Once, I was out in a park, hanging out with a friend during our work break. He reached into his lunch bag, pulled out a kiwi and ate it. Like an apple. Skin and all. I laughed at him. Mouth full of kiwi he told me that the skin was the best part for you.
I ignored him for a long time. Eating the prickly skin of a kiwi just did not appeal to me in the slightest.
I maintained that stance through most of my university career. But the more into nutrition, I got, the more I began to think about it. After all, I don’t balk at eating peaches. In fact, I think their fuzz is one of the main selling points of peaches, personally. So I looked it up, asked my nutritionist friend. She told me very seriously that of course, the skin was the best. It’s generally the best part of any vegetable.
And that got me thinking: what else am I eating wrong?
I hate to tell you this… but the peel is loaded with vitamin C. I think this is the part of the article where you throw up your hands and yell at your laptop screen (and me, but it will look like you’re yelling at the screen) “WHAT DON’T I EAT?” They have a tonne of health benefits that you’re going to want to take advantage of, such as:
- Preventing cardiovascular disease- ‘Polymethoxylated flavones (PMF’s) are present in citrus fruit peels, which can lower cholesterol more effectively than most prescription drugs, without side effects’ (1)
- For acne- rubbing the fresh peel on spots is an excellent, natural remedy!
- In China, they use orange peel for urinary ailments.
- Anti-diabetic properties (2)
I am going to suggest that you try and save the rinds instead of chucking them in the garbage. Just put them in a bag and place in the freezer for garnish on a cake, or you could put them in your water bottle to make zesty flavorful water. Yum!
The inside of a banana is sweet, delicious and full of nutrients, but the outside is just as good for you and if not…better! Next time you think about ditching that peel, stop what you’re doing and keep it! The peel is super high in fiber, containing more fiber than the banana itself! They’re also super good for your digestive health and can actually encourage you to lose weight.
And if that hasn’t swayed you to keep your peel then this will. Green banana peels contain antifungal and antibiotic components, and the ripe peel and pulp are also known to contain the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (3) which are feel-good neurotransmitters, making you smile from the inside out!
I know I already sort of talked about this but kiwis are not only is rich in vitamin C but are also a good source of other nutrients such as folate, potassium, and dietary fiber (4). The skin of kiwi fruits contains a fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol, has tons of antioxidants, and immune-boosting vitamin C. Make sure to wash them though, you don’t want any leftover pesticides on those puppies (just in case, friends!).
Another thing: once your kiwis are soft and not good for eating anymore, instead of throwing them away, cut them in half and rub your cuts of meat with them. There’s an acid in the juices that encourages the tough fibers to break down, making your meat tender. Rub your cuts of meat and toss them into a baggie for 20 minutes to let the juice do its work.
Strawberries are full of… Vitamin C! To get the full vitamin C effect, you’re not going to want to expose them to oxygen (5). Which means that every time you slice open your strawberries for that Instagram-worthy photo, you’re actually taking away some of the health benefits associated with vitamin C, such as:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced vascular stiffness and coagulation (6)
So after you wash them, just pop them in your mouth, no slicing required.
A neat way to de-top strawberries is to push a straw up through the pointed end and out the top.
That cool, yummy summer treat. I think we all probably remember days of eating watermelon and the competitions to see who could spit seeds farthest. Maybe you still hold them with your kids, my mom does! What you don’t know, is that those seeds are good for you.
Watermelon seeds are choc-full of magnesium, zinc, and are also a source of iron which is great as we know that most people suffer from magnesium deficiency. Another tip is to eat that white strip between the pink and the rind – it’s packed with Vitamin C. It also has phenolic antioxidants and flavonoids. The juicy red bit is a great source of lycopene.
If you want to know how to eat watermelon seeds (or if your kids refuse too), you can mix them with a little citrus juice (I like grapefruit) and salt then roast them the way you would pumpkin seeds. They’re a great garnish for salads or fancy summer dishes.
This is simple. Apples, like all the other fruits on this list, have a great dose of vitamin C. When you peel apples, you’re exposing your vitamin C to light and oxygen, ruining it’s health benefits, but the truth is, you’re also throwing out the best part. The skin of apples contains a high number of the apple’s nutrients and can even help battle cancer-causing cells (10).
So leave the peel on, even when you’re making pies for extra nutrients. An apple (or a handful of apple chips) a day keeps the doctor away.
If you are searching for more ways to save you ‘peels’ then check out these incredibly delicious tips and tricks!
Do you have any other tips? Is there anything else you want to know about? Let us know in the comments!
(1+2)Orange Range of Benefits http://www.irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/1212_pdf.pdf Published: June 19, 2012. Accessed: November 27, 2016.
(3)Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana http://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/Issue_sept_2012/9.1.pdf Published: November 3, 2012. Accessed: November 27, 2016.
(4)Kiwifruit http://www.kiwifruit.org/downloads/category-research/Overview-of-Potential-Health-Benefits-Published-Article.pdf Published: 3rd June, 2012. Accessed: November 27, 2016.
(5)The relation of reducing value and extent of browning to the vitamin C content exposed to air. http://www.jbc.org/content/105/1/17.full.pdf December 28, 1933. Accessed: November 27, 2016.
(6)Newly Discovered Health Benefits of Vitamin C. http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/4/newly-discovered-benefits-of-vitamin-c/page-01 Published: April 2008. Accessed: November 27, 2016.
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