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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

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      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

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        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

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          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

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            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.

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            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

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              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.

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                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

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                  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.

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                  How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                  How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                  Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

                  But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

                  Sight – Visual Stimulation

                  The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

                  1. Maximize your exposure to light.

                  Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

                  Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

                  2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

                  Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

                  Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

                  Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

                  3. Take note of your environment.

                  Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

                  By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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                  Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

                  What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

                  4. Engage in conversation.

                  Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

                  Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

                  Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

                  Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

                  5. Listen to upbeat music.

                  Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

                  Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

                  Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

                  If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

                  6. Work your nose.

                  Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

                  If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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                  Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

                  Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

                  If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

                  7. Have a good breakfast.

                  Start off with the most important meal of the day.

                  Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

                  Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

                  Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

                  20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                  8. Drink lots of water.

                  Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

                  So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

                  How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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                  Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

                  3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

                  9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

                  Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

                  Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

                  Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

                  25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                  Touch – Tactile Stimulation

                  Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

                  10. Splash cold water on your face.

                  Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

                  This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                  5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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                  11. Use acupressure.

                  Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

                  Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

                  12. Get moving.

                  Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

                  And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

                  You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

                  Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

                  Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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