Fruits provide such healthy alternatives to us, protecting us from quite a number of diseases and bolstering our immune systems and most of them become quick favorites because as well as being choc full of nutrients, they are also quite sweet. A lot of us however just take in the pulpy sweet parts of the fruit and toss out the outer parts that we call peels. Although not as sweet as the pulp of the fruits themselves, there are some fruit peels that provide as much and even in some cases more health benefits to us, we’ll show you three of them.
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Orange peels contain up to 60 types of flavonoids and over 170 different phytonutrients and are as rich in various pectins, vitamins, minerals and fibre as the pulp itself. Despite the bitter taste, inculcating this peel into your diet will aid weight loss as it contains an impressive amount of fibre and very low calories. By adding bulk to food, it helps lower overall caloric intake and in that way also aids weight loss. The presence of high levels of histamine, reducing compounds and antioxidants makes it an excellent support against respiratory distress.
Throw in it’s proven effect of keeping cancer at bay and the fact that it contains nobiletin (a polymethoxylated flavone) which exerts positive effect on the heart and it practically becomes irresistible. To include it in your diet, you can simply grate it and sprinkle on salads, veggies and desserts.
Most people peel the skin off cucumbers preferring to enjoy the mild, refreshing and vastly unique taste offered by the fruit (Yes, cucumber is a fruit) and while that still offers a veritable wealth of nutritional benefits, a lot of nutrients do stem from the discarded peel. Cucumber peels are rich in insoluble fibre which is the type of fibre that helps in clearing out your digestive tract. It therefore helps to relieve and prevent constipation. The vitamin K content of the peel is also much higher than that of a peeled cucumber and vitamin K helps activate proteins which your body requires for healthy bone maintenance, cell growth and blood clotting.
Throw in the fact that cucumber peels are also a hidden source of beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), that is well-known for its beneficial effects on eye health and vision and again you should have enough encouragement to eat that cucumber with its peel.
The banana peel is richer in potassium and fibre than it’s flesh. It also contains lutein which is a powerful antioxidant that maintains healthy eye function. Tryptophan an essential amino acid is also more highly concentrated in the peel than the flesh. Tryptophan along with its long list of uses is also believed to combat depression by increasing the body’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mood. Why wouldn’t you want to be not only healthy body-wise but also emotionally too?
Try eating a banana peel either by juicing both the peel and the banana (ripe or overripe) or boil the peel for several minutes to make it softer. You can also throw it in a frying pan, surely, anything to reap this nutritious benefits.