London: Parts of fruits and vegetables like broccoli leaves and onion skin are often discarded though they contain health benefits -- and we can easily include them in our diet, say nutritionists.
Laurence Beeken, food information executive at WeightLossResources.co.uk, shares information about parts of common fruits and vegetables we often discard and the ways we can easily include them in our diet, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
* Onion skin: Onion skin is rich in quercetin, which may reduce blood pressure and prevent clogged arteries. Quercetin (flavonoid) has also displayed considerable anti-inflammatory activity, restraining both the production and release of histamine and other allergic and inflammatory sources, meaning that it may be useful for hay fever sufferers.
There is some evidence that cooking meats with onions may help reduce the amount of carcinogens produced when meat is cooked using high heat methods, such as on the barbeque - just remember to remove the tough onion skin before eating!
How to include it in your diet: Use it when cooking stocks, soups and stews and remove just before serving!
* Melon Ride: Melon Rind is rich in citrulline, an amino acid which contributes to the dilation of blood vessels and circulation improvements. It has been used to improve conditions as diverse as sexual dysfunction and sickle cell disease.
How to include it in your diet: Blend the rind with the flesh for a super fresh smoothie.
* Brocolli Leaves: Broccoli leaves are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamins A and C -- Vitamin A 320 percent; Vitamin C 155 percent
How to include it in your diet: Cook them just as you would cabbage, and while you’re at it, don’t forget that the stems contain a good dose of fibre and when sliced are great for a crunchy snack.
* Chard Stems: Packed with glutamine, antioxidants and phenolic compounds the stems are as edible as the leaves.
How to include it in your diet: Steam the stems whole just as you would asparagus.
* Orange Peel: Orange peel, probably the best known of all the peels, is a powerhouse of fibre, flavonoids and vitamins. 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! It has also been used to naturally whiten stained teeth. Pectin and other fibre found in the white layer beneath the skin of the orange 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 (pith and all), into a delicious smoothie.