All these years, we have been eating our fruits and vegetables incorrectly. We eat less useful parts of the fruit and throw away the most potent and useful parts. Not only do the skins and rinds of fruits offer a vast variety of health benefits, but they also have numerous other uses in our everyday lives. Here, we look at 11 fruits and vegetables whose skins are usually discarded without a second thought, but must actually be consumed to avail its complete benefits.
Important: Ensure that the fruits and vegetables you select are fresh, organic, without surface cuts, blemishes, and bruises. Wash them under running water to remove any dirt or soil. Immerse them in a bowl of salt water for a few minutes to kill any insect eggs or larvae. This way you can be sure that all pests and the pesticides are removed.
Apple skin contains quercetin, an anti-oxidant that helps lung function, eases breathing problems and protects lungs from irritants. It also fights brain tissue damage and protects our memory. Triterpenoids found in apple skin destroys some types of cancer cells. The ursolic acid in apple skin stimulates muscle growth, increases skeletal muscle and decreases risk of obesity. The skin also has flavonoids that help destroy cancer cells and boost the immune system.
Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on your teeth whitens them naturally. Placing a banana peel on burned skin helps in soothing pain. Rubbing banana peels on cracked heels provides effective result within a week. The skin can also remove warts and treat pimples, reduce skin itching, relieve bug bites, and offer UV protection. The skin can be used for polishing silver ware too.
An orange peel contains twice as much vitamin C as the fruit inside. Its flavonoids have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties that lower the risk of heart disease. Apart from helping in weight loss, it is a natural scrubber and bleach for the skin. Orange peel improves oral health, relieves respiratory problems, prevents constipation and heartburn.
Potato skin contains vitamin A, which is essential for cell health and immune system regulation. It is also useful in maintaining healthy organ function. The peels can reduce puffiness around eyes when placed around the eyes for 15 minutes. Potato skin contains almost 90 percent of a potato’s iron content and half of its fiber.
Lemon peel is high in vitamins that aid bone health. Lemon peel juice eliminates toxins, promotes good cholesterol, and helps in keeping the gums and teeth healthy. It removes skin discoloration and wrinkles, and makes the skin glowing and radiant. It can also be used to clean greasy surfaces, especially in the kitchen.
Anti-oxidants found in mango peel reduce damage caused by free radicals, help in weight loss, promote digestion and reduce constipation. It can also cure morning sickness. The compounds in mango skin fight off cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
Cucumber peel is high in fiber, anti-oxidants, insoluble fiber, potassium and nutrients. It is low in calories, which aids in weight loss and prevents constipation. It contains beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A and vitamin K, which improves bone health, prevents blood clots and enhances vision.
8. Kiwi Fruit
A kiwi fruit’s outer skin is also edible. The skin contains more flavonoids, anti-oxidants, and vitamin C than the insides, and double the fiber. Wash the kiwi fruit and eat it with its skin. Or, scrape off a thin layer if you find the exterior unappetizing.
Eggplant is also called aubergine or brinjal in different parts of the world. Its skin contains nasunin, a powerful anti-oxidant that protects against cancer cells in the brain and the nervous system. Nasunin also has anti-aging properties. Eggplant skin is rich in chlorogenic acid, an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemical that promotes glucose tolerance.
Pomegranate skin holds numerous health and beauty benefits. The skin can fight acne, pimples and rashes, and prevent hair loss and dandruff. It also provides protection against heart disease, sore throat, improves bone health, dental hygiene and digestive health.
Grapefruit peel is an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-septic agent. The peel is rich in powerful anti-oxidants that help prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and DNA damage. Grapefruit peel is a wonderful exfoliant when rubbed on the skin and makes the skin youthful and soft. It balances the pH balance of the skin, relieves psoriasis and other types of skin rashes, and alleviates insect bite itching. The peel contains oils that sooth the GI tract and its fiber content promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria.
So, with this new-found knowledge, think twice before removing and throwing away the skins of fruits and vegetables to avail the complete benefit of the fruit. Initially, it may be slightly difficult to consume some fruits and vegetables along with their peels, but once you make it a habit and realize its benefits, you will never again discard the skins and rinds.