Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nutrients that we need that often end up in the garbage

Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barc...Image via Wikipedia
I can remember so many times as a child my mother telling me that there was more nutrition in the "pot liquor" and in peels than is often found in the fruit or vegetable itself. I just came across some information that gives surprising information on five commonly used vegetable and fruits.

Celery tops

It's so funny because lately, I have been making lots of soup "from scratch" with celery.  I often look at the stalks thinking that there most be more to get out on this veggie than only in the long pieces.  Well,  nutritionists confrim that there are five times more magnesium and calcium in the leaves than in the stalks.  They are also chock full of vitamin C-and who doesn't need that vitamin this time of year? They are also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.


Suggested use: chop up the leaves with parsley and sprinkle on fish, chick and other poultry. It also makes great garnishment in soup.

Orange Peel

It's interesting to find that orange peels have more fiber than the fruit.  It also is high in flavonoids, an antioxidant with anticancer and antidiabetic compounds. Studies have also shown that these nutrients may even lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one). 

Suggested usegrate and use on vegetables.  Also, they are great garnishing desserts, cakes, pies, etc.


Broccoli leaves

Broccoli leaves are high in vitamin A and indoles which are cancer fighting compounds.

Suggested use: stir fry in olive oil and season to taste.

Watermelon rind

This was a biggie with my mother. I believe southern tradition includes cooking the rinds. USDA studies show that the rind is high in citrulline, an amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels which improves circulation. 

Suggested use:  blend the rind with lime and add sugar.  For the adventurous, add rum, gin or vodka.

Onions

The thin outer skin is high in quercetin, an anti-inflammatory which reduces blood pressure and prevent plaque build-up in blood vessels.

Suggested use:  Simmer in soups, stews and for gravy.  Discard the skin before serving.

Sources:

Girdwain, Jessica "Eat your Scraps" Oprah Magazine

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