Banana peels, lemon peels, strawberry leaves and more. If you throw away these edible parts of food, then you’re throwing away more than “leftovers”: you’re missing out on many nutritional benefits.
The bitter taste of banana peels and other undesirable parts of fruits and vegetables is often the reason most of us throw them away.
However, these “inedible” parts of food are packed with vitamins and powerful nutritional benefits that are lost every time they are thrown away.
It’s no secret that strawberries are a true superfood. But do we lose some benefits when we remove the top leaves?
The stem and leaves of strawberries, like the fruit itself, contain flavonoids that protect against aging and cognitive decline. These edible parts of the strawberry also contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as well as benefits against heart disease.
Strawberry leaves can be eaten raw, added to smoothies, or made into infusions.
You may have developed the habit of drinking a glass of warm lemon water every morning to start your day detoxifying.
Although it is a very beneficial habit, if you later throw away the lemon skin, you are throwing away one of the most important parts of this fruit.
In addition to being high in vitamin C, lemon peels contain a substance called d-limonene, which has anti-cancer properties. One study showed that participants who drank citrus juice daily (without consuming the peel) had little to no protective effect against skin cancer, while those who ate the peels had a lower risk of skin cancer.
Add some lemon zest to your next smoothie for a vitamin C boost.
Instead of throwing away the lemon zest, try adding it to a vegetable smoothie, or dry it and then crush it in a blender to make your own lemon zest, or even freeze the lemon zest.
Just be sure to buy organic lemons to avoid the pesticides found in the rinds of conventional lemons.
Another citrus peel that you should reconsider before throwing it away is orange peel.
Orange peel is rich in hesperidin, a anti-inflammatory flavonoid that has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, other flavonoids, such as polymethoxylated flavones found in these edible foods, have been shown to inhibit cancer growth by easily penetrating cell membranes.
To avoid pesticides, choose to buy organic oranges. You can use its peel in smoothies, dry it and make a zest or make teas and infusions.
Broccoli is another super vegetable that you are probably quite familiar with.
But it is very likely that you are throwing away its leaves. However, you do not know what you are missing: broccoli leaves have antioxidants.
You can add them to salad or soups, instead of throwing them out. Research shows that broccoli greens contain high levels of phenols and other antioxidants that are powerful in fighting cancer, while scavenging free radicals, helping to prevent aging and inflammation.