6 Surprising Healthy Things That You Can Actually Eat

Most of us usually don’t eat these 6 ‘things’ and throw them into the rubbish bin, but these 6 foods can be really healthy and nutritious.

Papaya Seeds

Perhaps you’ve already heard of the wonderful benefits that papaya can offer your body and health, whether it is from eating the natural, healthy fruit or from using the many lotions, soaps, and washes that are papaya-based and nourish your skin. However, there is a part of this amazing fruit that many people may not realize is just as healthy and beneficial – the papaya seeds.

Though eating papaya seeds may not seem as appealing as eating the rest of the fruit, and though the seeds may have a stronger, crunchier taste to them, they are still very edible and very much worth the effort of eating. One of the main benefits that papaya provides is its anti-bacterial quality.

This means that eating papaya seeds can help reduce the occurrence of bacterial infections, as well as decrease the chance of inflammation, and the conditions and sicknesses that are caused by it, from developing in your body.

Papaya seeds also help detoxify your body from parasites and similar infections due to their high enzyme content which make your digestive tract a hostile place for parasites, worms, and infections. Papaya seeds can also act as a deterrent to liver cirrhosis, which is a disease that causes your liver to shrink and harden, rendering it ineffective in its task of filtering toxins out of your body.

It should be important to note, however, that papaya seeds should not be eaten by pregnant women and should be taken in regular intervals with distinct breaks, instead of prolonged, continuous consumption.

Pumpkin Skin

Most of the time, pumpkins are eaten in the form of soup, pie, or many other types of savory presentations, but rarely is the pumpkin skin thought about. In fact, the only time you might pay attention to a pumpkin’s skin is when it’s being used as a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween. The skin of the pumpkin, however, actually contains a wide and rich variety of perks that will have you paying attention to it all year round.

The list of benefits that pumpkin skin can provide will surprise and astonish you. One of its foremost benefits is that pumpkin skin, due to its rich vitamin and nutrient nature, is very good and healthy for your skin. It can nourish your skin by washing away dead skin cells and encouraging the growth of new ones, reducing the prominence of any lines or wrinkles on your face, and making your skin feel smooth and appear youthful. One other reason for pumpkin skin to be popular is that it can be applied on almost any skin type. As it contains high amounts of vitamins E and T, pumpkin skin is quite useful in preventing breakouts of acne and pimples.

Pumpkin skin can be consumed in many ways. The simplest would be to simply include them with the rest of the pumpkin flesh in whatever dish you are concocting. Alternatively, you can grate the skin into pumpkin soup to enhance the flavor, or cut the pumpkin pieces into wedges and roast them. You can even make delicious pumpkin skin chips. Just make sure to get fresh and young pumpkins to avoid the old, dry, and tough skins of the more aged pumpkins. In addition, be sure to only eat organically grown pumpkins, to avoid any harmful and unnatural chemicals that may have been left over from pesticide usage.

Sweet Potato Skin

Between the much more famous regular potato (which, among other things, is used to create the rather unhealthy fast food favorite French Fries) and the Thanksgiving “yam,” the sweet potato is often ignored, misunderstood, and sometimes outright unheard of. The truth of the matter is, the sweet potato and its skin hold so many benefits and perks for your health that it might be the only type of potato you would want to eat.

Though many people refer to the Thanksgiving treat as “yams,” most “yams” are actually just a variety of sweet potatoes that have been misnamed or mislabeled, and real yams are actually considerably different from the Thanksgiving staple. Sweet potatoes are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Sweet potato skins are especially beneficial because the skin is where most of the nutrients, as well as fiber, are concentrated. These components, among other benefits, help produce collagen which retains the skin’s youthfulness, prevent heart attacks, strengthen your bones, and increase the production of white blood cells which are an important part of your immune system. Sweet potato skins can also help regulate the flow of sugar in your body, as well as regulate your metabolism and heart rate.

Sweet potato should not merely be reserved for Thanksgiving anymore as you can enjoy it in numerous ways aside from its standard “yam” form. Almost any form of cooking, from boiling to roasting, from grilling to steaming, to being made part of a soup can be applied to the sweet potato and its skin to create a wonderfully appetizing and healthy dish. Again, eat only organically grown produce, especially when it comes to the skin, to avoid consuming chemicals possibly used in pesticides.

Citrus Peels

Whether you eat oranges, lemons, limes or any other kind of citrus fruit, it often goes that after you’ve eaten or juiced your citrus-based fruit, you often simply throw away the peels. However, once you realize how healthy and valuable these oft overlooked peels are, you might just start eating oranges and lemons just to get their peels!

