Swiss Chard Stems Repair Your Gut, and 4 Other Useful Plant Parts You’ve Been Tossing in The Trash

March 26, 2014

Find out how to use five of the most nutritious parts and pieces of produce that you’re already buying, that you’ve been tossing into the trash, here...

It’s a fact, as a nation, we’re not eating as many fruits and vegetables as we should. Most of us would benefit from about two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables every day – and that’s just not happening. SupermarketGuru has found a way to make every bit of what you’re buying count. How so? When purchasing produce and preaparing it many of us are throwing out many beneficial parts and pieces - that we didn’t know were useful. Yep, we're talking skins, leaves, stems, seeds and more. Find out how to use five of the most nutritious parts and pieces that you’ve been tossing into the trash here.

Apple Peel:
Do you peel your apples? Well you might be missing out on quercetin, an antioxidant in apple skins, providing benefits to the lungs, brain and acts as an antihistamine – combating allergies. Apple peel also packs more fiber and vitamins than the flesh of the fruit. Choose apples that are very firm to soft pressure – this ensures the peel will be crunchy and easy to eat.

Beet Greens:
Yup the nice looking greens attached to our gorgeous beets. Today beets are trendy in juices, salads and roasted as a side, but originally beets were grown for their leaves! A cross between kale and beet flavor, beet greens are sweet and nutritious. Sautee them as you would spinach for major fiber, calcium, iron as well as vitamins A and K.

Potato Skin:
But not the loaded ones! Potato skins are nutrient powerhouses, even more so than the flesh. They contain fiber as well as a host of B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium and more. Stick to baked potatoes with the skin on, and the smaller the better as the skin to flesh ratio is higher!

Pumpkin Seeds: Sure spring is here but next time you're carving a pumpkin, set aside the slimy seeds. About half a cup contains more than the daily recommended level of magnesium, which is needed for hundreds of reactions in the body as well as supporting bone, heart, blood health, relaxation, regularity and more. Pepitas are also rich in iron and protein, as well as phytosterols, which have been shown to help normalize cholesterol.

Swiss Chard Stems:
Tossing these in the trash? Well, no more, as a study found that the brightly-colored stalks have substantial amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that plays a critical role in the body’s healing and repairing process. In fact glutamine is the main source of fuel for the cells of the GI tract, aiding in healing and keeping things running smoothly. Try chopping and cooking the stems with the leaves, juicing, and/or adding them to soups and stews.