[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Thanks to their high content of vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruits and vegetables are essential foods for strengthening the body’s defenses and ensuring optimal vitality and health. Their daily consumption also helps keep the risk of obesity and certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases at bay. To help you get the most out of these essential foods, I will present in detail the fruits and vegetables starting with N.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Turnip is a root vegetable. It is the fleshy root of Brassica rapa subsp. Rapa, a herbaceous plant belonging to the same botanical family as cabbage. The root can be more or less large, round, oval, elliptical or conical. The turnip has a white skin which, in some cultivars, can take on a characteristic purple tint in the upper part. The pulp is white or yellowish, juicy and crunchy, with a sweet flavor, and sometimes with a spicy note.
Turnip is generally eaten cooked with butter or olive oil and salt. More rarely, it can be eaten raw. Turnips are very rich in nutrients. Among the most important are:
- B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B9)
- vitamin C
- vitamin K
- trace elements (magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc)
- essential oils
- compounds from the glycosinolate group,
- phytoncides (bactericidal substances, similar to antibiotics that inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms).
The walnut is the fruit of the walnut tree (Juglans regia), a tree belonging to the botanical family Juglandaceae and the genus Juglans. In the botanical sense of the term, the walnut is not a nut, but a drupe. It is made up of a fleshy and fragrant outer shell and a woody and ovoid inner core. This core is itself divided into two halves containing a seed made up of 2 edible cotyledons. This seed is folded, irregularly lobed and cerebriform.
The nut has an excellent flavor, all the more delicate the fresh it is. It is rich in excellent quality oil, which however has an unfortunate tendency to go rancid in a short time. Nuts can be eaten as is (raw, roasted or pickled) or as an ingredient in a dish such as nut soup or nut tart. Walnut is the main ingredient in baklava and Circassian chicken.
Nuts are also popular as an ice cream topping. Shelled nuts contain 14% carbohydrates, 15% protein, 4% water and 65% fat. Nuts are very high-calorie fruits. 100 grams of nuts provide 654 kcal. Walnuts are also a good source of iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.
Hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel tree (Corylus avellana), a tree belonging to the Betulaceae family. The seed coat is leathery, dark brown in color and strewn with fibers. The seed is surrounded by a woody pericarp, the size, shape, thickness and color of which are important characteristics that distinguish the variety. Hazelnuts have a sweet, buttery flavor, with hints of cocoa, making them a fantastic ally to chocolate.
In addition to being eaten as snacks, hazelnuts are used to make sugared almonds, nougats, chocolate, ice creams and various sweets. They are used in the preparation of healthy dishes such as muesli. After almonds, walnuts are the fruit richest in vitamin E. They are a source of phytosterols, a substance considered important for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Hazelnuts also contain monounsaturated fats that can lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Hazelnuts also contain calcium, magnesium and certain vitamins from group A. They contain phosphorus and are rich in potassium. They contain omega 3 and omega 6. These are very high-calorie fruits. 100 grams of hazelnuts contain 600 to 700 Kcal.
Medlar is the fruit of the medlar tree (Mespilus germanica), a tree belonging to the botanical family Rosaceae. There are two different varieties: the European medlar, which is harvested in October and left to ripen on benches, and the Japanese medlar, which is more common on the market. The fruits appear in the form of small rounded apples, with rough skin and a green-gray color. They are often covered with very fine down.
The dimensions of the medlar vary from 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The fruits of Mespilus germanica are hard and sour even when ripe. They become edible if given enough time. Once softened, the fruit can be eaten raw, sometimes with sugar and cream. From a vitamin point of view, medlars are rich in vitamins A, C and B. They also contain carotenoids, tannins, flavonoids, organic acids (citric, malic and tartaric acids) which, during maturation , mostly transform into sugary substances. 100 grams of medlars contains 47 calories.
Nectarine is the fruit of Prunus persica var. nucipersica. Nectarines are a variety of peaches, but they are distinguished by perfectly smooth skin. Nectarines are also sweeter than peaches. Nectarines are excellent fruits characterized by juicy and aromatic orange or yellow flesh.
The flesh of nectarines is much denser than that of a peach, making it much easier to separate from the stone. Typically, nectarines are eaten fresh, but they can also be used in ice creams, cakes, jams, compotes, juices and jellies. Dried nectarines are also commercially available.
Nectarines contain minerals that play important functions in the body such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. The most abundant vitamins are vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin B3. Nectarines also contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.