Obviously, one of the things that citrus peels can offer you is a high vitamin C content, which helps your skin retain its youthful texture and healthy complexion, strengthens your immune system against possible deficiencies, acts as an antioxidant which protects your body against free radicals and flushes them out of your system, and even helps improve your eyesight. Other lesser known benefits of citrus peels include helping regulate your cholesterol, which help lower heart and other cardiovascular diseases as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes, and even acting as a deterrent against cancer.

There is an extremely wide variety of ways of enjoying and incorporating citrus peels into your foods. The most well-known might be grating a bit of a lemon on some salad or marinade to give your dish that little kick, but you can also infuse them into your tea or coffee, make candied peels, or use them as seasoning for your meatier main dishes. Just remember to give them a good and thorough cleansing before using them. Also, it now goes without saying that one should avoid the chemicals and pesticides on the peels by eating only naturally and organically grown citrus.

Kiwi Skin

Though the skin of the kiwi fruit may not look like the most appealing or appetizing thing to eat, if you look past the odd, unusual exterior of this fruit, you will find yourself with something that provides your body with an astonishing and exceptional amount of health perks and benefits.

Eating the kiwi fruit raw, with the skin included, is actually a common practice among the “Kiwis” of New Zealand (from which the fruit takes its namesake). Knowing this may perhaps lessen any hesitations or apprehensions one might have from eating its skin. The skin of the kiwifruit is jam packed with a load of antioxidants which flush your body of free radicals and help strengthen and protect your heart from disease. It can also greatly improve your metabolism and help your immune system fortify itself. The high enzyme content of the kiwi fruit’s skin is also very helpful towards improving digestion, filtering toxins from your body, keeping your blood healthy, and regulating your body’s cholesterol. The skin can also help with those who suffer from constipation by improving the transit time of bowel movement.

The fuzziness of the kiwi fruit’s skin may be too much for some people to handle, which is why you can “shave” the fuzz off while still leaving most of the skin intact for consumption and retaining its benefits. Just be sure to clean the skin properly, as the fuzz of the fruit is prone to “catch” more dirt and debris. Once again, only eat the skins of organically grown, pesticide-free kiwis.

Watermelon Seeds

When you eat watermelon, most of the time the watermelons seeds are just little more than an annoying nuisance that causes you to pause from your enjoyment of the sweet, refreshing fruit, in order to spit them out. However, these tiny, numerous seeds actually contain almost as much nutritional content and health benefits as the great, big watermelons that they eventually create do.

Watermelon seeds are actually very high in protein, with one cup of dried watermelon seeds providing almost up to 60 percent of the recommended daily protein intake. This is essential in the regulation of blood pressure and the prevention of heart and many other cardiovascular diseases.

The tiny watermelon seeds are also rich in mineral content. These minerals include iron, potassium, zinc, sodium, copper, and magnesium, with the last being one of the most abundant. These minerals help maintain and improve not only blood sugar levels in your body, but your metabolism as well. The healthy fats found in watermelon seeds help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels as well. Vitamin B is also very abundant in watermelon seeds and helps your body feel and look young and healthy, with the vitamins assisting in providing energy for your body while keeping your skin youthful and fresh.

There are a number of ways to enjoy watermelon seeds, from eating them roasted to incorporating them in your soups.

Now that you know the wonders of these often disregarded and discarded health storehouses, one thing for sure is that you will never think little of these seeds and skins, ever again.


About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

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70 responses to “6 Surprising Healthy Things That You Can Actually Eat”

  1. Zee Avatar

    Your Title Heading “6 Surprising Healthy Things That You Are Actually Eat” doesn’t make sense.

    1. admin Avatar

      Hi Zee, thanks for letting us know. Yes it was a typo and our editor has corrected it.

      1. Emily Scott Avatar
        Emily Scott

        one of my other sites for health told me more about citrus peel. They said that the citrus peel has nobiliteen (sp) which helps strengthen bones. A couple of years ago, Oprah had a section on things that people throw out that are good nutrition. One was watermelon rind.

    2. Janie Upchurch Avatar
      Janie Upchurch

      It would be so much nicer to say something like, “I noticed a typo in your post and I expect that you will want to correct it.” Just a gentle reminder that we all can be kind.

      1. vanessa Avatar

        Amen to that Janie. Manners seem to be a thing of the past

  2. Katie Avatar

    Thank you for this new Knowledge and insight, I will pass it along to Relatives and Friends.

  3. Emsie Avatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Tammy Avatar

    Check out these fruits.

