relatively hard, poorly colored, very tart, sometimes shriveled) and over mature fruits (excessively soft, possibly leaking or decaying).

Plums – Serving – 1 Plum (2-1/8″ dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 56.232 Calcium mg 2.640 Vitamin C mg 6.270
Energy kcal 36.300 Iron mg 0.066 Thiamin mg 0.028
Energy kj 151.800 Magnesium mg 4.620 Riboflavin mg 0.063
Protein g 0.521 Phosphorus mg 6.600 Niacin mg 0.330
Fat g 0.409 Potassium mg 113.520 Pantothenic acid mg 0.120
Carbohydrate g 8.587 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.053
Fiber g 0.990 Zinc mg 0.066 Folate mcg 1.320
Copper mg 0.028 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.032 Vitamin A IU 213.180
Selenium mcg 0.330 Vitamin A, RE mcg 21.120
Vitamin E mg 0.396

Raspberries, Boysenberries, etc.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlackberries, raspberries, dewberries, loganberries, and youngberries are similar in general structure. They differ from one another in shape or color, but quality factors are about the same for all.

Look for a bright, clean appearance and a uniform good color for the species. The individual small cells making up the berry should be plump and tender but not mushy. Look for berries that are fully ripened, with no attached stem caps.

Avoid leaky and moldy berries. You can usually spot them through the openings in the ventilated plastic containers. Also look for wet or stained spots on wood or fiber containers, as possible signs of poor quality or spoiled berries.

Raspberries – Serving – 1 cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 103.481 Calcium mg 27.060 Vitamin C mg 30.750
Energy kcal 60.270 Iron mg 0.701 Thiamin mg 0.037
Energy kj 252.150 Magnesium mg 22.140 Riboflavin mg 0.111
Protein g 1.119 Phosphorus mg 14.760 Niacin mg 1.107
Fat g 0.677 Potassium mg 186.960 Pantothenic acid mg 0.295
Carbohydrate g 14.231 Sodium mg 0.000 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.070
Fiber g 8.364 Zinc mg 0.566 Folate mcg 31.980
Copper mg 0.091 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 1.246 Vitamin A IU 159.900
Selenium mcg 0.738 Vitamin A, RE mcg 15.990
Vitamin E mg 0.553

strawFirst shipments of strawberries come from southern Florida in January, and then production increases, gradually spreading north and west into many parts of the country before tapering off in the fall. Strawberries are in best supply in May and June.

Look for berries with a full red color and a bright luster, firm flesh, and the cap stem still attached. The berries should be dry and clean, and usually medium to small strawberries have better eating quality then large ones.

Avoid berries with large uncolored areas or with large seedy areas (poor in flavor and texture), a full shrunken appearance or softness (signs of over ripeness or decay), or those with mold, which can spread rapidly from one berry to another.

In most containers of strawberries you will likely find a few that are less desirable than others. Try to look at some of berries lower in the container to be sure that they are reasonably free from defects or decay.

Strawberries – Serving – 1 Cup
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 131.861 Calcium mg 20.160 Vitamin C mg 81.648
Energy kcal 43.200 Iron mg 0.547 Thiamin mg 0.029
Energy kj 181.440 Magnesium mg 14.400 Riboflavin mg 0.095
Protein g 0.878 Phosphorus mg 27.360 Niacin mg 0.331
Fat g 0.533 Potassium mg 239.040 Pantothenic acid mg 0.490
Carbohydrate g 10.109 Sodium mg 1.440 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.085
Fiber g 3.312 Zinc mg 0.187 Folate mcg 25.488
Copper mg 0.071 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.418 Vitamin A IU 38.880
Selenium mcg 1.008 Vitamin A, RE mcg 4.320
Vitamin E mg 0.202

tangFlorida is the chief source of tangerines. Considerable quantities of tangerines and similar types of oranges are produced in California and Arizona, some in Texas, and few are imported. Tangerines are available from late November until early March, with peak supplies in December and January. The Murcott, a large, excellent variety of orange resembling the tangerine, is available from late February through April.

A deep yellow or orange color and a bright luster are your best sign of fresh, mature, good-flavored tangerines. Because of the typically loose nature of tangerine skins, they will frequently not feel firm to the touch.

Avoid very pale yellow or greenish fruits, which are likely to be lacking in flavor (although small green areas on otherwise high-colored fruit are not bad), and tangerines with cut or punctured skins or very soft spots (all signs of decay, which spreads rapidly).

Tangerines, Mandarin Oranges – Serving – 1 Medium (2-3/8″ dia)
 Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams  Nutrient Units Grams
Water g 73.584 Calcium mg 11.760 Vitamin C mg 25.872
Energy kcal 36.960 Iron mg 0.084 Thiamin mg 0.088
Energy kj 154.560 Magnesium mg 10.080 Riboflavin mg 0.018
Protein g 0.529 Phosphorus mg 8.400 Niacin mg 0.134
Fat g 0.160 Potassium mg 131.880 Pantothenic acid mg 0.168
Carbohydrate g 9.400 Sodium mg 0.840 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.056
Fiber g 1.932 Zinc mg 0.202 Folate mcg 17.136
Copper mg 0.024 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000
Manganese mg 0.027 Vitamin A IU 772.800
Selenium mcg 0.420 Vitamin A, RE mcg 77.280
Vitamin E mg 0.202


hypnosisThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

When you hear the word hypnosis, you may picture the mysterious hypnotist figure popularized in movies, comic books and television. He waves a pocket watch back and forth, guiding his subject into a, zombie-like state. Once hypnotized, the subject is compelled to obey, no matter how strange or immoral the request.

This popular representation bears little resemblance to actual hypnotism. Subjects in a hypnotic trance are not slaves to their masters.  They have absolute free will.

