Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter is here! Is your immune system ready??

Well, friends, winter is upon us and many are fighting hard to stay healthy this holiday season. One great way to do that is to make sure you get five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Okay, so I know we are all really busy and fitting five servings in might seem difficult, but with a healthy smoothie from Keva Juice, it gets a lot easier!

Here are a few fun facts about some delicious winter fruits! Eat 'em up!

APPLES The apple can be traced back to the Romans and Egyptians who introduced them to Britain and finally to America. Today, Americans eat about 120 apples apiece each year. At least 50% of the domestic crop is used in items we use every day such as, applesauce, juice, smoothies, jellies, pies and other popular desserts. Be sure to choose apples that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.

BLUEBERRIES One of the nation’s most well liked fruits, blueberries, have origins in both Europe and here in the United States. The Native Americans were the first to incorporate berries into their diets and lifestyle. Today, berries are appreciated worldwide. Blueberries are sold fresh or processed as individually quick frozen fruit, juice, smoothies, or dried or infused berries.

BLUEBERRIES Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels of the essential dietary mineral manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and dietary fiber. One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

CRANBERRIES Cranberries grow on vines in boggy areas. Cranberries were first cultivated in Massachusetts around 1815 and are only one of three major native North American fruits. Some cranberry beds have been around for over 100 years. Most of the U.S. cranberry crop is grown in only five states: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. Each year, more than 110,000 metric tons of cranberries are produced in the United States. Native Americans used cranberries for both their medicinal and natural preservative powers. They brewed cranberry mixtures to draw poisons from arrow wounds. They also pounded cranberries into a paste and mixed the paste with dried meat to extend the life of the meat.

GUAVAS A guava is an oval shaped fruit that varies in size from a small egg to a medium apple. The thin skin may be yellow, red, purple or nearly black and the flesh ranges from a pale yellow to a bright red. Guava is sweet with a slight tart aftertaste. Its texture is firm; similar to an apple. Guava is native to South America, but is now commonly grown in California, Florida and Hawaii. It is also known as a Bangkok Apple or Guayaba.

KIWIS Did you know that kiwifruit is more than 700 years old? Kiwifruit history began in the Yang-tse river valley in China, where it was called "Yangtao." The Yangtao was considered a delicacy by the court of the great Khans who cherished its delicious flavor and emerald-green color. In the 1970s it was grown in California and available for the first time in supermarkets throughout the United States. Most kiwifruit imported to the United States comes from Chile and New Zealand. Kiwifruit is available year-round but is often harvested in the fall and winter.

LEMONS Did you know that the lemon originated in China and that lemonade was a favorite of the Chinese Emporers? Lemons made their way to the United States by missionaries and were planted in Arizona in California. Today they produce virtually all of the lemons consumed in the United States as well as about 1/3 of those used throughout the world! Lemons are valued for their many used flavoring the food we eat, as a garnish, and for household purposes.

ORANGES Did you know that, technically, oranges are a type of berry? Me neither! Oranges are highly valued for their vitamin C content. It is a primary source of vitamin C for most Americans. This wonderful fruit has more to offer nutritionally than just this one nutrient, containing sufficient amounts of folacin, calcium, potassium, thiamin, niacin and magnesium. Most of the consumption of oranges is in the form of juice. Eating the whole fruit provides 140% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C, less than the juice, but with more fiber, which is not present in the juice.

PEARS Pears are a pome fruit relative of the apple. One of the earliest written histories or records comes from Homer's reference to them as "Gifts from the Gods." The first pears arrived in the United States by European settlers in the 1700s. Pears rank second to the apple as the most popular US fruit. They can be eaten and used in a lot of the same ways as the apple. One distinct feature of the pear besides the shape is the soft texture. This soft texture is the result of the starch converting to sugar after being picked from a tree to ripen.

POMEGRANATES A pomegranate is a fruit the size of a large orange. The leathery reddish-pink skin shelters the membranous walls and bitter tissue that house compartments or sacs filled with hundreds of seeds. A translucent red pulp that has a slightly sweet and tart taste surrounds these seeds. Pomegranates are grown in California and throughout Asia and the Mediterranean countries.


*Thanks to for this great information!*