article is shared with permission from our friends at foods4betterhealth.com.
use the beets
and carrots, but there is still a great deal you throw away. It
may surprise you, but there are many hidden gems right in your
may juice the beets or shred the carrots for a salad, but I still notice
the compost bin gets full with unused food. It seems like a waste
to me, not to take advantage of your favorite vegetables when there are
still so many uses and benefits—for those “throw-away” parts like veggie
2010 alone, there was approximately 133 billion pounds of food waste in
the United States, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Americans
toss 30% to 40% of their food into the trash or compost. How can you cut
down on the waste? Below are examples using a few of my favorite
are typically more nutrients within the greens than the beet root,
C, manganese, potassium, fiber, magnesium, iron and copper.
greens are also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A and B vitamins.
Beet greens contain excellent antioxidant protection, and can absorb
oxygen free radicals. They also have greater phenolic phytonutrient
content than celery, carrots, onions, broccoli, or spinach.
your beet greens can help improve your immune system with their
antioxidant content, fight against osteoporosis with vitamin K and
increase bone strength with all that calcium. You
can eat beet greens throughout the year; however, there is a greater
concentration of flavor and nutrients from June through October.
green tops of carrots are often disregarded for the crunchy carrot
bottoms, but they are loaded with nutrients. Some people may believe they
are toxic because they contain nitrates and alkaloids, but that is only a
problem when eaten in large quantities.
tops also contain similar nutrients as the carrot roots, including
adequate amounts of vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, B9, C, K, manganese and
potassium. Carrot tops are known to contain astringent properties, which
contract tissue in the body, and therefore reduce the discharge of blood
or mucus. Like most bitter greens, they taste better when you know how to
cook them. When eaten raw they may taste grainy and coarse.
tops look a little like parsley and
can actually be used to replace the popular herb. Juices, smoothies,
salads, or soups are good places to use small amounts of your carrot tops.
In my opinion, it is best to use organic carrot tops because the
conventional greens have greater susceptibility to pesticide
radishes might have a strong taste; however, the radish leaves have a mild
flavor to them, which makes them perfect for your green juice or smoothie.
The leaves have a greater abundance of protein, calcium and vitamin C than
the radishes themselves.
also have good sources of iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, B9, and K. They
also have anti-inflammatory
properties, which help them fight cancer and treat skin and kidney
can also use the leaves topically for reducing the pain from insect bites.
Radish greens combine well in your blender with kale, spinach, or
dandelion greens. A handful of radish greens should be sufficient.
think most people have no problem wasting the celery leaves, but you would
also be giving up precious nutrients. You will definitely be glad you kept
the leaves of your celery. The celery belongs to the same family as
parsley and carrots. Carrot tops and parsley leaves share a similar
nutrient content as the celery leaves. They contain five times more
calcium and magnesium than the stalks.
leaves are also particularly high in vitamin
A, vitamin C and
phenolics. It contains important antioxidant compounds and
anti-inflammatory properties. They may taste bitter when eaten alone, but
they are actually tasty as a garnish. Mince the leaves with parsley, and
garnish your chicken, salmon, trout, or other meats. You can also save the
leaves for smoothies, juices, and salads.
was recently asked why I kept the ends of my green onion. The health
benefits do not end at the onion. The chives are important as well. Chives
are not inclusive to the onion. They belong to the “allium” family, which
also includes a variety of herbs and vegetables such as leeks, scallions
and spring garlic.
are considered a great source of vitamin A, B, and K, fiber, iron,
magnesium, manganese and zinc. According to a 2002 population-based,
case-controlled study in Shanghai, China, men
with a higher intake of allium vegetables had a lower prostate cancer
study researchers interviewed 471 participants and collected information
on 122 food items with different food groups. Men who consumed 10 g of
allium vegetables daily had a lower risk of prostate cancer. Allium
vegetables also reduced the risk of other cancers such
as colorectal, esophageal and stomach cancers. The choline in chives also
helps improve sleep, mood and memory. Try chives on your baked potato, in
dips, soups, salads or even in egg dishes.
green leaves on most fruits and vegetables are abundant in chlorophyll,
which can help replenish and rebuild red blood cells and they are useful
prevention and treatment of
other health conditions. Discover the hidden health benefits and
alternative purposes of your original purchase before you disregard your
vegetable greens or tops. Your health will thank you for it.
and EPA Launch U.S. Food Waste Challenge: Calls on both Public Sector and
Private Industry to reduce food waste,” United States Department of
Agriculture, 2013; retrieved from
A.W., et al., “Allium Vegetables and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A
Population-Based Study,” Journal
of the National Cancer Institute, August 7, 2002;