8 Fruit & Vegetable Skins That Should Go In Your Belly Not The Bin

You might be used to eating your fruits and vegetables and then tossing the skins but you might want to reconsider that. Research now shows that a lot of the nutrition in fruits and vegetables are in the peels. In addition to providing nutritional benefits, the peels also contain compounds that provide a wide range of therapeutic and medicinal benefits.

watermelonHealth Benefits In 8 Everyday Fruit & Vegetable Skins:

1. Watermelon

“The compounds in watermelon rind are important for heart health, they lower blood pressure, and have a positive impact on the circulatory system”

Watermelons contain an antioxidant called citrulline. Citrulline is converted by the kidneys into an amino acid called L-arginine as well as nitric oxide. These compounds are important for heart health, lower blood pressure and have a positive impact on the circulatory system. The highest concentration of citrulline can be found in the rind (the white part) of the watermelon. The flesh of the watermelon is sweet but the rind doesn’t have much taste; so instead of trying to eat the rind, you can simply throw it into a juicer along with the rest of the melon and you won’t even know the difference.

2. Cucumber

“Cucumber peels have antidiabetic and lipid lowering properties”

Cucumbers are a rich source of several nutrients including potassium, vitamin K, and insoluble fiber. However, it is the vegetable peel that contains most of its vitamin K along with antioxidants, carotene and phenolic compounds. Cucumber peels have antidiabetic and lipid lowering properties and so you should keep the peels on the next time you make a salad.

3. Potato

“90 % of the iron in the potato and about half of its fiber content is in its skin”

The skin of the potato packs quite a nutritional punch – from vitamin C and vitamin B6 to iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. In fact, 90 % of the iron in the potato and about half of its fiber content is in its skin. So give up your mashed potatoes and instead have steamed potatoes in their jackets with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of your favorite herbs.

4. Brinjal

“Brinjal skin contains an antioxidant that antioxidant offers protection from certain types of cancer and preliminary research suggests that it might also protect brain tissue from neurodegenerative diseases”

The pinkish-purple hue of the brinjal skin comes from a compound called nasunin. This potent antioxidant offers protection from certain types of cancer and preliminary research suggests that it might also protect brain tissue from oxidation – one of the main causes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The skin of the brinjal also contains a phytochemical called chlorogenic acid which has anti-aging properties.

5. Kiwi

“The skin of the kiwi is a good source of fiber and vitamin C as well as flavonoids and antioxidants that support the cardiovascular and nervous systems”

You’re probably used to slicing a kiwi in half and then scooping out the green flesh with a spoon and chucking the brown skin. However, the skin of the kiwi is a good source of fiber and vitamin C as well as flavonoids and antioxidants that support the cardiovascular and nervous systems. You can scrape off the fuzz on the skin and then slice the kiwi and eat the slices complete with the skin to enjoy these health benefits.

6. Mango

“Research into the health benefits of mango skin also show that the phytochemicals in the skin offer protection against obesity”

The skin of the mango contains a wide array of bioactive phytochemicals that provide a variety of health benefits that fight off cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Mango skin also contains beta carotene and quercetin – these compounds work as suppressors for precancerous lesion formation. Research into the health benefits of mango skin also showed that the phytochemicals in the skin offer protection against obesity. You can cut the skin into small pieces and pickle it or add it to your vegetable dishes while cooking.

7. Orange

“Orange peels contain tangeretin and nobiletin which are two potent flavonoids with anticancer and antidiabetic properties”

Orange peels are a rich source of vitamin A, several of the B vitamins, fiber calcium, magnesium, folate, and dietary fiber. The peels also contain tangeretin and nobiletin which are two potent flavonoids with anticancer and antidiabetic properties. These flavonoids may even help to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol. The orange peel has a bitter taste but that does not mean that you should avoid it. You can grate a small piece of the orange peel and mix it with a little honey and some fresh orange juice and use this as a zesty salad dressing. You can also steam the peel and then cut it into very fine strips. Add these strips to any chocolate topping as the bitter taste of the orange peel blends perfectly with the rich smooth taste of chocolate.

8. Apple

“Apples are a good source of the antioxidant quercetin, which helps lung function and offers protection from irritants”

The skin of the apple contains several vitamins and minerals that are invaluable in the repair and maintenance of skin tissue. Apples are also a good source of the antioxidant quercetin which helps lung function and offers protection from irritants. It also protects memory and staves off brain tissue damage.

Eating the peels of your fruits and vegetables will offer long term health benefits but you need to make sure that you clean them thoroughly. Always discard the tops of your fruit (near the stem) as dirt and contaminants often get lodged in this area. Soak your fruits and vegetables for a few minutes before washing them under running water to ensure that they are completely clean.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10962130

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22699857

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Image Source: Kristina Paukshtite

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