|Genus/species||Malus/ M. domestica|
|Distribution||The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists.|
|Comments||The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree. The tree is small and deciduous, reaching 5 to 12 metres tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. The leaves are alternately arranged simple ovals, 5 to 12 cm long and 3 to 6 cm broad, on a 2 to 5 cm petiole with an acute tip, serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Flowers are produced in spring, simultaneously with the budding of the leaves. The flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, 5-petaled, and 2.5 to 3.5 cm in diameter. The fruit matures in autumn and is typically 5 to 9 cm in diameter. The centre of the fruit contains 5 carpels arranged in a 5-point star, each carpel containing 1 to 3 seeds. Apples may be classified into 4 main groups: dessert, culinary, cider and ornamental. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions. Apple trees are large if grown from seed, but small if grafted onto roots (rootstock).|
|Distribution||The countries that produce the most bananas include India, Brazil, China, Ecuador and the Philippines. The top five countries that exported bananas were Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Colombia and Guatemala. The United States, the European Union and Japan buy the most bananas. Bananas are among the most valuable agricultural export products.|
|Comments||Some people are allergic to bananas. There are two basic forms of these allergies. The first is known as oral allergy syndrome. Within an hour of eating a banana, swelling starts inside the mouth or throat. This allergy is related to allergies caused by pollen, like that of the birch tree. The other is similar to latex allergies. It causes urticaria and potentially serious upper gastrointestinal symptoms.|
|Genus/species||Vitis / V. vinifera|
|Distribution||According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. Approximately 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, and 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned “with no added sugar” and “100% natural”. The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year.|
|Comments||A grape is a fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vines of the botanical genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for makingwine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters.|
|Distribution||Introduced from tropical Asia to southern US|
|Comments||The Orange, which is probably native to southeastern Asia or adjacent regions, has been introduced into Florida and California, and it is also grown in warmer parts of Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Plantations in Hawaii failed due to the ravages of fruit flies. It occasionally becomes established in the wild in Florida. The flowers, although primarily insect-pollinated, may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. There are many cultivars, and some are better for juice production while others are eaten as fresh fruit. The white fragrant flowers, although mainly insect-pollinated, are occasionally responsible for allergy. The fruit, measuring from about 2.5 to about 4 inches in diameter, contains somewhat fibrous orange flesh and contains about a dozen juicy sections.|
The first garden strawberry was grown in France during the late 18th century. Prior to this, wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source of the fruit.
The strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The French began taking the strawberry from the forest to their gardens for harvest in the 1300s. Charles V, France’s king from 1364 to 1380, had 1,200 strawberry plants in his royal garden. In the early 1400s western European monks were using the wild strawberry in their illuminated manuscripts. The strawberry is found in Italian, Flemish, German art, and English miniatures. The entire strawberry plant was used to treat depressive illnesses.
One serving (100 g) of strawberries contains approximately 33 kilocalories, is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of manganese, and provides several other vitamins and dietary minerals in lesser amounts.
Strawberries contain a modest amount of essential unsaturated fatty acids in the achene (seed) oil.
Few studies have directly examined the effects of eating strawberries on human health. However, limited research indicates that strawberry consumption may be associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk and that phytochemicals present in strawberries have anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties in laboratory studies.