Preparing and cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables often results in waste, as we’re usually trained to throw away leftover peels, stems, skins, rinds, and seeds. However, the parts that you’ve always thought of as useless actually have numerous nutritional benefits, and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can further boost our health and drive weight loss.
Save even more money by getting more out of the fresh produce you’re buying to stay healthy — while continuing to lose weight at the same time. Here are six healthy foods you should stop throwing away.
1. Citrus peels
Most individuals throw away the skins of all citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges. However, the skins and pulp of citrus fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and many other antioxidants. Scrape off and zest citrus peels to add flavor to tea, salads, stews, and chilis. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor citrus peels can add to your meals.
2. Stems from leafy greens
The stems from leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are often thrown away because they are tough to chew. However, the stems from your leafy greens are high in fiber, and can help you feel more full. Break down the rough texture of these stems by sauteing them in olive oil and garlic, or by simmering them in a pot of soup. Or, you can puree stems and add them to your vegetable smoothies.
3. Pineapple core
The middle core of pineapple contains a digestive enzyme known as bromelain, which helps break down proteins and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Considering the tough texture of pineapple cores, the best way to prepare and eat them is to put them in the blender and add them to smoothies as a thickening agent.