As we all know, fruits and vegetables are rich in essential nutrients, which in turn, help in boosting our health. But did you know that the scraps of these vegetables and fruits could also be nutritious? More often than not, food scraps find a place in our waste bins but in reality they are equally healthy and useful for us.
In fact, the colourful outer layer of fruits and vegetables contain nutritious phytochemicals, like carotenoids, which help in decreasing the risk of diseases, such as certain cancers and eye problems.
By discarding food scraps, you are actually throwing away a lot of health benefits, as the skin and leaves of certain foods are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn can help in fighting certain diseases.
There is a serious food waste problem around the world as 30-40 % of our global food supply goes to waste. But, we as consumers can do our bit by reducing food waste and that can be done if we reuse food scraps as they are healthy and easily available. So, stop ignoring food scraps and have a look at some of them and the health benefits that these food parts have to offer.
The seeds are rich in protein, vitamin B and numerous micronutrients like potassium and zinc that help in boosting heart health and immunity and keeping blood sugar levels under control. The seeds can be consumed directly or you can also extract oil from them as it is very good for skin and hair.
Melon rind is rich in amino acids which contribute to the dilation of blood vessels and help in improving blood circulation. You can include melon rinds in your diet by blending the rind with the flesh of the melon for a fresh smoothie.
Strawberry leaves help in fighting harmful free radicals in the body and drinking them in tea can also help cure a stomachache.
Corncobs are low in calories, good for diabetes and help prevent eye diseases and cardio vascular diseases. Their antioxidants help prevent cancers. Enjoy grilled corncobs and keep diseases at bay.
Lemon peel contains added enzymes, fibre and vitamin A that help in fighting cancer, improving bone health and decreasing cholesterol levels. Mix them with berries or other citrus fruits and honeyed yogurt and consume.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients likeiron,omega-3, zinc, magnesium, fibre, calcium, vitamin B, etc. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of heart diseases, cancer and arthritis. You can roast them and eat them as a snack, eat them raw or even put them in salads and breads.
Orange peel is a powerhouse of fibre, vitamins and flavonoids, which help boost the immune system, protect blood vessels from rupture and prevent excessive inflammation throughout the body. You can consume it by blending the whole fruit into a delicious smoothie.
Cucumber peel/skin is a good source of dietary fibre that helps reduce constipation and provides protection against colon cancer.
Beet green is full of essential nutrients that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. You can either roast it or prepare a soup with it.