5 Surprising Food Parts You Didn't Know You Can Eat

Aug 09, 2020 04:49 AM EDT | By Dana C.

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Throwing away certain food parts may not be the smartest idea because you'll be losing powerful nutrients. If prepared the right way, some of these food parts might actually taste good too.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a third of the food in the world that is produced for human consumption every year is wasted. This means about 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown out when they can be eaten instead.

Worst of all, healthy food like fruits and vegetables share the highest rate of any food waste.

Rethink throwing away certain food parts and find out what kinds of nutrients you get if you eat them in this list.

Citrus Peels

Citrus peels
(Photo : Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)
Citrus peels

After dressing your salad or squeezing some juice into your water, whether it's from orange, lemon or lime, citrus peels will be a great thing to eat because of its many health benefits.

Two tablespoons of zest has about three grams of fiber, Lauren Popeck RD, LD/N said through Reader's Digest. She added that citrus peels have more vitamin C than the flesh of the fruits.

Banana Peels

Banana Peels
(Photo : Julia Kuzenkov from Pexels)
Banana Peels

Most of us eat a banana without giving the mushy peel a second look.

But a 2011 article in the Journal of Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology said a banana peel has "various bioactive compounds like polyphenols, carotenoids and others."

Nutritionist Laura Flores said banana peels really are eaten in many parts of the world, but not in the West. These parts of the banana can be baked, in case you're having a hard time biting into them

Flores was quoted by Live Science saying banana peels contain high levels of vitamin B6 and B12. It also has magnesium, potassium, some fiber and protein.

Watermelon Rinds

Watermelon
(Photo : Lisa Fotios from Pexels)
Watermelon

Even though the watermelon is best known for its red, juice inner core, even the rind is edible.

Watermelon rinds are said to have many health benefits, mainly due to the amino acid it contains, citrulline, which is highly concentrated in the rind.

According to The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, when in the body, citrulline is converted into arginine which helps improve circulation, increased blood flow, better heart health, immunity and others.

Even the watermelon seeds, you can roast them in the oven. It makes a great addition to trail mix.

Broccoli Stalks

Broccoli
(Photo : Rubyand Lion from Pexels)
Broccoli

Broccoli stalks can be healthier than their tops. Don't just use the tops of those tiny trees because you'll miss out on many great benefits.

According to LiveStrong, 100 grams of broccoli stalks contain protein, calcium, iron and many more.

Broccoli stalks are good ingredients to peel, slice or shred. You can eat them raw on salads or with dips. You can also stream, roast or sauté them, said an article from The Healthy.

Pineapple Cores

Pineapple
(Photo : Alizee Marchand from Pexels)
Pineapple

Many think the core of a pineapple shouldn't be eaten, but that is not true. The core is slightly harder and less sweet than the rest of the fruit, but it's just as nutritious and packed with vitamins.

"Pineapple contains bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme; it has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce nasal and sinus inflammation, and it can mitigate arthritis and muscle pain," Popeck further told Reader's Digest.

To use this part of the fruit, add it to your fruit salad, slaw or salsa. You can also add them to your smoothies. You can cut them into cubes and freeze them for later use.

Want to read more? Take a look at these!

Intermittent Fasting Tips for Every Beginner
Did You Know? Fasting Diet May Improve Breast Cancer Treatments
3 Common Dieting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

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