What if you were told to eat the skin of a kiwi or the peel of an orange? Would you think that’s crazy? If you’re like most people, you probably would. But as with many things that are out of the ordinary, there is also a stroke of genius in this madness. And this is exactly why you should consider eating your fruits and vegetables’ unmentionables. The reason? Simply put, nutritional value. Many parts of plants that we haphazardly toss in the garbage are actually loaded with nutrients that can do your body good. Here are four that are worth trying.
Nibble on orange peels
Who would ever think to eat an orange peel? Well, maybe a two-year-old that doesn’t know any better, but you likely haven’t seen a grown adult eating an orange peel in years (okay, let’s be honest, probably never).
To clarify, you shouldn’t simply chomp down an unpeeled orange like you would an apple. Instead, you want to focus on the the inside of the orange peel – the white pith. The bioflavonoids within it can do wonders for your health. Not only do they help your body better utilize the vitamin C you get from the orange, but they can also help clear up varicose veins, fight cancer, and lower blood pressure – and may also lower cholesterol levels.
To eat the pith, scrape it off the inside of the peel with a spoon, your nail or your teeth.
Munch on kiwi skins
Besides that curious two-year-old mentioned above, likely no one in their right mind would ever think of eating kiwi skin. However, just like the orange peel, this is also loaded with nature’s goodness including nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids.
The best part about eating kiwi skin? Surprisingly, it actually complements the taste of its sweet, green inside quite well. So the next time you reach for a kiwi, try slicing it into small pieces – keeping the skin on. The skin will add a nice layer of texture that may just leave you grinning.
Crunch on beet greens
When most people think of beets, they think of the vibrant purplish-red root that most likely terrified them as a child with its earthy flavor. While you may or may not have grown to enjoy its taste, most of us rarely think of eating the stems. A little less bizarre than the orange pith or kiwi skin, eating the greens may seem a bit more logical because they’re a normal green color and look like something you’d find in a salad.
Some of the star-studded cast of nutrients within a beet’s leafy hairs include potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, folic acid and vitamins A, C and K.
Bite down on broccoli stems
When it comes to broccoli, the heads of the plant (known as the florets) garner much of the spotlight. And for good reason, too – they are both more visually appealing and have the nutrient punch to back it up. However, there are sure to be more than a few people out there who turn their noses up at the stems, considering them no more than rubbish that belongs in the garbage.
If that’s you, you’ll sadly be missing out on a double punch of nutrients – as broccoli stalks are just as nutritious as the florets. They include a range of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and Vitamin A.
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