food

Eight Fruit Skins With Health Benefits

Sheena Joseph | Sep 17 2019
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How many times have you thrown out the peels of your favourite fruits?

It must have been because you didn’t like its taste or texture. It also could have been because you assumed it is not edible. 

However, you will think twice if you knew the incredible health benefits of those fruit peels. Some of the fruit peels contain more nutrients than the fruit. Wash them thoroughly before eating the fruit as a whole. It may be a hassle but it is worthwhile. Some fruit peels are good for your skin and others do wonders to your digestive system. Here are some of the fruits that you should stop peeling. 

1. Orange

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Even though oranges are delicious, orange peel tastes bitter. It is also hard to chew and digest. That explains why orange peel is often discarded. But oranges are rich in vitamin C and polyphenols. Orange peel has about three times more vitamin C than its flesh. It can lower the risk of cancer. Polyphenols can regulate lifestyle conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also contains essential oil made of a compound called limonene which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. 

Since it is hard to eat, you will have to be creative. Try making an orange essential oil to use in cooking. They can elevate the entire dish. Orange zest is a great addition to salads, marinades, and desserts. But you can dry the peel and store it to add to smoothies, oatmeal, and muffins. Even eating six grams of orange peel a day has health benefits.

2. Lemon

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Lemon peel is another fruit peel that is often discarded due to its texture and bitterness. But similar to oranges, they contain about 10 times more vitamins and minerals than its flesh. It is a great source of vitamin C and calcium, which makes it valuable to bone health. Adding lemon peel to your diet will lower the risk of osteoporosis rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory polyarthritis. The citric acid in the lemon peel promotes oral health. It can fight bleeding gums and other teeth-related health issues. The pectin in lemon peel can promote weight loss. You can grate the lemon peel and sprinkle this in your salad, smoothies, or tea. You can also dehydrate this peel in the oven.

3. Apple

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Unlike citrus fruits, apple peel is easy to eat. It is no news that most of the vitamins in apples sit right beneath the skin. These vitamins play a significant role in boosting immunity and cell division. But what you probably didn't know is about the amount of fibre apple skin contains. 90 per cent of the dietary fibre in apple is in the skin. Apple peels are high in antioxidants too. The flavonoids and phenolic acids in the apple peel fights free radicals. They also lower the risk of certain types of cancer including breast cancer and colon cancer. 

4. Cucumber

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Cucumbers are known for their cooling properties. But not many people understand its nutritional profile. The skin of the cucumber is rich in fibre and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can do wonders for your skin. Lack of beta-carotene can lead to many skin health issues. Cucumber peel can supply the body with minerals like magnesium, potassium, and manganese too. Phytonutrient compounds called lignans and cucurbitacins found in cucumber is being studied closely for the prevention of cancer. Cucurbitacins is known to terminate the growth of cancer cells in the pancreas. Lignans can lower the risk of cancer in the reproductive system.

5. Watermelon

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Most people don't even know that watermelon rind is edible because of its thick texture. But 95% of the nutritional value of the fruit is sitting in the rind. Eating watermelon rind will help your kidney to function a lot better. Water is in high concentration in the rind. This help kidneys to process waste better. It contains minerals like zinc and potassium too. The potassium regulates the acid levels in the kidney and breaks down kidney stones. It can also help with urinary infections and heartburn during gestation. The water content in the rind will keep you hydrated and regulate blood pressure too. You can either make a pickle with the rind or simply boil it with sugar.

6. Pineapple

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Pineapple skin is no longer tossed out. Smart people make tea with it. Pineapple skin tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The skin of pineapple is rich in bromelain. It is a protein that promotes digestion and boosts the self-healing property of the human body. It can lower the risk of cancer. If you have been suffering from inflammation and muscle ache, pineapple skin tea can save you. Pineapple skin is great at energising the body and boosting immunity. Making the tea is also easy, Simply add pineapple skin to boiling water and let it simmer for a while. However, you must wash the pineapple thoroughly. It also aids in losing weight.

7. Banana

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Banana peels are another commonly discarded fruit skin. It is rich in vitamin C and E. Banana peels contain minerals like potassium, zinc, iron, and manganese too. They are proven highly valuable in skincare. Rubbing it on the skin twice a day will reduce acne by putting the skin in contact with lutein and carotenoids. They promote skin's elasticity and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. The esterified fatty acids in the banana peel can minimise the appearance of scars. However, the most surprising quality of banana peels is its ability to treat migraines. Simply leaving a frozen banana peel on the forehead till it becomes warm will relieve headaches.

8. Kiwi

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Most people think that kiwi skin is not edible. The truth is that it is even more nutrient-dense than the fruit. It contains high amounts of vitamin E and folate. Folate plays an important role in cell growth and division. Pregnant women will benefit more by eating kiwi skin as it will prevent neural tube defects. However, avoid kiwi skins if you have a history of kidney stones. The skin is rich in oxalate which can bind with calcium present in the body and cause kidney stones.