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Hello Marge,

I am sorry we have not entered zucchini into our database yet! Keep checking back with us since we are always updating our database with new fruits and vegetables to keep our consumers informed!  The zucchini information you requested is as follows:

Serving: 1/2 cup
Food Exchange: 1 nonstarchy vegetable = 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 0 g fat
Calories: 18 calories
Vitamins and Minerals: Significant source of Manganese, folate, potassium, and vitamin A
Fiber: 1 g

Hope this information helps at your meeting! For more nutrition on your fruits and vegetables, visit our Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database.


When selecting juice it is very important to select 100% juice. 100% juice can count towards your fruit servings for the day. Therefore, yes 100% fruit juice is good for you. However, you don’t want to consume all your fruit as juice. Since the fiber content of juice is less than that of the whole fruit, you want to also incorporate fresh, frozen, or cooked fruits as well. These forms of fruit and vegetables tend to be higher in fiber. Remember to read the label to make sure there is not a lot of added sugar to your juice. Fruit has natural sugar and the healthiest juice does not have added sugar. Another helpful tip is to remember that 4 oz of most fruit juices counts as a serving (that’s half a cup!). So to answer you question, yes, 100% fruit juice is good for you, but remember moderation!


I would have to know the ingredients in your "veggie chips" to determine if they are healthier than regular chips. Compare the nutrition facts label that is listed on the package of each of these products.  If you are trying to lose weight, total calories is what you need to watch.  Off-hand, if all of these chips are fried, they are probably fairly similar to one another in terms of calories, although the sweet potato chips would be the most nutritious of those you mentioned.

If you tried BAKED veggie chips, these would be better. Depending on the manufacturer, some brands are more nutritious than others. Visit our Understanding Food Labels section to learn how to select the most nutritious options. As far as learning how to snack healthy, try these Top 10 Snacks. Fruits and veggies are low calorie ways to promote weight loss but still cater to your snack cravings!


If they have been stored properly [kept in a tightly sealed container and stored in a dark cool environment], dates can last up to a year or more. They will have a tendency to dry out, but are still edible. Simply put them into a bowl of warmed water and let them hydrate for 10 – 20 minutes, depending upon how dry they are. 

The “white powder” issue will occur when dates are not stored properly; the “white powder” is the natural sugar crystallizing on the surface as you stated below. This occurs mostly during warm temperatures. I like to keep my dates in the refrigerator or freezer. They last longer and don’t get that white powder effect. Dates are considered a dried fruit, when in actuality they are a fresh fruit, naturally sun-dried by nature. For more information on dates visit our Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database. You can also find information on tons of other fruits and vegetables to make sure you keep your vegetables fresh for as long as possible!


Hominy is dried and puffed whole kernels of corn and corn grits are coarsely ground dried corn. We count canned hominy as a vegetable serving, but once hominy or corn are ground into a flour and then used more as a “grain” product like corn grits, we no longer count it as a vegetable serving.  (Similarly, we do not count popcorn as one of your vegetable servings!)


The best way to determine if your mushrooms have spoiled is to check for if they have spots or are slimy. This generally means they are spoiled or are close to being spoiled, so they need to be used with in the next few days. We recommend that you store mushrooms in their original container or in a paper bag for up to one week after you purchase them for optimal conditions.  For simple ways to add in mushrooms to make sure you are consuming them before they spoil, check out our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Mushrooms section.


I am not sure what your reasoning for fasting for 3 days is, but there isn’t a particular fruit or vegetable that you should begin eating after your fast. Fruits and vegetables are essential to a balanced diet and they all offer multiple benefits. Check out our  Top 10 Reasons To Eat More Fruits and Vegetables  section for more information on the heath benefits of fruits and vegetables. When talking about vegetables that are good sources of calcium, these include:

• Collard greens
• Spinach
• Green soybeans
• Turnip greens
• Cowpeas

These vegetables, however, contain oxalates that bind calcium and makes it less available to the body.  While further work needs to be done, there is evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have indirect but significant benefits to bone health.  This isn’t because of calcium, but because of the potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. As for your recommended calcium intake, for a healthy adult female, 1000 mg/day is recommended . Try this Wilted Spinach Salad for a delicious new recipe to add to your collection.


When comparing fruits and vegetables neither are “healthier” for you. They both offer numerous benefits for your body. Depending on what vitamins and minerals you are trying to consume, some sources of fruits and vegetables are better than others. For example, if you wanted a vegetable that was high in vitamin A you could choose sweet potatoes, carrots, or butternut squash. All in all, each and every fruit and vegetable is unique and offers multiple vitamins and minerals, which are essential to your body. Therefore, one fruit or vegetable does not out weigh another fruit or vegetable. Check out our Top 10 Reasons To Eat Fruits and Vegetables section for more information about why fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy lifestyle.


Vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables include:
• Butternut squash
• Carrot
• Cantaloupes
• Grapefruit
• Guava
• Mango
• Papaya
• Passion fruit
• Pumpkin
• Sweet potatoes

Vitamin C fruits and vegetables include:
• Bell Peppers
• Brussell sprouts
• Broccoli
• Cantaloupe
• Kiwifruit
• Lemon
• Lime


For a complete list of vitamin A and vitamin C sources, visit our Key Nutrients Found in Fruits and Vegetables


The Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.
Read her full bio123 >>

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