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Keep that skin peeler and knife back where it belongs in the kitchen drawer, because after reading these amazing benefits of leaves, skin, core and seeds of fruits and vegetables, which are normally considered inedible, will make you want to eat them whole (don't forget to wash them though).
Here's the list-
1. Leaves/Calyx Of Strawberry
2. Outer Skin Of Onion
3. Seeds Of Butternut Squash
4.Core Of Pineapple
5. Skin Of Kiwi Fruit
6. Geen Ends Of Spring Onions
7. Outer Layers Of Cabbage
1. Leaves/Calyx Of Strawberry-
Strawberry leaves have calcium, vitamin C and a lot of iron which are also required for bodily functions. Because of the amount of iron these leaves contain, they would be excellent for anemic patients as they promote red blood cell and hemoglobin production.
These leaves also contain ellagitannins which are a group of antioxidants that are linked to vascular health. They help maintain a healthy blood pressure. In ancient times, strawberry leaves were used to soothe arthritis pain because of their caffeic acid content which is considered anti-inflammatory in nature.
How to consume these leaves? How about a strawberry tea? Steep 6-7 leaves in hot water for about 5-6 minutes.
2. Outer Skin Of Onion-
The outer, papery layer of onions is definitely inedible, but it has a stock of nutrients in it which need to be utilized. They contain a high concentration of flavonoids and the pigment quercetin. Though the entire onion has quercetin, the papery outer layers have about 45% more.
The pigment quercetin has anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties which make it an excellent ingredient to treat hay fever and to reduce hypertension.
They also have a lot of fibre and copper stored in them. How to extract these properties if it's not edible? It's simple; boil these layers in water as stock and drink away to good health.
3. Seeds Of Butternut Squash-
Just like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, muskmelon seeds are rich in proteins and important nutrients and minerals, so are butternut squash seeds. This winter squash is rich in protein, fibre, vitamin A, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and very importantly, zinc. Zinc is essential for cognitive functions, immunity, common cold treatment, wound healing and for the reproductive system.
Magnesium is essential for calcium absorption, bone health, for relieving anxiety, headaches, diabetes, to fight fatigue and for energy production. Wash the seeds and roast them.
4. Core Of Pineapple-
The core of the pineapple is a little hard and a little less sweet compared to the rest of the fruit and is usually discarded. It is less known that this core has a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain.
This core is perfectly edible and can be chopped into fine pieces and added to a fruit salads or desserts. It is known to be a natural aid for digestion making it perfect to end a large meal with.
Some studies have proved that the core of the pineapple helps reduce inflammation and pain which makes it important to consume to repair tendons and tissues.
5. Skin Of Kiwi Fruit-
Almost all of us prefer to remove the outer, thick and hairy skin of the kiwi fruit before we consume it because, let's be frank, it doesn't look edible at all. But this layer is actually edible and is also very rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and folate.
Vitamin E and folate are extremely important to the immune system because they help fight infections and illness. Folate is also required by our body to keep tiredness and fatigue at bay.
Consuming the skin of the kiwi fruit also triples the fibre intake which acts as an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body. Thus, consuming a kiwi with its skin on increases the quantity of these amazing nutrients and minerals by almost 30%-50%.
6. Green Ends Of Spring Onions-
The green ends of spring onions are the milder tasting bits of this leafy vegetable. They are very rich in folate when compared to the rest of it and they are also the most discarded parts before consumption. It also has a lot of vitamin C and fibre that would be wasted if not consumed with the bulb.
These green ends can be finely chopped with some garlic and added to soups and salads as garnish. It also has beta-carotene which our body converts to vitamin A and vitamin A is an immunity-enhancing vitamin.
7. Outer Layers Of Cabbage-
We often discard the darker outer layers of the cabbage assuming they're not healthy. But these layers contain up to 75% more carotenoids than the inner layers. Carotenoids are fat-soluble pigments produced in plants that give them the yellow, orange and red colours.
These carotenoids are vital for eye health. These carotenoids have antioxidant effects when consumed. These outer layers can just be washed, chopped and stir fried with a little olive oil and herbs, and then can be added to salads.
As an inference, we see that these inedible parts have more contents of vitamins and fibre when compared to the flesh of the fruit or vegetable itself. Not consuming these would be like throwing away these most nutritious parts. Find a way to incorporate these into your diet and make your meals more nutritious.
To good health!