  5. dr. nassae mohamed nassar Avatar
    dr. nassae mohamed nassar

    I like I like Ilike your knowldeg about alkalin dite it s a secret of life I m honared any wher by your exclant paper I m repeat your in many of my lactur pleas send to me
    mor and mor

    thank you very mush Dr . nassar m nassar

  6. Estelle Avatar

    VERY interesting! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  7. roland Avatar

    yes its good informations, some chinese tmc also recommended these items.

  8. Janet Avatar

    Thank you for this information! However, how does one COORDINATE an appropriate alkaline diet requiring eating high alkaline and low/less acidic foods, that are also very necessary: 1. high in potassium; 2) relatively low in fructose (no other forms of sugar); 3) moderate in meat [especially beef] & fish consumption, including eggs (acidic but high in protein with specific nutritional values only common to animal foods); 4) low in dairy [which help potassium] e.g. cottage cheese, raw cheese, safest yogurt available – 7 Stars (acidic); 5) and live only on lowest alkaline vegetables and fruits, seeds and nuts [I drink a lot of coconut milk, eat lots of almond butter, eat coconut and other nuts butters, use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, and eat pumpkin & sunflower seeds plus acai, chia and pine nuts? I need protein and have heard some bad things about legumes (lentils, chick peas, beans) regarding lectins. Also I am on blood pressure meds and Cymbalta, Adderall & Zanax.
    I apologize for the length and complexity of this question, but in fact this IS actually a rather complicated issue. I’m 70 and stressed after my husband’s death (40 years together) and caring, but over-stressed, about my health. Can you help?

    1. Linda Avatar

      Janet, Get the book, “From One Widow to Another” by Miriam Neff. I was widowed at age 29 and have studied widowhood for about 40 years finding this book to be absolutely the best read. Widows go through things unique to them but all widows have the same problems adjusting. So no matter what you are going through remember others have done the same and survived the difficult adjustment.

  9. Janet Avatar

    Correction:Thank you for this information! However, how does one COORDINATE an appropriate alkaline diet requiring eating high alkaline and low/less acidic foods, WITH OTHER FOODS that are also very necessary:

    1. Jacquie Walburn Avatar
      Jacquie Walburn

      Hi Janet.
      The basic western diet is very acidic.
      The whole idea in the alkaline diet is balance. Some foods are acid (pH below 7), some foods are alkaline (pH above 7). Your goal is a salivary/blood pH of 7-7.4. Since that is slightly alkaline, most of your intake should be on that side of the “balance” . It is OK to eat things that are acid as long as you balance them.
      Basic rule, set up your plate with more than 1/2 as alkaline base. You can also easily see how you are doing by purchasing pH paper & testing your saliva pH.
      Love & gratitude to all.

  10. Joe Dennis Avatar
    Joe Dennis

    Great article ! If I may add afew things . Papya seeds are also good to prevent parasites .Citrus peels are high in rutin which strengthens blood vessels and will help prevent “leaky” vessels . Yellow and Red Onions are high in Quercentin ,a powerful flaviniod that can help prevent cancer and heart attacks .The highest amount is in the skin of the onion .Boil the skins to the color comes out . You can drink it or cook it in your food.

  11. jeff Avatar

    good information! Need more items to strengthen blood vessels in the eyes besides citrus peels as they are leaking small amounts of blood which impairs vision. Please help. Thank you.

    1. joe Avatar

      Hi Jeff ,are you a diabetic ? leaky blood vessels is a major issue for us . Take high doses of vitamin C .Itake 6000mg a day Buckwheat is high in rutin and is good for blood vessels . Take horsechestnut extract for vessel strength .Eat greens collards kale ect. I’m not a doctor this is what I’ve done for myself with great results

    2. marian Avatar

      jeff blood leaking in the eyes needs immediate medical attention from a retinologist!! My husband has macular degeneration and MD has recommended occuvite preservision areDs ormula) twice a day and there are shots right into the eyeball (avastin) that stop the bleeding

  12. Marie Avatar

    I subscribe to your newsletter and I am always learning something new from you.

    I am curious, how do I eat a papaya seeds? It’s not easy to swallow even in bite sized pieces.

    1. Donald Bray Avatar

      This is for Marie, I wonder if she is confusing Mango for Papaya. Papaya seeds are small and black and have a somewhat peppery taste a mango is large and flat and I doubt that it would be good to eat and would be very hard to eat even cut into bite sized pieces. Just a thought.

      1. Angie Avatar

        This is for Donald and Marie.
        …. or maybe pomegranate seeds?