Hypnosis is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. It’s not really like sleep, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought. In the daydream your imaginary world seems somewhat real to you, in the sense that it fully engages your emotions. Imaginary events can cause real fear, sadness or happiness, and you may even jolt in your seat if you are surprised by something. Milton Erickson, the premier hypnotism expert of the 20th century, contended that people hypnotize themselves on a daily basis. But most psychiatrists focus on the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.

People have been entering hypnotic-type trances for thousands of years, but the scientific conception of hypnotism wasn’t born until the late 1700s.

An Austrian physician, Mesmer believed hypnosis to be a mystical force flowing from the hypnotist into the subject. Although critics quickly dismissed the magical element of his theory, Mesmer’s assumption that the power behind hypnosis came from the hypnotist, and was in some way inflicted upon the subject, took hold for some time. Hypnosis was originally known as mesmerism, after Mesmer, and we still use its derivative, mesmerize today.

In conventional hypnosis, if the hypnotist suggests that your tongue has swollen up to twice its size, you’ll feel a sensation in your mouth and you may have trouble talking. If the hypnotist suggests that you are afraid, you may feel panicky and start to sweat. But the entire time, you are aware that it’s all imaginary. Essentially, you’re “playing pretend” on an intense level, as kids do.

In this special mental state, you feel uninhibited and relaxed. This is because you tune out the worries and doubts that normally keep your actions in check. You might experience the same feeling while watching a movie: As you get engrossed in the plot, worries about your job, family, etc. fade away, until all you’re thinking about is what’s up on the screen In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is, when the hypnotist tells you do something, you’ll probably embrace the idea completely. This is what makes stage hypnotist shows so entertaining. Normally reserved, sensible adults are suddenly walking around the stage clucking like chickens. Fear of embarrassment seems to fly out the window. A hypnotist can’t get you to do anything you don’t want to do.

The predominant school of thought on hypnosis is that it is a way to access a person’s subconscious mind directly. Normally, you are only aware of the thought processes in your conscious mind. You consciously think over the problems that are right in front of you, consciously choose words as you speak, consciously try to remember where you left your keys.

But in doing all these things, your conscious mind is working hand-in-hand with your subconscious mind, the unconscious part of your mind that does your behind the scenes thinking. Your subconscious mind accesses the vast reservoir of information that lets you solve problems, construct sentences or find your keys. It puts together plans and ideas and runs them by your conscious mind. When a new idea comes to you out of the blue, it’s because you already thought through the process unconsciously.

Your subconscious also takes care of all the stuff you do automatically. You don’t actively work through the steps of breathing minute by minute, your subconscious mind does that.  A lot of the small stuff is thought out in your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind is the real brains behind what you do. It does most of your thinking, and it decides a lot of what you do. When you’re awake, your conscious mind works to evaluate a lot of these thoughts, make decisions and put certain ideas into action. It also processes new information and relays it to the subconscious mind. But when you’re asleep, the conscious mind gets out of the way, and your subconscious has free reign.

Psychiatrists theorize that the deep relaxation and focusing exercises of hypnotism work to calm and subdue the conscious mind so that it takes a less active role in your thinking process. In this state, you’re still aware of what’s going on, but your conscious mind takes a back seat to your subconscious mind. Effectively, this allows you and the hypnotist to work directly with the subconscious

You conscious mind is the main inhibitive component in your make-up. It’s in charge of putting on the brakes. When your subconscious mind is in control, you feel much freer and may be more creative. Your subconscious mind does have a conscience, a survival instinct and its own ideas, so there are a lot of things it won’t agree to.

The subconscious regulates your body’s sensations, such as taste, touch and sight, as well as your emotional feelings. When the access door is open, and the hypnotist can speak to your subconscious directly, they can trigger all these feelings.  Additionally, the subconscious is the storehouse for all your memories. While under hypnosis, subjects may be able to access past events that they have completely forgotten. Psychiatrists may use hypnotism to bring up these memories so that a related personal problem can finally be resolved. Since the subject’s mind is in such a suggestible state, it is also possible to create false memories. For this reason, psychiatrists must be extremely careful when exploring a hypnotic subject’s past. Whether or not hypnosis is actually a physiological phenomenon, millions of people do practice hypnotism regularly, and millions of subjects report that it has worked on them.

Hypnotists’ methods vary and before a hypnotist brings a subject into a full trance, they generally test their willingness and capacity to be hypnotized. The typical testing method is to make several simple suggestions, such as “Relax your arms completely,” and work up to suggestions that ask the subject to suspend disbelief or distort normal thoughts, such as “Pretend you are weightless.”

Depending on the person’s mental state and personality, the entire hypnotism process can take anywhere from a few minutes to more than a half-hour.

Hypnosis can be used for behavioral modification. In this, a hypnotist focuses on one particular habit that is embedded in your unconscious (smoking or overeating) With the control panel to your mind open, the hypnotist may be able to reprogram your subconscious to reverse the behavior. Some hypnotists do this by connecting a negative response with the bad habit. The hypnotist might suggest to your subconscious that smoking will cause nausea. If this association is programmed effectively, you will feel sick every time you think about smoking a cigarette. Alternatively, the hypnotist may build up your will power, suggesting to your subconscious that you don’t need cigarettes, and you don’t want them.

A psychiatrist may hypnotize you in order to work with deep, entrenched personal problems. This can be particularly effective in addressing phobias, unreasonable fears of particular objects or situations. Another form of psychiatric hypnotherapy involves bringing underlying psychiatric problems up to the conscious level. Accessing fears, memories and repressed emotions can help to clarify difficult issues and bring resolution to persistent problems.

In the relatively short history of modern hypnotism, there have been dozens of hypnotic techniques and a wide range of explanations of the phenomenon. But in the end, this explanation of hypnosis amounts to pretty much the same thing.   When you absolutely convince somebody that you’ve brought about a change in their subconscious, they register this information as a fact. Like any fact, this information will take root in the subconscious mind. So, even if the hypnotic state is nothing more than a figment of the subject’s imagination, hypnotic suggestions can still reform their deeply held beliefs. The end result is the same!

