Fruit and veggie skins can be eaten and they are very healthy. They aid in weight loss by helping you feel fuller longer and the skin usually has more nutrients than the inside of the plant. Throw away that peeler because after this video, you will not want to peel many of your fruits and vegetables anymore! The skin or peel contains a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consuming the peel of some fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system.
Obviously, we remove the skins because of taste preference, in some cases they are poisonous or not edible, but overall removing the skin from plants that are edible results in a major loss of the most nutritious part of the fruit or vegetable. To provide perspective, vegetable skins can contain 31% of the total fiber in a vegetable and the antioxidants in fruit skins are 328 times higher than in the pulp. In many cases you can peel the fruit or vegetable and just eat the skin but for some, it is best to add to a smoothie, zest or cook the peel.
In this post, you will learn about 16 fruit and veggie skins you can eat to increase your intake of nutrients.
It is common for most people to consume an apple with the skin on it. However, if you are thinking of peeling your apple then you may want to reconsider. A raw apple with skin contains up to 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium and up to 19% more potassium than a peeled apple. The best part is, biting an unpeeled apple is absolutely delicious.
The skin of a banana contains a powerful antioxidant called lutein and is richer in fiber and potassium than the flesh of the banana. The amino acid tryptophan is more highly concentrated in the peel of the banana. This amino acid is believed to increase the body’s level of serotonin in the brain that affects your mood as well as ease depression. The banana peel has a bitter taste and is tough. In order to consume more nutrients, try eating an overripe banana which is brown or black because it becomes thinner and sweeter along with being easier to chew. Your other alternatives would be to boil the peel for several minutes to make it softer, throw it in a frying pan or you can bake it in the oven in order to dry it out and then make a tea.
Pineapple contains a powerful enzyme called bromelain which helps reduce inflammation especially in the sinuses and nose. Try juicing the core and the peel of a pineapple since they are very tough on your digestive system. You may also want to try a pineapple skin tea. There was a study that found the peel and the core of the pineapple had the highest amount of bromelain at 40% by weight.
The skin of a mango is good for you because the fiber helps mobilize the digestive system and keep your bowels related. Mango peels are rich in antioxidants and a host of nutrients. Mango peels have vitamin A which is important to maintain a healthy immune system and vitamin C which helps with wound repair. The skin is full of fiber, phyto nutrients and iron. Vital nutrients help reduce the risk of cancer and lower cholesterol.
You can eat the whole watermelon. Eating the rind increases your fiber intake and it has a super high concentration of lycopene and other flavonoids to help minimize wrinkles, blemishes, and age spots. The natural sugars found in the rind help with morning sickness and swelling during pregnancy. The rind can be cooked to make it tender.
Several people eat portions of the cucumber skin which is usually for decorative purposes as opposed to health reasons but you should leave all of the skin on. Consuming the skin of the cucumber can increase your potassium, fiber, vitamin K and it is low in calories. Vitamin K is what activates proteins in our bodies in order to maintain healthy bones. The insoluble fiber helps with the digestive system.
You are missing a lot of nutrition when you peel a carrot. The highest concentration of nutrients is found in the carrot’s skin and directly underneath. Carrots have a reputation for being a super food for the eyesight. The NIH states that vitamin A is critical for vision as an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors.
The skin of eggplant is edible however and older eggplant has more of a bitter taste so you should choose a younger eggplant when you’re opting to eat the skin. Eating the peel of an eggplant will aid in bowel movements because you gain more fiber and it is also very low in calories. Eggplant gets its purple hue from a powerful antioxidant called nasunin which is believed to have anti-aging properties and help protect against the development of cancer especially in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.
The skin of an onion contains a very powerful nutrient called quercetin which has been linked to reduced inflammation, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Next time you decide to fry potatoes and onions, leave the skin on especially in the air fryer. Since most people don’t like the taste of the skin and some will say it’s not edible, you can also use onion peels to make stock. This will give your food a great flavor without increasing your sodium.
If you are thinking about having mash potatoes tonight, you might want to consider leaving the skin on. Boiled potato skin can contain up to 175% more vitamin C, 115% more potassium, 111% more folate and 110% more magnesium and phosphorus than a peeled one. Additionally, consuming potato skins boost up your iron intake.
Grapefruit has always been known as a powerful fruit and the flesh is rich in vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene has been found to have anti-tumor qualities. Most people usually scoop out the inside of a grapefruit but the peel offers many of the same benefits as the flesh.
We imagine, no one is super excited about eating kiwi skins; however, these skins contain a high concentration of fiber, folate and Vitamin E. The consumption of kiwi skins increases 50% of fiber, 32% of folate and 34% of Vitamin E as opposed to just consuming the flesh.
You know what they say when life gives you lemons, eat the skins. Okay, maybe that’s not the saying but it should be. The skins can lower LDL cholesterol and the limonene and salvestrol Q40 fights cancerous cells. The peel also has a concentration of calcium and vitamin C that improves bone health and improves oral health as well.
A lime is very similar to a lemon and eating the peel offers many of the same benefits. There are many compounds in citrus peels that may help prevent heart disease and diabetes as well.
Orange you glad you had an orange peel? Do you remember as a kid the knock-knock jokes? Okay, never mind but a natural way to boost your immune system is by eating the orange peel. The peel has powerful antioxidants, natural histamine suppressing compounds and flavonoids. The histamine found in the peel can be a big help to those with allergies. The peel is also packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, enzymes, fiber and pectin. Many people enjoy adding the zest of an orange to various dishes.
- Sweet Potato
It is very time consuming to peel a sweet potato that you must ask yourself, why am I doing this? You are missing all the extra fiber, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate, potassium, and iron when you discard the skin. The peel of a sweet potato contains a high level of 542 milligrams of potassium and is also a great source of iron. The beta carotene is converted into vitamin A which helps improve the eyesight and promotes a healthy immune system.
Fruits and Vegetables in general contain a variety antioxidants that help fight free radicals and keep various diseases and disorders at bay. You can increase your consumption of nutrients by eating the peel from the fruits and vegetables we discussed.