  13. Sue Avatar

    Great information. I love receiving your newsletter. I’m always learning something new!!

  14. Kay Avatar

    Love Papaya, watermelon etc. but seeds not good for diverticulosis I guess the skins are better for me.

  15. Debbi Avatar

    Could you please give us the recipe for the salad dressing!

  16. Don Benedik Avatar

    citrus peel is a no no for people who have /or are prone to kidney stones. Peel or zest is extremely high in oxalates which can be an extreme hazard to those with this condition.

  17. Rockzee Avatar

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to share such profound information with everyone.

  18. Nazahah Avatar

    Great info my Trinidadian grandfather always ate sweet potato skins, watermelon seeds & citrus peels. I too eat sweet potato skins of course organic! I can’t wait to incorporate the rest into my diet. I need all this for better health. Thanks so much for the info.

  19. Sharon Avatar

    What about apple seeds? Heard they are good to fight cancer.

  20. Betty Avatar

    Thank you Emma for your good information…I feel much better now, eating some alkaline foods. Can you tell me please how can I eat the citrus skin

  21. Heather Williams Avatar

    Great tips! I eat many of these myself and never think twice about it:) Love this article!

  22. sabra Avatar

    I am very thankful to have wonder full knowledge I have high ferritin because of Iron IV as my doctor gave me 5 iron IVS Is there any thing I can eat for making my ferritin level normal right now it is 726 and normal No. should be 150 I am diabetic also. I am 68 and worried about my Overload Iron it is not in my genes.

  23. Eileen Lupkes Avatar
    Eileen Lupkes

    My husband Don is celiac from surgery and I suspect I am also. I have problems with dairy and corn. I am nauseaus most of the time. I have a Montel Williams food processor. Would I be able to run these seeds through that?

  24. David Crossfield Avatar

    If you boil the watermelon seeds does that not kill all the nutrition in them?

  25. Tom DePouw Avatar
    Tom DePouw

    We love sweet potatoes and eat them 4-5 times a week, my wife and daughter hate the skins. Do you have any suggestions for for cooking to make the skin taste better, my wife likes to peel and pan fry them in a little butter.

  26. Roger Avatar

    Be careful with Papaya as most all of it is GMO (genetically engineered). Buy organic only whenever possible!

  27. Barbara Impson Avatar
    Barbara Impson

    Like Janet. I’d like to know how to have lots of protein, etc, and stay alkaline…I take no meds, but, have to eliminate foods that cause acid reflux.(I ended Prilosec after 2years caused a major drop in my bone density.). Am trying hard to raise bone density and chronic anemia. I would welcome your advice. Thanks

    1. Mimi Avatar

      Barbara, I too had acid reflux…….Prilosec caused hair loss…….now towel my reflux I drink Aloe Vera Juice……..it healed me. If I infrequently feel acidic, I just drink a glass of the Aloe Juice and feel fine !! Mimi

  28. kristhiana Avatar

    Wonderful info! I have been doing most of these things, but haven’t tried kiwi yet! Are there any seeds/peels/skins we should not eat? I usually put seeds and even cantaloup rinds or melon rinds in my vitaMix smoothies. Usually put in apple and pear seeds when done eating the fruits. Love the info on how to build the all important vessels in the body, including the eyes! Thank you!!

    1. C. C. Avatar
      C. C.

      Thank you for the informative article. My grandmother
      used to tease me saying ” a watermelon will grow in
      your stomach, you better spit those seeds out!” I just want
      to mention for the two that asked about apple seeds. It
      is not a good idea to consume as they contain cyanide.
      I read a article years ago where a man saved one cup of
      apple seeds then ate them all in one day and died from
      the cyanide poisoning.

      1. Scully Avatar

        I too heard that apple seeds are poisonous. I would skip that….

    2. AndrewL Avatar

      Evidently you need to be careful with apple seed as when they are blended up they produce cyanide, may pay to check I read it somewhere not sure how accurate that information is?

  29. viniya bk Avatar
    viniya bk

    thank you for such a informational article! could you please come up with some more informations as such ?!?

  30. Roger Avatar

    Almost all papaya is genetically engineered (GMO)!

    1. Esther Anderson Avatar
      Esther Anderson

      Not all papayas are GMO..the small ones from Hawaii are but locally grown..the large ones that are not mass produces are different…and have much bigger flesh and seeds..

  31. Pru Avatar

    Confusing mix of info for eating seeds. Which are dangerous to eat and which are helpful in what quantity..?..?