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


dietThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

On any given day, millions of people are on a diet and counting calories in one way or another.

This Person was extremely overweight, so she went to her doctor who put her on a diet.
I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks the doctor said.” The next time I see you, you’ll have lost at least 5 pounds.”
When she returned, she shocked the doctor. She had lost nearly 20 pounds.
Why, that’s amazing!” the doctor said. “Did you follow my instructions?”
She nodded. “Ill tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that 3rd day.”
“From hunger, you mean?” asked the doctor.
No, from all that skipping!”

If losing weight and getting into shape was so easy why are so many people (and especially for anyone older than 30 years old), weight gain seems to be a fact of life? It’s because your body is way too efficient! It just does not take that much energy to maintain your body at rest; and when exercising, your body is amazingly frugal when it comes to turning food into motion.

At rest for example, while sitting and watching television, your body burns only about 12 calories per pound of body weight per day (26 calories per kilogram). That means that if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), your body uses only about: 150 X 12 = 1,800 calories per day. More accurate calculations can be found in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’.   These 1,800 calories are used to do everything you need to stay alive:

In motion, your body also uses energy very efficiently. For example, a person running a marathon (26 miles or 42 km) burns only about 2,600 calories. In other words, you burn only about 100 calories per mile (about 62 calories per km) when you are running.

You can see just how efficient your body is if you compare your body to a car. A typical car gets between 15 and 30 miles per gallon of gasoline (6 to 12 km/L). A gallon of gas contains about 31,000 calories that means that if you could drink gasoline instead of eating hamburgers to take in calories, you could run 26 miles on about one-twelfth of a gallon of gas (0.3 L). In other words, you would be getting more than 300 miles per gallon (120 km/L)! If you put yourself on a bicycle to increase the efficiency, you could get well over 1,000 miles per gallon (more than 500 km/L)!

This level of efficiency is the main reason why it is so easy to gain weight.

The 1,800 calories that a typical person at rest needs per day is just not that many. When you track and see how much you actually do eat in a day, you can see how the number of calories coming in can easily reach 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 per day without any effort at all. That’s the problem.

Your body is extremely efficient at capturing and storing excess calories. Whenever your body finds that it has excess calories on hand, it converts them to fat and saves them for a rainy day. It only takes 3,500 excess calories to create 1 pound of new fat on your body. If you are taking in just 500 extra calories per day, then you are gaining a pound of fat per week (500 calories x 7 days in a week = 3,500 calories/week). Since it is easy to get 500 calories from just one ice cream cone or a few cookies, you can see that weight gain is completely effortless in today’s society. Food is just too easy to find.
Let’s imagine that you are overweight and you would like to lose several excess pounds. To lose 1 pound of fat, what you have to do is burn off 3,500 calories. That is, over a period of time, you have to consume 3,500 calories less than your body needs. There are several ways you can create that deficit. If you assume that you weigh 150 pounds and that your body at rest needs 1,800 calories per day (150 * 12 = 1,800) to live, here are several examples (some realistic, some not):

  • You could lie in bed and starve yourself. Since you are lying in bed, you are consuming 1,800 calories per     day. Since you are starving yourself, you are taking in no calories. That means that, every day, you create a deficit of 1,800 calories and approximately every two days, you will lose 1 pound.
  • You could consume fewer calories than your body needs. You might choose to consume 1,500 calories per day rather than the required 1,800 by controlling what you eat. That creates a 300-calorie deficit every day. That means that approximately every 12 days, you will lose 1 pound. (12 days x 300 calories = 3,600 calories).
  • You could consume 1,800 calories per day and then choose to jog 2 miles (3.2 km) every day. The jogging would burn about 200 calories per day, and over the course of 18 days you would burn about 1 pound. (18 days x 200 calories = 3,600 calories).
  • You could consume 2,500 calories per day and run 10 miles per day. You will burn 1,800 calories per day at rest and then 1,000 calories per day running, for a total of 2,800 calories. You are consuming 300 calories fewer than you need, so you would lose a pound every 12 days or so (300 calories x 12 days = 3,600 calories).

As you can see from these examples, the only way to lose fat is to consume fewer calories per day than your body needs. For every 3,500 calories that you body takes from its fat reserves, you lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body fat. You can create the deficit either by monitoring and restricting your intake of calories, or by exercising or both.

The idea behind most diets is simply to help you lower the number of calories that you consume each day. That’s all they do.

The reason why most diets tend not to work for very long is because they are not sustainable. You gain weight because you consume more calories per day than needed. The diet creates a temporary deficit. When the diet ends, you go back to normal eating and the weight comes back.

On a daily basis your body is taking in, and therefore storing, 50 calories more than it needs. So every 70 days (3,500 calories in a pound / 50 calories each day = 70 days) you gain 1 pound (0.45 kg). If this 50 extra calories per day trend continues, then over the course of a year you would gain 5 pounds. This, by the way, is the pattern for a big portion of the population. If you over-consume by just a few calories per day, over time you will gain weight. Keep in mind that just one Oreo-type cookie contains 50 calories, so over-consuming is incredibly easy.

This is why diets don’t work for most people. You do lose weight, but then go off the diet and gain it back. What is needed instead is a sustainable diet, a food consumption and exercise plan , that lets you live a normal life and eat normal foods in a normal way.

Building a sustainable diet and exercise plan is the key to maintaining a consistent weight. This is not easy for many people.

The first step is to start counting the calories that you consume on a day so that you become conscious of how many calories it is you are actually eating.

The second step is to figure out how many calories you need in a day. (Formulas are found in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’)

Pick your ideal weight, and then calculate how many calories a day you can consume to maintain that weight.

