There are a lot of things you may know about the foods you eat. Furthermore, there are a lot of things you believe about the foods you eat that may not actually be true. Food plays a big part in daily life. It fuels the body, provides a venue for sharing and interacting with others, and supplies refreshment and enjoyment. You may find yourself watching your carbs, counting your calories, and planning the week’s dinner menu. This list provides a chance to simply relax and enjoy a few fun facts about some of the foods you enjoy.
20. Honey Lasts Pretty Much Forever
Forever is a long time. According to National Geographic, 3,000-year-old jars of perfectly good honey have been excavated from Egyptian tombs. The acidic nature of this sweet condiment prevents it from easily spoiling. Therefore, as long as you keep your jar tightly sealed against moisture and other contaminants, your honey should last a very long time. Honey that has solidified in the container has not gone bad. You can soften it for use by setting your jar of honey in a bowl of hot water to warm the contents.
19. Orange Juice Is Nearly as Sugary as Soda
The fact that seemingly healthful orange juice is as sugary as soda is disappointing. Orange juice is a breakfast staple that provides a morning dose of vitamin C. Unfortunately, eight ounces of orange juice also provides about 21 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, eight ounces of Coca Cola contains 26 grams of sugar. If you enjoy starting your day with the citrusy tang of oranges, choose a whole piece of fruit. A whole orange contains less sugar than a cup of juice. Whole fruit also includes fiber to fill up your tummy.
18. Almonds Have More Calcium Than Milk
Milk is always associated with a good dose of calcium for strong teeth and bones. Therefore, it may be surprising to learn that, cup for cup, almonds contain more calcium than milk. One cup of whole almonds provides 378 mg of this essential mineral. Meanwhile, while one cup of whole milk contains 276 mg, or 28% of the recommended daily value. Since you may not consume almonds by the cupful, one cup of Silk Original Almond Milk provides 45% of your recommended daily value of calcium.
17. Red Peppers Have More Vitamin C Than Oranges
It seems that most of us take it for granted that oranges are the gold standard when it comes to sources of vitamin C. Therefore, it may be shocking to learn that red bell peppers are higher in vitamin C than oranges are. One cup of chopped, red, sweet peppers contains 190mg of the sunshine vitamin. Meanwhile, one cup of orange segments contains only 96mg of vitamin C.
16. Tomatoes Are Fruits
You may have heard this one before, but tomatoes are fruits. Tomatoes often show up in savory dishes. They also fit in quite well on a veggie platter with carrot sticks, celery, and broccoli. However, the fact that tomatoes come from the ovary of a flower makes them a fruit. Another surprising fruit is the zucchini.
15. Coffee Drinks Can Have More Calories Than Ice Cream
A decadent bowl of ice cream may seem like a sinful indulgence if you are watching your calories. However, it is important to realize that a creamy beverage at your local coffee shop can be just as calorie laden. A 2/3 cup serving of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream contains 140 calories with 4.5g of fat and 16g of sugar. Meanwhile, a 16-ounce Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino provides 410 calories with 15g of fat and 61g of sugar.
14. Sugar Doesn’t Cause Hyperactivity
While consuming foods high in sugar can cause highs and lows in blood glucose levels, increased sugar intake does not necessarily cause hyperactivity. The American Council on Science and Health reports that scientific studies do not confirm a link between sugary foods and children’s behavior. In fact, parental expectations may contribute to the perceived link between sugar and excitable behavior.
13. Food Dyes May Cause Agitation
While sugar may not cause hyperactivity, brightly colored foods containing artificial dyes may cause agitation and hyperactivity. Neurotherapeutics notes that food dyes may contribute to behavior issues in children with ADHD, as well as children who have do not have this disorder.
12. There Is Nothing Magic About Eight Glasses of Water
Keeping your body well hydrated allows your skin, organs, and tissues to function well. However, there is nothing magical about drinking eight glasses of water each day. It is far more important to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty, stopping when you are satisfied.
11. Darker Drinks May Cause Worse Hangovers
While it won’t guarantee you will be hangover-free, drinking lighter-colored alcoholic beverages may help decrease the aftereffects of drinking. The Mayo Clinic notes that the congeners found more abundantly in darker alcoholic beverages can contribute to a hangover.
10. Your Blood Alcohol Level Can Still Be High the Next Morning
If you are relying on “sleeping it off” to reduce the alcohol content of your bloodstream, you should realize that your alcohol levels can still be high after a night of sleep. The University of Arizona provides a chart of how many hours it takes to reach zero blood alcohol concentration according to weight and number of drinks.
9. Hungover Driving May Be as Bad as Drunk Driving
Driving hungover can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Medical Daily reports on two studies that suggest driving while hungover results in dangerously slow reaction times and erratic behavior behind the wheel.
8. Hay Fever May Trigger Food Allergies
If you have seasonal allergies related to dust or pollen, you may also be at risk for developing certain food allergies. The American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology warns that sensitivity to certain pollens in the air can translate into allergies to fruits and vegetables. For example, a ragweed allergy may trigger an allergic reaction to cantaloupe, cucumber, or banana.
7. Canola Oil Is as Good as Olive Oil
Olive oil is revered for the healthy fats and antioxidants it contains. Canola oil, however, often takes a back seat when the discussion turns to healthy oils. While extra virgin olive oil is higher in antioxidants than canola oil, both have a similar nutrition profile.
6. One Carrot Provides a Day’s Vitamin A
Vitamin A is critical for growth, red blood cell formation, and good vision. To provide your body with a full day’s supply of this vitamin, all you need is one 5 ½ inch long carrot. One of these small orange root vegetables provides 167% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A.
5. A Cucumber Is Mostly Water
If you don’t like drinking water, munch a cucumber instead. This refreshing green vegetable is made up of 95% water. My Food Data lists lettuce, celery, bok choy, and radishes as other veggies that are at least 95% water.
4. Some Countries Don’t Store Milk in the Refrigerator
In the U.S., milk is pasteurized to kill bacteria. In some countries, milk is ultra-pasteurized. The extreme temperatures used to ultra-pasteurize milk in these countries mean unopened packages can be kept unrefrigerated for months. While one company tried to introduce ultra-pasteurized milk in the U.S., Americans didn’t go for it.
3. White Chocolate Isn’t Really Chocolate
It may say chocolate on the label, but white chocolate is not true chocolate. Chocolate contains cocoa solids, while white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, lecithin, milk, and sugar. Chocolate or not, this ingredient tastes dreamy in a white chocolate mocha.
2. Ripe Cranberries Bounce
Choosing the freshest produce at the grocery store can be challenging. You may find yourself thumping melons, sniffing pineapples, and giving avocados a gentle squeeze. If you are seeking the freshest cranberries, give one or two of them a bounce. Fresh berries contain pockets of air that allow them to bounce.
1. Bananas Are Radioactive
This fact sounds more exciting than it really is. Bananas contain potassium, and it turns out that about 120 parts per million of that potassium is radioactive. With 450 mg of potassium in one medium banana, you would have to consume an impossibly large quantity of the yellow fruit to notice any effects from radiation. Still, it makes for a fun fact to tell your friends.