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Eating Your Fruit on World Vegan Day – To peel or not to peel

How many fruits do you eat complete with peel?
A lot of fruits and vegetables contain many of their major nutritional properties just below their outer surface. And guess what – lots of people throw away this important part and miss out on all those vitamins and minerals that could do us all so much good.
OK so you eat your apples and pears complete with skin (hope you wash them first to get rid of all those nasty germs and chemicals), but are you taking advantage of the properties of some other fruits?
The fibre of Oranges is of great benefit to us, and the zest of the peel. To blend the whole inside orange plus some of the peel zest is far more beneficial than drinking just orange juice.

kiwi fruit

Leaving the peel on your kiwi

Enjoy Kiwi fruit, but don’t like all that peeling? Then eat them with the skin on. Give them a good wash and a scrub with your hands to smooth them out, trim the tops off, and you’re good to go.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which does wonders for the immune system. But all those white stringy bits and the white parts on the inside of the skin also contain nutriment that would be better inside you than in the bin. Add the scrapings to a smoothie. Every little helps.
On to vegetables
Potato skins are another source of trace minerals, and fibre. Obviously wash them thoroughly to get rid of the dirt and chemicals, but eating a jacket potato including the jacket is a really good way to get an increase of fibre.

Similar story with Carrots. A light cooking after a scrub retains all the vitamins the carrot has to offer, including beta-carotene, an aid to your vision.

Carrots and Broccoli

Carrots and Broccoli do well with light cooking

On the subject of Carrots, many people eat their Carrots raw, believing more nourishment is obtained without cooking. Opinion is divided on this, but what the experts seem to be agreed on is that Broccoli has more benefits if eaten raw. Again, wash thoroughly first.
The outer layers of the Onion are stringy and not very appetising, but to catch those extra minerals, why not add them to your soup stock. Better than in the compost, or in the bin.
Cucumbers are another vegetable best eaten complete with outer skin.
Some vegetables, however, are best NOT eaten raw.
Sprouts, Cauliflower and Asparagus immediately spring to mind. A light cooking for all of those aids digestion, while retaining all the nutrients.
And finally Tomatoes. From a personal perspective, I find fresh sweet Tomatoes on a salad as good as it gets, although I am informed that cooking actually releases more valuable lycopene, a cancer preventing nutrient, into the bloodstream. So cooked or uncooked, the choice is yours on this one.

I am writing this on World Vegan Day, and aware that this time of year is a notorious time for depression, and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Did you know that certain fruits and vegetables are very helpful to those suffering at this time of year?

Avocados

Avocados help fight those winter blues

From the vegetable counter come Avocados, Asparagus and Spinach. All assist to ward off those negative feelings.
And from the fruit trolley come Oranges and Blueberries.
Throw in a few Almonds and other nuts, and you have some positive allies helping you to ward off those winter blues. And even if the weather isn’t too inviting, try and get some fresh air and exercise.
Make your diet a healthy one, and Keep SAD at bay.
Any comments welcome. Look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
Chris

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