9 Garnishes You Should Actually Eat

Dorian Martin Jan 20th, 2015 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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The saying goes that a person eats with the eyes as much as with the mouth. So, many restaurants often focus on presentation of food when sending out a plate. Sometimes the presentation includes garnishes. But are they meant to be eaten? And are there health benefits from eating them?

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Radish
Radish

This spicy root vegetable contains the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps rebuild tissues and blood vessels and maintain bones and teeth. This vegetable also is full of fiber and contains the compound isothiocyanates, which helps battle certain cancers. Radishes offer folate, B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, sodium, copper and zinc.

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Kale
Kale

Kale has had a renaissance so people no longer turn their noses up when they find it as a garnish. Raw kale can help lower cholesterol and provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, kale may help lower the risk of some cancers: bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. Kale is high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C and is a good source of manganese and copper.

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Parsley
Parsley

This herb is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, both anti-oxidants. Parsley’s high level of vitamin C also may protect against inflammatory polyarthritis. Parsley’s volatile oils may inhibit tumor formation. Additionally, parsley is a good source of folic acid, which promotes cardiovascular health.  Additionally, parsley cleanses the palate and your breath at the end of the meal.

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Celery
Celery

Celery offers anti-inflammatory health benefits and includes antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and flavonoids. This vegetable is good source of vitamin K. Celery also provides support to the digestive tract as well as the cardiovascular system. Scientists also are researching whether celery may provide support in cancer prevention.

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Carrots
Carrots

While many people think about consuming carrots as a way to protect eyesight, this vegetable’s nutrients also may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Carrots’ phytonutrients also may slow the growth of colon cancer cells and prevent oxidative damage to the body. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of biotin and vitamin K. This vegetable also provides fiber.

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Cucumber
Cucumber

This vegetable contains phytonutrients and polyphenols that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. Additionally, cucumbers have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect against free radicals in the body. This vegetable also is a good source of vitamin K.

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Chives
Chives

Chives are a good source of allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Chives also have antioxidants that may help protect against cancer. Chives aid in digestion through ridding the intestinal tract of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Chives also have potassium, calcium beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin K.

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Peppers
Peppers

Different types of peppers often serve as garnishes. Bell peppers are excellent sources of carotenoids. Hot peppers include capsaicin, which is an effective remedy for pain and other medical conditions. It also may kill off prostate cancer cells. However, if you don’t know what the pepper on your plate is, be cautious about eating it since it may be extremely hot and lead to a bad reaction.

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Citrus
Citrus

Different types of citrus show up as garnishes. Oranges have vitamin C, which may shorten a cold. Many types of citrus have flavonoids, which promote heart health, and limonoids, which protect against cancer. Citrus also has fiber. These fruits’ juices enhance the flavor of food so by spritzing that slice’s juices on your meal, you may not need salt.