Step Three is to compare the two numbers.  You may be startled by the difference between the number of calories you need and the number of calories that you take in, in a day. This is where the extra pounds are coming from.

The fourth step is to figure out how to bring the two numbers in line. What you will soon realize is that 1,600 or 1,800 or 2,000 calories per day just isn’t that many. You have to watch and counteverything you eat and drink every day and stick to your daily limit.

The fifth step is to add exercise to the mix so that you can raise the number of calories you can consume per day. My Online calculators will show you how many calories different forms of exercise can burn. Burning 250 or 500 calories per day through exercise can make a big difference.

If you follow some of the strategies in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’, you will lose fat and maintain a consistent weight.

Exercise is one tool you have to control your weight because exercise is a way to increase the number of calories that you burn in a day.

Try to find some type of exercise that you enjoy (or at least can tolerate) and do it every day for 30 minutes, 60 minutes or more. It might be walking, riding an exercise bike while watching TV, or working out in a gym at lunch.

Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs, park farther away from stores when you go shopping. These little things can add up.

Find an exercise partner. Exercise, for some people, is a lot easier if there is someone to talk to. A partner will also help make exercise a routine.

Try to exercise every day. It is easier to remember to do something if you do it every day.

There are dozens of weight-loss myths out there that try to confuse and distract you. Here is a list of some of the most common so you can try to avoid them:

  • The myth that some kinds of calories are different from others.  A calorie is a calorie. If you consume 4,000 calories by eating 1,000 grams of white sugar or 4,000 calories by eating 444 grams of fat, it is still 4,000 calories.
  • The myth that low-fat foods are okay or that you can eat as much as you want if it is low-fat . A product can have 0 grams of fat but still have lots of calories. Many fat-free foods replace the fat with sugar and contain just as many or more calories as a fat-containing product.
  • The myth that any passive device, acupressure rings and bracelets or soaps or whatever, can help – There is no way to burn calories but to burn them.
  • The myth that you can lose 54 pounds in 6 weeks – Despite what the ads say (I LOST 54 POUNDS IN 6 WEEKS WITHOUT DIETS OR EXERCISE!!! or LOSE 10 POUNDS THIS WEEKEND!), you cannot lose a pound of fat unless you burn off 3,500 calories. To lose 54 pounds in 6 weeks, you would need to lose 9 pounds in 7 days, or 1.3 pounds per day. That 1.3 pounds of fat is equal to 4,500 calories, so you would have to burn off 4,500 calories per day. The only way to do that would be to eat nothing AND run a marathon every day for 42 days. That’s impossible. The only way to lose that much weight that quickly is either through dehydration or amputation.

What is true is that you have to eat fewer calories than you burn in a day if you want to lose weight. You can do that by eating fewer calories than you need, or by exercising more, or both .

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


fatThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Many Americans exercise and go on diets to reduce their amount of body fat, yet over half of the adults in the United States are overweight…That’s 97 million people who have too much fat.

Fat, or adipose tissue, is found in several places in your body.  Generally, fat is found underneath your skin (subcutaneous fat). There’s also some on top of each of your kidneys. Other locations depend upon whether you are a man or woman:

An adult man tends to carry body fat in his chest, abdomen and buttocks.

An adult woman tends to carry fat in her breasts, hips, waist and buttocks.

The difference in fat location comes from the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Your body contains two types of fat tissue:

  • White fat, which is important in energy metabolism, heat insulation and mechanical cushioning.
  • Brown fat, which is found mostly in newborn babies, between the shoulders; important for thermogenesis (making heat).

Fat tissue is made up of fat cells.  Fat cells are a unique type of cell. You can think of a fat cell as a tiny plastic bag that holds a drop of fat:

  • White fat cells are large cells that have very little cytoplasm, only 15 percent cell volume, a small nucleus and one large fat droplet that makes up 85 percent of cell volume.
  • Brown fat cells are somewhat smaller, are loaded with mitochondria and are composed of several smaller fat droplets. The mitochondria are able to generate heat.

Fat cells are formed in the developing fetus during the third trimester of pregnancy, and later at the onset of puberty, when the sex hormones kick in.  It is during puberty that the differences in fat distribution between men and women begin to take form.

One amazing fact is that fat cells do not multiply after puberty. As your body stores more fat, the number of fat cells remains the same; each fat cell simply gets bigger.

When you eat food that contains fat, it goes through your stomach and intestines. In the intestines, the following happens:

  • Large fat droplets get mixed with bile salts from your gall bladder in a process called emulsification. The mixture breaks up the large droplets into several smaller droplets called micelles, increasing the fat’s surface area.
  • The pancreas secretes enzymes called lipases that attack the surface of each micelle and break the fats down into their parts, glycerol and fatty acids.
  • These parts get absorbed into the cells lining your intestine.
  • In the intestinal cell, the parts are reassembled into packages of fat molecules (triglycerides) with a protein coating called chylomicrons. The protein coating makes the fat dissolve more easily in water.
  • The chylomicrons are released into the lymphatic system — they do not go directly into your bloodstream because they are too big to pass through the wall of the capillary.

The lymphatic system eventually merges with the veins, at which point the chylomicrons pass into the bloodstream.

Chylomicrons do not last long in your bloodstream — only about eight minutes — because enzymes called lipoprotein lipases break the fats into fatty acids. Lipoprotein lipases are found in the walls of blood vessels in fat tissue, muscle tissue and heart muscle. The activity of lipoprotein lipases depends upon the levels of insulin in your body. If insulin is high, then the lipases are highly active; if insulin is low, the lipases are inactive.

