• Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness
  • Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness

Hidden sources of healthy nutrients

March 02nd, 2016

Hidden sources of healthy nutrients

March is National Nutrition Month, and the theme this year is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." Flavor has so much to do with how we enjoy our food - but salt is not the only thing that has flavor.

Here are some things you are probably forgetting to add to your dishes that are flavorful, add color, and are super nutritious!

Seasonings & Herbs: Seasonings come from a variety of parts of plants, including seeds, leaves, berries, roots, and even bark. Many of these are known to reduce inflammation in the body and fight cancer. Many support the body, as well, in keeping blood glucose levels low, reducing the risk of diabetes. Some of the best seasonings and herbs to start cooking with for both flavor and health benefits include: cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, ginger, saffron, cardamom, fennel, cayenne pepper, cumin, chilies, cloves, nutmeg, basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

Plant Peels & Skins: How many times have you peeled the skin or peel off of a plant or vegetable? Believe it or not, skins have so many essential nutrients, too! Skins include those on potatoes, apples, citrus rinds (lemons, orange, grapefruits, limes), etc. According to Chesapeake College, apple skins hold more than 500 percent of the nutrients than the rest of the fruit's flesh. That's incredible! And citrus peels are high in antioxidants, and help lower your cholesterol and your risk of developing diabetes. Lemon rinds especially are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin C. Completely edible and so good for you. Plus the skins and peels are a fantastic source of fiber. So think twice before skimming the skin.

Leaves of root plants: Did you ever buy beets in the store, that came along with the stem and leaves? Did you just cut off the beet and threw the rest out? How about carrots? Radishes? Turnips? You might be missing out on the best part of the plant. Leafy greens and their stems are very rich in antioxidants, and are another fantastic source of essential vitamins and minerals. The greens from these root plants usually are very high in healthy beneficial pigments, which help fight cancer, among so many other amazing health benefits. And they are versatile, too, and can go into soups, salads, or stir-frys.

Flowers: Speaking of parts of the plant we totally forget are edible, how about those beautiful blooms? Not only are they pretty to look at, many flowers are a healthy and colorful addition to any meal. Just like the plants they come from, these flowers are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals with very few calories.

Edible petals from some of the following plants: Angelica, Anise hyssop, Arugula, Basil, Bee Balm, Borage, Calendula / Marigold, Carnations, Allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives), Chamomile, Chervil, Chicory, Chrysanthemum, Cilantro, Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat), Clover, Dandelion, Dill, English Daisy, Fennel, Fuchsia, Gladiolus, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Impatiens, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Lilac, Mint, Nasturtium, Oregano, Pansy, Radish, Rose,  Rosemary,  Sage,  Squash, Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Violets.

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