Most of the time, we end up discarding parts of fresh fruits and vegetables without knowing they contain surprising health benefits.
When you throw away parts of fruits and vegetables like broccoli leaves and onion skin, you are not only throwing away money but also some serious nutritional benefits.
Instead of throwing them away, there are ways of turning them to good use and adding them to your diet.
1. Onion Skins
Onion skin is rich in quercetin, which can help reduce blood pressure and prevent clogged arteries. Quercetin also supports a healthy immune system. It has also displayed considerable anti-inflammatory activity, restraining both the production and release of histamine and other allergic and inflammatory sources, which means it may be useful for hay fever sufferers.
How to include it in your diet: Use it when cooking stocks, soups and stews f0or that extra flavor, then remove just before serving.
2. Watermelon Rinds
This is rich in amino acid citrulline, which contributes to the dilation of blood vessels and circulation improvements. Simply put, it can help improve your blood flow. It has been used to improve conditions as diverse as sexual dysfunction and sickle cell disease.
How to include it in your diet: Blend along with watermelon flesh (the red part you normally eat), strawberries, and a dash of orange juice for a refreshing smoothie.
3. Broccoli leaves
These are a very rich source carotenoids, vitamin A and C, and calcium
How to include it in your diet: Cut them up just as you would cabbage and throw them into a stir-fry along with the rest of the broccoli. Don’t forget that the stems contain a good dose of fibre and when sliced are great for a crunchy snack.
4. Orange Peels
They’re a powerhouse of fibre, flavonoids and vitamins, rich in digestive system-soothing fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C. Anecdotal evidence shows that an active chemical in orange peels (d-limonene) helps relieve heartburn and indigestion. The good concentration of vitamin C helps boost the immune system and could help ward off respiratory infections
In addition, peel extract can be used as an antibacterial cleanser, made into an insect repellent and even a grease busting kitchen cleaner. Pectin and other fibre found in the white layer beneath the orange skin can also help curb appetite and suppress hunger for up to 4 hours.
How to include it in your diet: Whip up the whole fruit into a delicious smoothie. You can also use a cheese grater to sprinkle some on top of fish or chicken.
5. Cantaloupe Seeds
Cantaloupe is also known as mushmelon, rockmelon, sweet melon or honeydew. The seed is rich in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
How to include it in your diet: Roast them in the oven and toss with olive oil for a nutrient-packed snack.
6. Celery Tops
They’re super flavorful and full of muscle-building magnesium, bone-strengthening calcium, and vitamin C.
How to include it in your diet: Use them like an herb and add to a vegetable or chicken soup.