When you eat a candy bar or a meal, the presence of glucose, amino acids or fatty acids n the intestine stimulates the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts on many cells in your body, especially those in the liver, muscle and fat tissue. Insulin tells the cells to do the following: Absorb glucose, fatty acids and amino acids

Stop breaking down:

  • Glucose, fatty acids and amino acids
  • Glycogen into glucose
  • Fats into fatty acids and glycerol
  • Proteins into amino acids

Start building:

  • Glycogen from glucose
  • Fats (triglycerides) from glycerol and fatty acids
  • Proteins from amino acids

The fatty acids are then absorbed from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. In these cells, under stimulation by insulin, fatty acids are made into fat molecules and stored as fat droplets.

It is also possible for fat cells to take up glucose and amino acids, which have been absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal, and convert those into fat molecules. The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell, but the body can do it.  If you have 100 extra calories in fat floating in your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2.5 calories of energy. On the other hand, if you have 100 extra calories in glucose floating in your bloodstream, it takes 23 calories of energy to convert the glucose into fat and then store it. Given a choice, a fat cell will grab the fat and store it rather than the carbohydrates because fat is so much easier to store.

When you are not eating, your body is not absorbing food. If your body is not absorbing food, there is little insulin in the blood. However, your body is always using energy; and if you’re not absorbing food, this energy must come from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Under these conditions, various organs in your body secrete hormones:

  • Pancreas – glucagon
  • Pituitary gland – growth hormone
  • Pituitary gland – ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)
  • Adrenal gland – epinephrine (adrenaline)
  • Thyroid gland – thyroid hormone

These hormones act on cells of the liver, muscle and fat tissue, and have the opposite effects of insulin.

When you are not eating, or exercising your body must draw on its internal energy stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Your body’s prime source of energy is glucose. In fact, some cells in your body, such as brain cells, can get energy only from glucose.

The first line of defence in maintaining energy is to break down carbohydrates, or glycogen, into simple glucose molecules.  This process is called glycogenolysis. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the process of lipolysis. The fatty acids can then be broken down directly to get energy, or can be used to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, amino acids can also be used to make glucose.

In the fat cell, other types of lipases work to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These lipases are activated by various hormones, such as glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and fatty acids are released into your blood, and travel to your liver through the bloodstream. Once in your liver, the glycerol and fatty acids can be either further broken down or used to make glucose.

We see pure fats in three places at the grocery store:

In the vegetable oil aisle you see oils created from different seeds and nuts. There is corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and olive oil.   All seeds and nuts contain some amount of oil, because oil is a very good way to store energy. By the way, the only difference between oil and fat is whether or not it is a solid at room temperature.

In the meat aisle, you can look at different cuts of meat and see them outlined by a layer of white, solid fat created by the animal to store energy.

In the dairy aisle you see butter and margarine, which are fats made from cream or vegetable oils, respectively.

The rest of the grocery store is of course, filled with fats and oils, although they are less obvious. Potato chips and French fries are cooked in oil, cookies and cakes contain fats and oils, and so on. This is how we eat the fat we need every day. And we do need fat to survive.

Most of what you hear about right now points to mono-unsaturated fats as the good fats. Olive oil and canola oil are both mono-unsaturated. Mono-unsaturated fats are thought to lower cholesterol.

The fats to steer clear of are the saturated fats. Saturated fats are bad because they clog your arteries. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (which are artificially saturated fats) are now considered totally evil, both because of the saturation and a side effect of hydrogenation called trans fatty acids.

There is a class of fatty acids called essential fatty acids that your body cannot manufacture. Because your body cannot manufacture these, they must come in from the food you eat.

Essential fatty acids fall into two groups: omega-3 and omega-6. All essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated.   Omega-6 fatty acids are everywhere: corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are harder to find. Things like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, as are salmon, trout and tuna. The current thinking is that these two fats need to be balanced in the diet at a ratio like 1-to-1 or 2-to-1, rather than the normal 20-to-1 ratio seen in most Western diets. And the only way to do that is to supplement your diet with omega-3 vegetable oils or to start eating fish in a big way (meaning two or three times a week).

Limit your fat intake to between 25 and 30 percent of the total calories you consume. Do not try to cut fat intake altogether, because you do need the essential fatty acids. When consuming fat, try to focus on mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil, or on essential fatty acids.   When consuming essential fatty acids, try to balance your intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Do that by consuming tuna/salmon/trout or omega-3 oils like flax seed oil.

Your weight is determined by the rate at which you store energy from the food that you eat, and the rate at which you use that energy, and the best way to maintain a healthy weight is; to eat a balanced diet, do not eat excessively and to exercise regularly.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


hm00489_The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

There are three basic ingredients in your daily food intake…(this is not to mention all the vitamins and mineral requirements)

You need all three in your diet. But in what ratio? Let’s first take a look at each group.

Proteins are the body’s building blocks.  You need them for muscle and connective tissue growth.  Proteins do not stimulate your body’s insulin production and therefore your blood sugar doesn’t drop and you do not feel hungry later.

Proteins also take a while to digest, so they make you feel fuller longer.  Proteins do not supply much fiber, which is necessary to keep your digestive track in order so you must remember to get fiber from another source.

The basic building blocks of all proteins are amino acids.  There are 20 amino acids, nine of which are considered essential because your body cannot make them so they must be supplied in your diet.  The other eleven are known as non essential because your body has the ability to manufacture them.

Proteins are found in both animal and plant foods.  For a food to be able to support growth and life it must contain all nine essential amino acids and is therefore known as a complete protein.  Foods that have a deficiency of one or more of the nine essential amino acids are known as incomplete proteins.

Animal products are considered higher quality proteins than plant products because animal proteins are complete proteins, containing all nine essential amino acids and in large amounts. While most plant proteins are considered incomplete, they may be combined and when eaten in proper combinations they do provide complete proteins.  The only plant protein that is an exception to this is the soybean. Soybeans are considered a complete protein and are comparable to animal protein.

If your diet does not contain enough carbohydrates to supply your body with the needed glucose, protein can be used as an energy source and will synthesize glucose.  This process is called gluconeogenesis and is a costly state to be in because it robs from the your muscles as if you were in a state of starvation.

