Keep Those Peels

We are all accustomed to peeling fruits and vegetables, tossing away the rinds.  But what if these seemingly inedible plant parts are actually beneficial to us?  As it turns out, the rinds of many fruits are loaded with powerful phytochemicals that nourish, detoxify, and scavenge free radicals found within our bodies.
Here’s a list of commonly tossed peels that may be eaten:
  • Citrus fruits: orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Kiwi
  • Mango

The most important factor when adding in fruit peels to your diet is to ensure that you are only buying organic produce.  Fruit peels take up a higher concentration of pesticides than do other parts of the plant.
Top benefits of adding fruit peels to your diet:
  • The Antioxidant content of fruit peels is remarkably high.  One specific antioxidant, limonene, is prevalent in peels and is found to be a powerhouse to reduce free radical damage and inflammation.  It is a wise choice in preventative medicine and even cancer treatment.
  • Enhance digestion- the bitter content of peels such as those of citrus fruits stimulates gastric juice release (stomach acid, bile, pancreatic enzymes, etc.) which signals the GI tract to prepare for incoming food and to break down and absorb it better.
  • Peels are highly nutritious, and in the case of citrus fruits, they will contain more nutrients than the inner fruit itself.
  • More fiber.  The rinds of fruits will provide more fiber to the diet and help to slow the sugar intake from fruit.
How to get more fruit peels in your diet:
  • Eat it whole!
  • Add them whole to your daily smoothies.  Not only will you be getting the fruit and peel, but you will consuming the seeds as well.  Nice!
  • Zest your citrus fruits into salads, rice, or add to marinades/rubs for your meats.
  • Pickle them and enjoy as delicious tangy snacks.

—Taylor Jeffers