Advertising
Advertising

8 Fruit & Vegetable Skins You Should Keep Out Of The Compost!

8 Fruit & Vegetable Skins You Should Keep Out Of The Compost!

You might want to think twice before you throw away the skins of your fruit and vegetables. Science now tells us that it is the most nutritious part of the foods you eat. Here are the health benefits found in 8 every day fruit and vegetable skins. as well as how you can add them to your daily diet.

1. Outer Cabbage Leaves

    The darker the green on a cabbage leaf, the more vitamin and mineral content it contains. With green cabbage, the outer leaves are the ones that are usually removed for waste, which is a real shame.

    These outer leaves may be tougher, but the secret is to finely cut them and add them to stir fries, casseroles or soups, allowing a little extra cooking time to soften them. They can also be added to green smoothies, or in a coleslaw where you can create a visually stunning salad with vibrant greens and carrots.

    2. Radishes

    Advertising

    12864278413_6ae748b222_o

      Most of the time the leafy greens from radish plants get thrown away or composted, but they’re edible and delicious. Just one radish leaf will give a great peppery taste to the most basic of salads.

      3. Potato skin

      15134783975_c616e6e0bd_o

        When compared as a whole, the potato with the skin has more nutrients than the rest of the potato. Leaving the skin on a potato while baking or boiling also helps retain the nutrients of the potato and stops the nutrients from leaching out.

        Potatoes contain 2g of fibre, the majority of which is found in the skin. The skin of a potato also contains B vitamin, vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium. Just be sure to wash the potato thoroughly and remove any obvious blemishes before cooking.

        4. Broccoli leaves and stem

        Advertising

        355728360_3e1625eb13_o

          Broccoli comes from the cruciferous family and is excellent for maintaining a healthy liver. The florets and stems of broccoli are very similar in their nutrient content. The content of most B vitamins, minerals, and fibre are very similar in the two parts of the plant. The largest difference involves beta-carotene, which is about seven times more plentiful in the florets than in the stems! The darker green florets also contain more chlorophyll than the lighter green stalks. Since the stalks take a little longer to steam than the florets, it is best to begin cooking them first and after about two minutes add the florets to the steamer.

          The leaves of the broccoli plant are also excellent sources of nutrients. They are actually higher in beta-carotene than the florets and can contain phytonutrients that aren’t found in the stems and florets. Rip up a small part of the leaf and add to a green salad.

          Whenever I cook broccoli for the family, I do not throw away the broccoli stalks. Instead, I peel and chop them to use in a stir fry, soup or casserole, or grill them on skewers with chicken, pineapple and bell peppers. You can add some extra nutrition into your family’s meals by grating the broccoli stalks, then adding them to spaghetti sauce. Adding a broccoli stem or leaf into a green smoothie or juice is also highly recommended.

          5. Kiwi fruit

          6286398180_a9ea7c1a81_o

            The kiwifruit skin is completely edible and makes this nutrient-dense fruit even more nutritious. Just by eating the skin can triple your daily fibre intake compared to merely eating the flesh. By not peeling the skin, you preserve much of the vitamin C content as well.

            Advertising

            Just like any fresh fruit or vegetable, you should always wash the skin before eating and enjoy your kiwifruit, skin and all. Leaving the skin on sliced kiwifruit makes it much easier for snacking, as the skin holds each slice together. People all over the world have been eating this fruit skin for centuries without any negative side effects.

            6. Pineapple core

            5467020647_11c1f312eb_o

              Okay, so this point is not technically a skin that I am discussing. But it is important to add this piece of information of not coring the pineapple, as the core contains the highest concentration of bromelian. Keep in mind due to the blood thinning properties of bromelian, you should also avoid taking aspirin (or any other medicinal blood thinners) if consuming pineapple on a daily basis.

              On a side note here, the bromelian content is very minimal in canned pineapple. In most canned pineapple the core is removed before the canning process and even if it isn’t, the heating process for canning actually destroys the bromelian content.

              7. Beetroot Leaves

                Besides supplying good amounts of protein, phosphorus, and zinc, beetroot greens are also a great source of fibre. Beetroot leaves, also known as beet greens, is packed with antioxidants, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, as well as being low in fat and cholesterol.