  32. Bowen Avatar

    I enjoy your articles every single time!!! Thank You so very much. I am very much into alkalizing my diet because I know of the benefits. I actually own a Kangen Water Ionizing Machine and am a distributor. I just wanted to say that consuming the seeds and peels as you suggested is wonderful. Many people lack knowledge in the benefit they provide so again Thank You for enlightening us. Growing up in the Caribbean I ate a lot of seeds and barks etc….even mango seeds….yes we cut into slivers and actually curry them….and make preserves. ☺

    1. Martin Ramirez Avatar
      Martin Ramirez

      Papaya seeds can’t eat more than 5 each time if you eat more it may make you poop more often. so try 5 first the try 6 and see how your stomach reacts. but it will improve your digestion.

  33. Clement Avatar

    Thank you for this information

  34. Audrey Murrell Avatar
    Audrey Murrell

    I was suffering from a peptic ulcer. A friend told me about papaya seeds. To my surprise it actually helped me. I ate maybe three large within a month’s time with the seeds. My stomach problem improved tremendously. Audrey

  35. KENNEDY LS Avatar

    Great, valueable pieces of info your news letter does offload each time it comes. Many thanks indeed.

  36. amy Avatar

    Gr8 information!! Thank you..

  37. floridahank Avatar

    I’ve read all the comments but I haven’t seen how the best way to wash these foods before eating the skins. I steam much of my veg’ and know the hot steam kills much bacteria but how about the raw fruit’s skins? What is the best way to clean any bacteria rather than plain water?

  38. Alida Alicea Avatar
    Alida Alicea

    Excellent information. Would appreciate some recipes on how to prepare these unusual bites. Thank you.

  39. Carol Eagle Avatar

    Soak in sink of tepid water with one capful of Clorox for 5 minutes. Use for All fruits and vegs. Rinse well with fresh water. Removes almost all pesticides. Also, same formula for chicken for 15 minutes to remove salmonella

  40. Diane Henry Avatar
    Diane Henry

    Re: how to wash fruits and vegetables without using clorox, which is very dangerous for small children, and pregnant wome.
    DO THIS INSTEAD: prepare a WASH with vinegar (organic apple cider if possible, lemon juice, equal part of each and soak your fruits and vegetable in that wash for a 20 minuted or so, or wash in a big bowl , rinse with cold water, all you’re all set

  41. Eileene Haslm Avatar
    Eileene Haslm

    Very helpful information Would like to continue to receive.

  42. Sue Coleman Avatar
    Sue Coleman

    When my father was sick with cancer my mother would boil the leaves of the papaya tree and then drink the juice. It’s extremely bitter but it would help his pain when morphine wouldn’t.

  43. Marlene C Lear Avatar
    Marlene C Lear

    Love this article. Could the seeds and or skins be air or heat dried. then ground? Or blended in a vita mix with fruit and veg without destroying their beneficial content?

  44. Qin Avatar

    One more thing that’s sweet potato leaves.Its also good for your health.

  45. Becki Avatar

    What is good to help with kidney disease? I have heard flaxseedis good..any info for that?

    Thank you

  46. Alma Avatar

    What is good for lactose intolerance?

  47. franco Avatar

    i am impressed with all this in formation thank you very much

  48. CHER S. Avatar
    CHER S.

    70 Y.O.THRILLED!!!!to hear&share healings.
    Does organic apple cidar vinegar+H2O and baking soda+H2O assist in keeping blood&bladder less acidic? Husband of 52 yrs
    recovering from Stage4 bladder Ca & repeated bouts of Gout.Any & all suggestions greatly appreciated.Thank You for enlighting us on skins&seeds.How can sweet potaoe leaves be used to heal? My Wa garden will have whole new look this year.

  49. Lucy m Avatar
    Lucy m

    I was told watermelon seeds eaten can cause appendicitis.

  50. Gail Petherick Avatar
    Gail Petherick

    Thanks for a fantastic article on unusual alkaline foods. the follow up discussion has proven helpful too.

  51. John Jenks Avatar

    The Juiceman gave a fruit and vegetable wash in an interview in the Food section of the Washington Post years ago. In a sink of water, add the juice of a lemon and three tablespoons of salt. Soak for 1/2 an hour. Rinse well. He said that the wash would remove any remaining pesticide residue.

  52. Christina Avatar

    Thank you so much for all your information..I always enjoy reading your emails and taken your advice

  53. David Avatar

    As great as I found this article, I saved this as a bookmark on my computer so I could refer to this in the future.

  54. menime alaimalo Avatar
    menime alaimalo

    Appreciate all these awesome information about Health.

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