Not that healthy foods need to be any better, but we couldn't resist sharing these hacks that increase their nutritional value. Hey, go big or go home, right? Actually, whether you use these nutrition-boosting hacks or not, these foods are all super nutritious, tasty choices.
Eat the kiwi skin: Say what? That's right, it's not only possible but more nutritious to eat the slightly fuzzy outer layer of the kiwi. And we swear it's not as odd to eat as you may think. When you peel a kiwi, you lose around 14 percent (or more!) of the flesh. That means you lose 14 percent or more of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the kiwi. Plus, the skin delivers extra fiber. Be sure to wash the kiwi well before noshing, and then just slice it up as usual. Or, use our personal favorite technique and just eat it like an apple.
Let your mushrooms sun bathe: Like our own skin, mushrooms can produce vitamin D following exposure to sunlight. And you won't have to let them bask for hours. In fact, studies have shown that in as little as five minutes, the vitamin D content of mushrooms is significantly boosted. One study found that a serving of white button mushrooms exposed to sunlight for five minutes after being harvested contained 869 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin D. You can find more cool research on mushrooms here.
"Check the neck" of pears: If you typically give the body of a pear a little squeeze to check for ripeness, consider revising your technique. Pears ripen from the inside out, so by the time the body feels soft, the pear is likely overly ripe. Instead, "check the neck," or push gently on the pear near the stem. If there's some give, then the pear is perfectly ripe. A ripe pear has more non-fluorescent chlorophyll catabolites (NCCs), a group of antioxidants, according to some research. You can get more pear tips, info, and recipes here.
Add fresh lemon to green tea: Your body might get more antioxidants from that cup of green tea you're sipping if you squeeze a little lemon into it. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to green tea increased the availability of certain potent antioxidants for better absorption according to a study in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. This website has some other neat uses for lemons and lemon juice.
Keep walnuts cold: Walnuts are the only nut significantly high in the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). If walnuts are left at warmer temperatures for too long, their oils can become rancid, undergoing changes that can lead to less healthful products and an off flavor. Keeping walnuts in the fridge or freezer slows down changes in the oils and keeps the flavor fresh and delicious. Here is more research and creative ways to use walnuts.