                Advertising

                The vitamin K content in these greens also assist with blood clotting properties, helps ward off osteoporosis and, works with calcium to boost bone strength. Beetroot greens have a higher iron content than spinach, and a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself. The vitamin A content in beetroot greens assists the body in strengthening the immune system and stimulates the production of antibodies and white blood cells.

                8. Citrus peel

                7435919384_adaa595cc6_k

                  There are over 60 different types of flavonoids in citrus fruits such as lemons and many of these flavonoids have their highest concentrations within the peel. Naringin is a flavonoid found in lemon peel (though not the fruit). Naringin is a powerful antioxidant. It is important to note that naringin can also increase the effects of certain drugs; you should consult with your doctor if you regularly consume these foods. Hesperidin, another flavonoid, is found in the white inner layer of lemons, and has been shown to inhibit bone loss and decrease serum and liver lipids in postmenopausal mice.

                  Gram for gram, citrus peels also contain higher levels of many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C and dietary fibre than the fruit. For example, 1 tablespoon of lemon peel contains double the amount of vitamin C and triple the amount of fibre than 1 wedge of lemon without the peel. The best way to utilise the skin of a lemon is to juice it or add a wedge of lemon, skin and all, to your favourite green smoothie or smoothie bowl. You can also zest or grate the peel to infuse the essence of citrus into any dish that you feel would benefit from the citrus taste and aroma.

                  More by this author

                  5 Hormones That May Be Responsible for Weight Gain 10 Magic Nutrients for Building a Strong Immune System Attention Coconut Cream Lovers: 15 Dishes You’ll Love 10 Healthy and Gorgeous Smoothie Bowls That Give You a Morning Headstart 8 Fruit & Vegetable Skins You Should Keep Out Of The Compost!

                  Trending in Food and Drink

                  1 15 Flavorful and Healthy Family Meals That are Perfect for Picky Eaters 2 15 Most Effective and Nutritious Healthy Foods to Lose Weight 3 Stock up on These 9 Healthy Snack Foods to Boost Your Brainpower 4 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 5 25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Published on November 14, 2018

                  Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                  Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                  With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                  For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                  In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                  Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                  Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                  It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                  For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                  Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                  Symptoms of Fatigue

                  Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                  • mental blocks
                  • lack of motivation
                  • headache
                  • dizziness
                  • muscle weakness
                  • slowed reflexes and responses
                  • impaired decision-making and judgement
                  • moodiness, such as irritability
                  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                  • reduced immune system function
                  • blurry vision
                  • short-term memory problems
                  • poor concentration
                  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                  Causes of Fatigue

                  The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                  Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                  Medical Causes of Fatigue

                  If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                  Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                  Anemia

                  Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                  Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                  There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

                  Advertising

                  This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                  Diabetes

                  Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                  Sleep Apnea

                  Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                  Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                  Thyroid disease

                  An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                  Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                  • Lack of sleep
                  • Too much sleep 
                  • Alcohol and drugs 
                  • Sleep disturbances 
                  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                  • Poor diet 

                  Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                  Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                  Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                  How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                  Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                  1. Tell The Truth

                  Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                  To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                  Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                  The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                  One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                  • How you feel
                  • What time of day it is
                  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                  • How your mind and body reacts

                  This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                  2. Reduce Your Commitments

                  When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

                  Advertising

                  If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                  When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                  Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                  3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                  If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                  Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                  If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                  Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                  Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                  4. Express More Gratitude

                  Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                  It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                  Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                  5. Focus On Yourself

                  Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                  There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                  But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                  We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                  6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                  Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

                  Advertising

                  Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                  The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                  Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                  7. Take a Power Nap

                  When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                  Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                  This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                  8. Take More Exercise

                  The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                  Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                  The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                  You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                  9. Get More Quality Sleep

                  To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                  Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                  My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                  10. Improve Your Diet

                  Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                  Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                  On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

                  Advertising

                  To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                  Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                  Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                  11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                  Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                  When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                  Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                  My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                  12. Get Hydrated

                  Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                  Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                  If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                  The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                  The Bottom Line

                  These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                  If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                  Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                  [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                  [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                  [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                  [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                  [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

                  Read Next