You've heard it so often, you don't even listen: Diets low in fat and high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and grain products will keep you healthy, wealthy and wise! The often-repeated facts might bore you, but that's not a good enough reason to ignore them. The truth is research shows as many as 35% of cancer deaths may be related to dietary factors. Not to mention heart disease and even dementia. We've thrown in some fun food facts along with some more serious, helpful ones in the hope that a spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down easier. Fun Food Facts — Did you know... Ketchup, which President Nixon put on his cottage cheese and the Japanese eat on rice, and which is present in 97% of American households, came from China. Tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits. An average of 13 boxes of Jell-O are purchased every second in the United States. Green beans are the same as string beans; pine nuts are the same as pignoli nuts, Italian squash is the same as zucchini. One glass of cranberry juice per day can help stave off urinary tract infections. Grape juice contains powerful disease-fighting antioxidants called flavonoids that lower the risk of developing the blood clots that lead to heart attacks. The average person in America eats about 15 –20 quarts of ice cream each year. Americans eat enough peanut butter each year to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon. In a day we eat more than 4 million pounds of peanuts. Only male turkeys gobble. The females make a clicking noise. An ear of corn never has an odd number of rows. People over age 65 who ate fish at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with dementia. Garlic, according to current research, might stimulate the immune system, helping to prevent illnesses from colds to cancers. There is nothing magical about nutrition bars. Some have as much sugar and as much saturated fat as a candy bar. Anything that supplies calories, from a banana to a Twinkie ®, will give you some energy. Studies report that tea, especially green tea, may prevent everything from heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. A handful of almonds may help senior citizens avoid the onset of Alzheimer's disease. If you suffer from motion sickness in a car or train or a plane, try powdered ginger about 30 minutes before your trip. A serving size is constantly overestimated: 2 –3 ounces for meat, chicken, or fish; a half cup for pasta, rice, or cooked vegetables. Blueberries are touted as the latest food for thought. Laboratory rats fed a blueberry-rich diet outperformed other rats negotiating their way through a maze. Maybe mom is right: You are what you eat! Broccoli is the mother lode of basic nutrients. It has more Vitamin C than an orange, as much calcium as a glass of milk and three times more fiber than a slice of whole wheat bread. It is listed as a food most likely to prevent colon cancer, minimize the risk of cataracts, and protect against stroke. Chemicals in chocolate affect levels of the body's mood-affecting chemicals as well as increase "good" cholesterol by as much as 10%. These facts demote it from a wicked indulgence to a guilty pleasure...one we all deserve!
Learn about fun food facts and read how to lead a healthy lifestyle at BeingGirl.com.