There should be absolutely no doubt that eating a bowlful of fresh and colourful fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is a healthy habit. Not only do they provide vital nutrients but also keep the body functioning properly, in a proactive way and further prevent health hazards in the longer run. However, when we end up peeling most fruits and vegetables before consumption, we take away loads of nutrients that are actually good for the body. This is mostly done because we think that peels are dirty and may be laden with pesticides and other chemicals. Did you know that most fruits and vegetable peels are actually healthy and will help boost nutrient content of our diet? Heard this before, haven’t you? Then why not put theory to practice now and stop removing edible peels of common fruits and vegetables.
Here are 6 foods you should start with considering they contain a generous amount of antioxidants and other macro-nutrients that you may not want to miss out on anymore. Bonus?You will help reduce Kitchen waste.
Potatoes are touted as comfort foods, and why not! After all, they are by far one of the most versatile vegetables ever and of course healthy too. In fact, a potato’s skin is packed with more nutrients than the vegetable itself, some of which include iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Talking about sweet potato, it is also power packed with significant amount of beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A is essential for cell health and immune system regulation.
The peel of a carrot is rich in polyacetylenes, a chemical compound that may have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. You will find the highest concentration of phytonutrients in carrot skins, hence, wash the carrots properly and eat it as it is.
Indians cook their eggplants over a medium flame and make some amazing Baingan ka Bharta out of it; however, what we generally do is to peel off the skin of the burnt eggplant and then cook it. An eggplant’s purple hue comes from a powerful antioxidant called nasunin that helps keep the nervous system healthy; it also has anti-ageing properties. The skin is rich in chlorogenic acid, a phytochemical that boasts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
The dark skin of the cucumber consists of various antioxidants that helps keep the body free of several diseases. It also consists of insoluble fibre, potassium and vitamin K. So the next time you think of peeling its skin off, do so knowing that you may be losing out on quite a lot of goodness.
Did you know, the skin of the apple contains about half the apple’s overall dietary fibre content? Moreover, it also consists of vitamin A, potassium and vitamin K, all of which are needed by a healthy body. It is a rich source of an antioxidant called quercetin that helps the lungs function better and help in easing breathing problems and cure other respiratory disorders
6. Citrus fruits
Most citrus fruits and their skins are loaded with vitamin C content. The skins have a higher concentration of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The peel’s flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties. Orange or lemon peels are definitely inedible, considering they are bitter and thick; but you can easily let the peels dry and blend them and make a face pack for your skin. Not just this, you can sprinkle citrus shavings on your salads, ice-creams, puddings and so much more.
While this practice of consuming unpeeled fruits and vegetables is great for your health, it may also reduce food wastage or can be used as compost in your kitchen garden. So, make sure that you benefit from the wholesome goodness of these foods and make the best out of them.