So how much protein do you need to consume?  Some studies recommend as much as four grams of protein per kilogram of body weight while others suggest as little as 0.8 grams per kilogram are required.

It is recommended that endurance athletes consume approximately 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for the first few months of training.  After a few months the amount can be reduced to 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

For strength and power athletes, it is recommended that you consume between 1.4 and 2.4 grams of proteins per kilogram of bodyweight per day with an average of about 1.7.  It is also important to note two things.  First one pound of muscle (.45 kg.) contains about 100 grams of protein.  So in order to gain one pound of muscle mass per week, you need to consume approximately 14.3 grams of extra protein per day. (as well as other calories)

Secondly, there is no evidence to support intakes of 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day more, will improve muscle mass during heavy weight training.  Although the higher protein levels won’t harm you, excessive levels may bring along higher levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.

You should try to consume protein in small portions throughout the day and limit the amount you do eat to about 30 grams per meal.
High Protein foods include, red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese.  However, be careful to eat protein foods that are low in fat and cholesterol.  So try to select lean meats, non fat milk and low fat cheeses.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide an economical energy supply for your body.  Carbohydrates also furnish important vitamins and minerals and flavor to foods and beverages. Carbohydrates can be found in your food supply as starches, sugars and fibers.  Carbohydrates can be broken down into two groups, Simple and Complex.

Simple carbohydrates are your basic sugars, and can be turned into a quick energy source.  The complex carbohydrates are a longer burning energy source and are found in bread, potatoes, starch vegetables, pasta and rice.
Approximately 50 to 60 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrate rich foods.

Insulin levels can play a major role in fat storage.  Insulin a protein hormone is released by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to sugar and amino acids in the bloodstream.  Insulin aids in the transport of carbohydrates and amino acids into muscles, promoting synthesis of muscle glycogen and protein.  A problem arises when too many carbohydrate calories are consumed.  Although you will gain more energy, size and strength from the increase of insulin, it also effects fat storage.  Insulin release stimulates the enzyme lipoprotein lipase that plays a key role in fat synthesis while inhibiting the enzyme hormone sensitive lipase which encourages fat breakdown and metabolism.

Carbohydrates can be converted and stored as fat and the faster a carbohydrate breaks down the more insulin is produced, and the easier it is that fat can be deposited.  It’s also a good idea to limit your carbohydrate intake for at least three hours before you go to sleep.

Gram for gram, fats provide more than twice the energy or calories as either carbohydrates or proteins.  It’s a shame fats are so terrible because they do add a richness and creaminess to food.

Fats also make up part of the structure of cells and provide an essential fatty acid (linoleic).  Scientists now believe that fat is incorporated into your ‘fat’ more easily than other types of foods.

Fat also increases the viscosity (stickiness) of blood, and sticky blood clumps together and attaches to the walls of blood vessels.  This causes more clumping, interfering with blood flow and impairs cell breathing.  You can see how a high fat diet can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.  High fat diets have been implicated in certain types of cancers, particularly that of the bowl and breast.

So how much fat is too much?  Well…The daily consumption of dietary fat in most diets is over 40 percent to total calories. The Fat in your diet should be in the 15% range however some suggest the fat intake can be as high as 30% of your total daily calories.  Ideally it should be no more than 67 grams.

One of the most popular forms of fat is called saturated fat.  Saturated fat is any fat that is solid at room temperature, like fat obtained from animal products, palm oil, coconut oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil. Foods containing saturated fat include meat, fish, poultry, milk products, eggs, lard, butter, shortening, margarine, non dairy creamers, dessert toppings, chocolate bars, cookies and crackers.

I’ve briefly talked about fats, but what are the differences?  Well first fats are made up of fatty acids.  When three fatty acids attach to a glycerol molecule it forms what is called a triglyceride, which is the most common fat found in your bloodstream and the foods you eat. Each carbon atom has the ability of bonding with two hydrogen atoms.  When every carbon atom on the chain has bonded with two hydrogen atoms the fatty acid is called saturated.  The more saturated a fat is the more harmful it is.  If some carbon atoms have not bonded with the hydrogen, the fatty acid is unsaturated and generally healthier for you.

Unsaturated fat is found in two forms, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.  When a link exists between adjacent carbon atoms, it forms what is called a double bond.  When only one double bond exists it’s called monounsaturated and when more than one double bond exists it’s called polyunsaturated.

It sounds confusing I know but from bat to better it’s saturated fad (lard), polyunsaturated (corn oil) and monounsaturated (olive oil)

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


Untitled-1_copyThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

You are counting them and cutting them, and you would be hard-pressed to find something at your supermarket that does not list its calories per serving somewhere on the package. But what is a calorie is?

A calorie is a unit of energy. We tend to associate calories with food, but they apply to anything containing energy. A gallon (4 liters) of gasoline contains about 31,000,000 calories.

A calorie is the amount of energy, or heat, it takes to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of water 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). One calorie is equal to 4.184 joules, a common unit of energy used in the physical sciences.

Most of us think of calories in relation to food. It turns out that the calories on a food package are actually kilocalories (1,000 calories = 1 kilocalorie). The word is sometimes capitalized to show the difference, but usually not. A food calorie contains 4,184 joules. A can of soda containing 200 food calories contains 200,000 regular calories, or 200 kilocalories. A gallon of gasoline contains 31,000 kilocalories.

The same applies to exercise.  When a fitness chart says you burn about 100 calories for every mile you jog, it means 100 kilocalories. So when I say calorie, what I really mean to say is kilocalorie.

We all need energy to survive. The number of calories in a food is a measure of how much potential energy that food possesses. A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, a gram of protein has 4 calories, and a gram of fat has 9 calories. Foods are a compilation of these three building blocks, so if you know how many carbohydrates, fats and proteins are in any given food, you know how many calories, or how much energy, that food contains.

