11:00 Thursday 22 May 2014

Six parts of food we shouldn't scrap - and the hidden health benefits

Written byFEATURE WRITER

“Don’t waste the best bit” is a phrase we all recognise from childhood. But are you aware that the parts of fruit and veg which we often discard may actually contain huge health benefits?

Many have skins and leaves which are more colourful than the flesh - a sign that it contains nutritious phytochemicals like carotenoids and flavonoids.

Laurence Beeken, Food Information Executive at weightlossresources.co.uk, reveals six ways we can include these scraps in our diet:

Onion skin

Onion skin is rich in quercetin, which may reduce blood pressure and prevent clogged arteries. Quercetin 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.

How to include it in your diet: Use it when cooking stocks, soups and stews and remove just before serving!

Melon rind

Melon Rind is rich in citrulline, an amino acid which contributes to the dilation of blood vessels and circulation improvements.

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 & C; Vitamin A - 320 per cent and Vitamin C - 155 per cent.

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 sliced are great for a crunchy snack.

Celery leaves

Containing five times more magnesium and calcium than the stalks, celery leaves also contain vitamin C and phenolics – powerful antioxidants which may help combat cancer, heart disease and even ageing!

How to include it in your diet: Use them as you would celery - add to soups, salads, sauces and relishes.

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 is a powerhouse of fibre, flavonoids and vitamins. The good concentration of vitamin C helps boost the immune system and could help ward off respiratory infections.

How to include it in your diet: Whip up the whole fruit (pith and all) into a delicious smoothie.

www.weightlossresources.co.uk

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