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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Health


Did you know?

Melissa Bess, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Camden County, University of Missouri Extension


The health field has many interesting facts that are not well known. Here are some interesting nutrition, health and physical activity facts that may surprise you.


Did you know that...

  • ...a sweet red bell pepper has more vitamin C than an orange?
    One half cup of red bell pepper has about 95 mg of vitamin C compared to 70 mg in one medium orange. Try sliced raw red pepper in a salad or sauté it in your fajitas for extra vitamin C.
  • ...vitamin C helps your body absorb more iron?
    We best absorb iron from meat sources, but there is also iron in plant sources. Vitamin C helps with plant iron absorption as well as counteracting when certain foods (such as tea) may inhibit iron. Add some lemon juice to your tea or mandarin orange slices to your spinach salad to get the most iron from your foods.
  • ...stretching after physical activity is more beneficial?
    A good warm-up before activity is essential, but stretching cold muscles may do more harm than good. At the end of a workout, muscles are warm and stretching can help prevent soreness later.
  • ...a baked potato with skin has twice as much potassium as a banana?
    A medium baked potato with skin has about 925 mg of potassium compared to 422 mg in one medium banana. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds are all good sources of potassium so eat more of them.
  • ...beans have nutrients similar to vegetables and meat?
    They have vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber like vegetables, and protein and iron like meat. They also do not raise blood sugar very much and help with digestion. Everyone should eat more beans.
  • ...bread that is brown is not always 100 percent whole wheat bread?
    It may be very similar nutritionally to white bread, but with brown coloring. Read the nutrition label and make sure the first ingredient has the word “whole” in it, then you know that you are getting 100 percent whole wheat bread.
  • ...companies can list 0 grams of trans fat on the label even if the food has less than 0.5 grams?
    Sometimes zero doesn’t really mean zero. Look for the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredient list to determine if the food does have some trans fat.


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Last update: Wednesday, September 28, 2016