If you look at the nutritional label on the back of a package and it says160 calories, this means that if we were to pour this into a dish, set it on fire and get it to burn completely, the reaction would produce 160 kilocalories (food calories are kilocalories) or enough energy to raise the temperature of 160 kilograms of water 1 degree Celsius.

Your body burns these calories through metabolic processes, by which enzymes break the carbohydrates into glucose and other sugars, the fats into glycerol and fatty acids and the proteins into amino acids. These molecules are then transported through your bloodstream to your cells, where they are either absorbed for immediate use or sent on to the final stage of metabolism in which they react with oxygen to release their stored energy.

So just how many calories do your cells need to function?  Well it differs for everyone.  You may notice on the nutritional labels of the foods you buy that the percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, but your body might need more or less than 2,000 calories. Height, weight, gender, age and activity level all affect your caloric needs.

There are three main factors involved in calculating how many calories your body needs per day, Basal metabolic rate, Physical activity and thermic effect of food.

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. This accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of calories burned in a day and includes the energy required to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your kidneys functioning and your body temperature stabilized. In general, men have a higher BMR than women. One of the most accurate methods of estimating your basal metabolic rate is the Harris-Benedict formula which is explained in my book‘Get fit Stay Fit’

The second factor physical activity, consumes the next highest number of calories. Physical activity includes everything from making your bed to jogging. Walking, lifting, bending, and just generally moving around burns calories, but the number of calories you burn in any given activity depends on your body weight. Check out my fitness calculators on my site…or the formulas in my book so that you can personalize your calories burned per activity.

The final number of calories your body burns is the thermic effect of food.  This is the amount of energy your body uses to digest the food you eat.  It takes energy to break food down to its basic elements in order to be used by your body. To calculate the number of calories you expend in this process, multiply the total number of calories you eat in a day by 0.10, or 10 percent.

The total number of calories your body needs in a day is the sum of these three calculations.

So if you take in more or fewer calories than your body burns, you either gain or lose fat. And for every extra 3,500 calories stored by your body you gain 1 pound of fat. If you burn 3,500 more calories than you eat, whether by exercising or eating less, your body converts 1 pound of its stored fat into energy to make up for the deficit.

One thing about exercise is that it raises your metabolic rate not only while you’re huffing and puffing on the treadmill, it continues to function at a higher level, burning an increased number of calories, for about two hours after you’ve stopped exercising.

So does it matter where your calories come from?  If you eat exactly the number of calories that you burn and you are only talking about your weight, the answer is no. A calorie is a calorie. A protein calorie is no different from a fat calorie. They are simply units of energy.  If you burn what you eat, you will maintain your weight, and if you burn more than you eat, you will lose weight.

But if you do not burn all of the calories you eat and you’re not trying to gain weight, you would probably want your extra calories to come from carbohydrates or proteins instead of fats. Fats are easier to store as fat.  Your body expends more energy on the chemical processes that convert carbohydrates and proteins into fats, meaning that some calories are actually burned in the storing process.

If your talking about nutrition, it definitely matters where your calories come from. Carbohydrates and proteins are healthier sources of calories than fats. Although your body does need a certain amount of fat to function properly, like to absorb the vitamins you ingest, an excess of fat can have serious health consequences. A maximum of 30 percent of our daily calories should come from fat. So, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, that’s a maximum of 600 calories from fat, or 67 grams of fat, per day. However, if you strive to get 25 percent of your daily calories from fat it is better. That’s 56 grams of fat per day (500 calories) for a 2,000 calorie diet.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

So What Can I Eat?

j01125241The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

We’ve all been told what not to eat and each time we think we got it figured out there’s new research to tell us  different.  So what do we eat is a question that I’m asked more and more.  Especially with all the conflicting reports and studies that are being done.  Well basically you should try to eat a diet that is low in fat and try to get as much variety as possible.

Food is the most powerful drug you will ever take, so you should try to give yourself the best you can.  Good food choices are your key to healthy eating.  You should choose food that reflects a good variety and provides you with a well balanced diet.  You should try to choose foods that are fresh and try to avoid fast foods, junk foods and over processed foods.  You should try to aim for a diet that is high in fiber, low in fat, low in salt and low in cholesterol.  And avoid sugar!!!  You may look great on the outside but if you want to live a long and healthy life you should start taking care of what you put into your body.

I’ve enclosed two charts that hopefully will help you in choosing an approach that is healthy and addresses both issues of trying to keep a low fat, low cholesterol diet and choosing a diet that has a good variety and ensuring your body the proper nutrients it needs.  First lets start with the Low fat, low cholesterol approach.

