“Eat your fruits and vegetables” is one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. But just an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Nope. I don’t remember when our fruit intake was supposed to be 1 serving a day. That is exactly why I could never understand or come to like that little childhood rhyme. Let’s face reality…According to the latest dietary guidelines, five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day) are called for depending on one’s caloric intake. For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day (2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables).
Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss. However, there may be a few important parts that we’re just used to tossing after our prep is done. Yup, these skins, stems seeds to these fruits and vegetables can be significant to our daily intakes. Also, not to mention, we might want to stop wasting 25-33 percent of our food globally.
Next time you think about throwing away your fruit’s and veggie’s counterparts, don’t do it! Instead, enjoy the health benefits that you’ll reap from it. You may even come up with a new lunch or dinner dish.
Start enjoying these 5 skins, stems and seeds today!
Apple peels are packed with vitamins A and C. Your body uses vitamin A to protect your vision and develop healthy linings in your eyes and other organs and in important processes such as cell division. Your body uses vitamin C to heal wounds and to build a strong immune system.
-Best way to eat: Bite straight into the apple and enjoy!
Swiss Chard Stems
Swiss chard stems are loaded with glutamine, an amino acid that boosts the immune system and bolsters the body’s ability to recover from injuries and surgery.
-Best way to eat: braise them in vegetable stock, red wine vinegar, agave, and garlic for 15-20min
Orange peels are rich in flavonones, powerful antioxidants that help reduce oxidative damage and fight free radicals. Orange peel is also loaded with natural histamine suppressing compounds.
-Best way to eat: Biting into an orange probably won’t sound as appetizing as an apple. Grate the peel onto your favorite salads
Yes, the rind! I know it’s the most tasteless part of the watermelon but it’s packed with an amino acid called L-citrulline which is thought to improve athletic performance and muscle soreness. According to a 2003 study from the USDA, watermelon rind was discovered to aid in the removal of nitrogen from the blood.
-Best way to eat: Scoop it out with the rest of the watermelon. My advice would be to eat it with the red juicy part and not alone.
I recommend you to keep those pumpkin seeds after you’re done carving your next pumpkin. Why? One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions. Not only that but they are packed with zinc, omega 3s, may improve insulin regulation, and are rich in tryptophan which aids in sleep.
-Best way to eat: toss them in some olive oil, sprinkle a little salt over the top and whatever other spices you like, throw them in the oven for 300 F, move them around from time-to-time. 50min later they’re ready to eat.