Think all fruits and vegetables hold the same dear promise of good health and glowing skin? Think again. We talked to food scientists and rounded up some of the less nutritious members of the plant kingdom. Strawberries A recent study cited by the Hong Kong Organic Resource Center found that a large percentage of strawberries from China were contaminated with pesticides above the safety limit. Farming pesticides can have short-term and long-term effects, ranging from dizziness and headaches to organ disorders. Plus, there’s virtually no way of cleaning a strawberry of pesticides, short of pulping its outer layer. Silver lining: Be sure to buy organic strawberries. Go for the local strawberry farms, who often sell stock at the Wan Chai Farmers’ Market and Pok Fu Lam markets. Eggplant The eggplant is notorious for soaking up oil like a dehydrated sponge and is thus practically impossible to cook without sacrificing either taste or a slim waist. And according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, it’s not exactly a vitamin powerhouse either, containg about one percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, two percent of vitamin C and five percent of folate. Then there’s the fact that a third of the calories come from sugars. One cup of broccoli is worth 11 of what the Egyptians used to call the “mad apple.” This purple thing also belongs to the poisonous nightshade family, and thus, in its immature growth stage, contains toxins that can cause sickness. Silver lining: It’s a good source of fiber and the mineral manganese, necessary for the activation of many enzymes and vitamins in the body. Sprinkle salt into the flesh of the plant and let drain in the sink for one hour before cooking to reduce the amount of oil it absorbs. Iceberg Lettuce There can be no punier excuse for veggie goodness than the iceberg, hiding behind the healthy name of “lettuce.” This pretender to the throne is virtually devoid of nourishment – it's practically just water – but if you like your food to come with a healthy-sounding crunch, iceberg is your lettuce. Because it’s usually eaten raw, lettuce in general can also contain dangerous levels of pesticides. Source: ars.USDA.gov Silver lining: There is none; just choose romaine lettuce instead. Romaine contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrientes, fiber, as well as 143% of the daily recommended vitamin K in a single cup serving. Avocado One medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, which is slightly more than two tablespoons of butter and as much as a quarter-pound burger. It may be “good,” cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat – but those 25-inch hipsters can’t tell the difference between trans and monounsaturated. Silver lining: They're a great source of potassium and B vitamins. Just use sparingly as a paste and watch out for fatteningly delicious guacamole. Celery It has virtually no calories, is one of the least vitamin-packed veggies and, for a vegetable, it’s pretty high in sodium. According to the USDA, one cup of celery has 82mg of sodium (recommended intake being less than 2,400mg). It’s a great source of the stuff, unless, that is, you’re on a low-salt diet. Silver lining: It’s also high in heart-healthy fiber and potassium, necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system. Some studies suggest that potassium may even help prevent hypertension. (Source: “Lifestyle modifications to prevent and control hypertension,” Ellen Burgess, MD, et al.) What’s in V8? Hong Kong University professor of food science Dr. Ma Ching-yong dissects the ingredients of V8 vegetable juice. Tomato Juice from Concentrate "Contains vitamins and lycopene, though processing foods often leads to a degradation of vitamins." Lemon Juice from Concentrate "This adds flavor, but it's mostly salt that's used as a flavor enhancer. It provides no nutritional benefit and too much can cause hypertension." Natural Flavoring "Could be anything. All I know is it’s extracted chemicals from a natural source, which are better than synthetic chemicals because these have been consumed for many years without any problems." Ascorbic Acid "An excellent source of Vitamin C, which is often completely lost in processing." Citric Acid "Again, added to replenish lost Vitamin C, and add a fruity, sour flavor." Conclusion: Fiber, lycopene and all the vitamins - it’s good for you but watch out for the high salt content. Note that one 340mL can is 28 percent of your recommended daily maximum of sodium.