FOODS                   FOODS TO USE            FOODS TO AVOID
Meats, Fish  and Poultry Choose lean meats and poultry (chicken, turkey, beef, veal, lamb, pork, ham)  Trim excess fat and remember that one serving is equal to 3 oz.  Also fresh, frozen or canned fish and shellfish except for shrimp.  Meats, poultry and fish should be broiled (pan or oven) or baked. Bacon, sausage, fatty fowl (duck & goose) skin and fat of turkey and chicken processed meats, regular luncheon meats (salami, bologna) hot dogs, regular hamburgers, organ meats (kidneys, liver) shrimp, squid and caviar.
Eggs Egg whites and commercial egg substitutes that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Limit your intake of egg yolks to two per week (including those used in cooking)
Fruit Eat three servings of fresh fruit per day (1 serving = 1/2 cup).  You can use frozen or canned fruit provided there has been no sugar added. Coconuts
Vegetables Use 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day.  Try to include yellow, green or green leafy vegetables.  Vegetables may be broiled, steamed, or stir fried using recommended fats and oils from the list below. You should avoid vegetables that are cooked with butter or a creamy cheese sauce.
Milk Products Drink skim or 1% milk, cheese with less than 8% m.f., yogurt containing less than 1% m.f., powdered skim milk, low fat cottage cheese. Whole or 2% milk and whole-milk packaged goods, cream, ice cream, whole milk puddings, yogurt or cheeses, non dairy cream substitutes containing coconut or palm oil.
Breads and Grains Whole grain or enriched bread, rolls, bagels, low fat crackers and cookies such as soda crackers, melba toast, graham wafers, arrowroots and gingersnaps, spaghetti, potatoes, rice or noodles may be used as a bread substitute.  In preparing these foods do not use butter or shortening, use only soft margarine or oil. Rich  baked goods with eggs, shortening and or sugar, commercial mixes with dried eggs and whole milk.  Avoid sweet rolls, doughnuts, and breakfast pastries like Danishes and croissants.
Desserts and snacks Limit to 2 servings a day, fruit ice, pudding prepared with skim or 1% milk, egg while soufflés, unbuttered popcorn.  Homemade baked goods prepared with egg whites, and using recommended fats and oils with reduced amounts of sugar. Fried snack foods, chocolate, whole milk puddings, ice cream and milk sherbets.  Commercial pies, cakes and high fat cookies. If your also trying to loose weight you should avoid candies, jams, jellies and syrups.
Beans Dried peas or beans (1 cup) may be used as a meat substitute. Commercial baked beans with sugar and or pork
Nuts Pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, pistachios and peanuts may be used sparingly.  A tablespoon or less per serving. Nuts roasted in coconut oil or palm oil and all nuts that are chocolate coated.
Cereals Use hot or cold cereal without added coconut or coconut oil.
Fats and Oils Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn, canola or olive oils. Soft margarine, peanut butter, mayonnaise and salad dressings made with the recommended oils. Butter, saturated fats (palm, cocoa butter, coconut oil, lard and beef tallow) solid margarine, gravies, bacon drippings, cream sauces and avocado.
Beverages Fresh fruit juices (limit to 8 oz. per day), black coffee, plain or herbal tea, soft drinks with sugar substitutes, club soda, cocoa made with skim or 1% milk or nonfat dried mild and water, clear broth.  Try to limit alcohol consumption to two servings per day Cocoa made with whole or 2% milk and or sugar.  If you are trying to lose weight, then try to avoid sugar juices, soft drinks and alcohol.
Miscellaneous Feel free to use the following; vinegar, spices, herbs, nonfat bouillon, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, flavoring essence.


I know it may be difficult at first but by eliminating foods that you should be avoiding like sugar and butter gradually, you will soon be on your way to not only looking great on the outside, but feeling great on the inside too.

Now to address the next element of what should you eat and that is food variety.  Food Variety is an important element in a healthy diet.  Now this next chart contains a list of foods and during the next 7 days if you eat a food from that group give yourself one point.  At the end of the week, add up your points and see how you did by comparing it to the score chart.

      1.Eggs _______ 28. Milk, ice cream and cheese _______
2. Yogurt _______ 29. Fatty fish  like tuna, anchovies, salmon, sardines, herring mackerel, kipper _______
3. Saltwater fish _______ 30. Freshwater fish _______
4. Caviar salad _______ 31. Shellfish like mussels, oysters, squid _______
5. Prawns, shrimp and lobster _______ 32. Meat…lamb, beef, veal _______
6. Meat… pork, ham, bacon _______ 33. Poultry… chicken, duck turkey _______
7. Game… quail, wild duck _______ 34. Liver _______
8. All other organ meats _______ 35. Peas (fresh, dried, split) chickpeas, beans (haricot, kidney, lima and broad0 Lentils (red, brown and green) soy products (tofu and milk) _______
9. Wheat (bread, pasta, ready to eat cereals) _______ 36. Corn based cereals _______
10. barley based cereals _______ 37. Oat based cereal and bread _______
11. Rye based cereals and bread _______ 38. Rice based cereals and bread _______
12. Other grains like millet and linseed _______ 39. Oils _______
13. hard and soft spreads (butter, margarine) _______ 40.Water _______
14. Tea, coffee, herbal teas, wine beer and liquor _______ 41. Miso, tempeh and soy sauce _______
15. Sauerkraut _______ 42. Soft drinks _______
16. Vegetables… potato, carrot, sweet potato, beets, parsnip, bamboo shoot, ginger, radish and water chestnut. _______ 43. Vegetables… broccoli, cauliflower _______
17. Vegetables…  celery asparagus _______ 44. Vegetables… onions (spring, garlic and leeks _______
18. Tomatoes and okra _______ 45. Beans… green, and snow peas _______
19. Leafy greens, spinach silverbeet, endive, kale, chicory, parsley, lettuce _______ 46. Peppers ( capsicum, chilies) _______
21. Zucchini, squash, cucumber, turnip, eggplant, swede and pumpkin _______ 47. Mushrooms _______
22. Herbs and spices _______ 48. Nuts… almonds, cashew, chestnut, coconut, hazelnut, peanuts, peanut butter, pistachio, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, tahini, walnut _______
23. Fruit…peaches, cherry, plums, apricot, avocado, olive, prune _______ 49. Apples _______
24. Pears _______ 50. Berries like strawberries, blueberries raspberries _______
25. Grapes and raisins _______ 51. Bananas _______
26. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons and grapefruits _______ 52. Melons… honeydew, watermelon _______
27. Kiwi, dates, passion fruit _______ 53. Tropical fruits like mango and pineapple _______


Total variety of foods eaten
30 plus foods very good
25 – 29 good
20 – 24 fair
10 – 19 poor
0 – 9 very poor

So how did you do??  Think you have room for improvement.  Remember that these charts are just guides to help you to make informed and better choices about what to eat.   If you have any major concerns about your health and weight you should consult your doctor or a registered dietician to help better tune your eating habits, and adjust your lifestyle.  And remember that old saying…You are what you eat…so try to eat healthy, exercise and  try to enjoy life.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !