Most people enjoy consuming fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy human diet. Lucky for us, they taste great and most contain nutritious essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support growth, promote health, and fuel our bodies. Also turns out that they are fun to learn about. Enjoy these four fruit and vegetable fun facts:
- Do you dislike Brussels sprouts? If so, it’s not your fault. Blame it on your genes! Per Centre of the Cell, our tongues have taste receptors that come from genes in our DNA. One type of these taste receptors tastes for a bitter chemical called PTC (something not found in food but is similar to chemicals in cruciferous vegetables.) The PTC gene has two common forms: bitter-tasting or non-tasting. People have two copies of each gene. For a person with two copies of the non-tasting gene, the PTC receptor would not work, and that person would not taste the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts. A person who has one of each gene may taste partial bitterness. A person with two of the bitter-tasting PTC genes would find Brussels sprouts bitter and likely distasteful.
- Have you heard of people dyeing their hair red using beets? Per Healthline, some people seeking natural hair dye alternatives do! Once beet juice is mixed with a carrier oil, the beet dye may be liberally applied to the hair. Next, the hair should be wrapped to allow the mixture to set for at least an hour before washing. Though results may vary slightly, the finished color generally results in a deep red tint with cooler undertones. Beet dye only colors the hair temporarily, most likely for 10 to 15 days, and isn’t a permanent solution. Most people can safely dye their hair using this all-natural method, however, if there are any doubts, do seek the advice of a physician before trying it. Additionally, note that beet juice can stain your fingers and other things, so take necessary precautions when applying.
- Did you know that potatoes were the first vegetable grown in space? If you’re familiar with the term “space spuds,” then you’re likely in the know! Based on agricultural techniques developed in China and environmental technologies developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, American company Ag-Tec International Ltd. produced the “Quantum Tubers.” NASA set science on a mission and used self-sustaining growing chambers aboard the International Space Station. The highly successful task produced potatoes that were no longer dependent upon weather. Additionally, the chambers kept the potatoes safe from exposure to disease and pests.
- P.U.! Are those stinky socks we smell or is someone having a snack? Durian, the king of fruits, is widely regarded as the world’s smelliest fruit. The slightly oval-shaped and spiky Southeast Asian fruit generally weighs in at about 2 to 7 lbs. The sulfurous and spiny snack fruit stinks so much so that it is banned on public transportation and in hotels in numerous countries such as Thailand and Japan. Despite its pungent smell, durian has an amazingly sweet yet onion-garlic taste. In fact, elephants love them! And here’s why people should embrace them, too. The inside texture of the fruit is soft and creamy, though there are pits inside that should be removed. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C, iron, and potassium, and is an excellent source of fiber. When eaten in moderation, it may help to lower blood pressure and improve skin and muscle strength. But don’t eat too much durian, for an overdose may be harmful. Quite interesting!
Nowadays, many nations are blessed with an abundance of fruits and vegetables in the marketplace. When you take your next bite of a favorite fruit or vegetable, remember that not only are they delicious and nutritious, and hopefully not smelly, but they are likely steeped in amazing facts. For a thrill, Google some fun facts about what you’re eating and amaze your friends, family, or work colleagues with your newfound knowledge.