Mangez Québec

Three myths about fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. They provide many vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. However, we are bombarded with conflicting information about food on a daily basis, which can lead to a feeling of confusion. Let’s take a look at some myths about fruits and vegetables.

1.    Oranges are the richest fruits in vitamin C

Myth. Oranges are high in vitamin C, but other fruits contain more. This is the case with certain fruits that are grown in Quebec, such as strawberries and red peppers. Indeed, 100 g of orange, or the equivalent of a small fruit, provide 53 mg of vitamin C and 100 g of strawberries, or the equivalent of about 8 medium-sized fruits, provide 59 mg, slightly more. However, the winner is raw red pepper with 128 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, which is the equivalent of a medium-sized fruit.

2.    Vegetables do not contain calcium

Myth. It is true that dairy products are an important source of calcium in our diet. In fact, ½ cup of plain, low-fat yogurt provides 197 mg of calcium, or about 18% of the daily value. However, other foods also contain a good amount of calcium. This is the case with certain vegetables grown in Quebec, such as spinach and collards. In fact, ½ cup of boiled spinach provides 129 mg of calcium, or about 12% of the daily value and the same quantity of boiled collards provides 141 mg, or about 13% of the daily value.

3.    Raw fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than when they are cooked

Myth and reality. In fact, it depends on the fruits and vegetables. Some nutrients in these foods benefit from cooking while others are degraded by heat. For example, cooking increases the content of lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes and red peppers. However, cooking degrades the vitamin C found in foods like green peppers and broccoli. The ideal is to consume cooked and raw fruits and vegetables to benefit from a variety of nutrients. 

As you can see, fruits and vegetables from Quebec have nothing to envy to imported fruits and vegetables in terms of nutritional quality. Their consumption contributes to a healthy and balanced diet, but it also helps to encourage the local economy and reduce our environmental impact. Hurry and stock up on local fruits and vegetables, a healthy choice for us and our planet!


Canadian Nutrient File.



Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist

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