The Four Healthiest Vegetable and Fruit Peels (and One Great Recipe!)
If you routinely remove the peels from fruits and vegetables you may be losing the best part: all the nutrients!
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is a sure way to boost your health. After all, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables can lower your risk for:
- All kinds of cancer
- Heart disease
But if you peel your fruits and vegetables, many of those nutrients literally could be going into the trash can!
Power-Packed Vegetable and Fruit Peels
It’s true. Citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and tomatoes all have amazing antioxidant properties in their skins!
(Think of antioxidants as the “clean up crew” in your body, using their resources to counteract the damaging effects of poor nutrition, pollution, stress, and just plain old living.)
On top of that, it is the peels of vegetables and fruits that contain the most fiber, which is key for moving food through your digestive system, healthy elimination and protection from colon cancer.
*Obviously do not purchase fruits or vegetables that are waxed.
Here’s our guide to the top nutrients in fruit and vegetable peels that you may want to include in your diet.
Citrus fruits, like lemons, limes and grapefruits all have powerful flavonoids, limonene and rutin in their peels:
- Flavonoids help give fruits and vegetables their bright colors and have these health properties:
Many studies have shown, too, that high flavonoid intake results in lower incidence of heart disease.1
- Limonene is a compound that is extracted from the peels of citrus fruits. Fresh smelling and multi-purpose, this amazing natural oil can be found in organic household cleaners and helps keep your body healthy.
Use limonene to encourage the natural detoxification process of your liver and even to fight cancer.2 In laboratory studies, limonene increases the liver enzymes that aid detoxification and appears to inhibit tumors in the stomach, lung and breast tissue. 3,4
- Rutin is a bioflavonoid in citrus peels that can chelate heavy metals like iron and is an ideal accompaniment to your vitamin C supplement because it enhances absorption of the vitamin.3
If you eat apples you might be peeling them before you eat them, but now there’s scientific research showing you should not.
Here are some powerful properties in apple peels:
- Quercetin, a flavonoid found in high concentrations in apple skins, is known for its ability to ease hay fever, eczema, sinusitis and even asthma. The quercetin in apple skins is also revered for its ability to reduce your risk for heart disease.4
- Triterpenoids are compounds that give apple skins their potent anti-cancer properties.5
One study even suggests that consumption of whole Braeburn apples (skin and all) may be a good way to protect yourself from UV-B sun exposure.6
Red grapes have some wonderful health benefits, but make sure to choose organic, if you can, because pesticides are easily absorbed in grapes.
Here’s why red grapes are so beneficial:
- Resveratrol is a phytochemical found in the highest concentrations in the skin of red grapes.
Researchers believe that it has powerful antioxidant capabilities and can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as reduce your risk for heart disease. Other studies show that resveratrol inhibits damage caused by exposure to the heavy metal cadmium.7
In fact, resveratrol has “across the board” benefits. It is anti-toxic and anti-cancer, helps those with diabetes and has been shown to help increase lifespan. Reasearch has show it to be one of the most effective anti-aging substances.8
What makes tomato peels so healthy is actually what gives them their red color, lycopene:
- Lycopene is a super-efficient antioxidant found primarily in cooked tomatoes. It is linked to a consistently lower risk of cancer, and lycopene fights the cell damage that causes degenerative diseases like heart disease, premature aging, cancer and cataracts.9
*A note on lycopene: Many studies show that lycopene, found primarily in cooked tomatoes, can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. As a general rule tomatoes are not eaten on The Body Ecology Diet. Blood types A and B do not seem to do well on tomatoes. Blood types O and AB may find they can tolerate them just fine. Tomatoes are a fruit and can be added to raw salads if you chose to eat. They are, however a member of the night shade family. Some people are sensitive to night shades.
Anyone with a sensitive central nervous system or immune system should avoid them. You can do a test to see how you react to them by eating them alone on an empty stomach. Watch for symptoms over the next couple of hours for nervousness, hyperactivity, anxiety or fatigue. Sometimes it’s the quantity that matters most. You may not have a reaction to very small amounts, but large amounts would be irritating. Red and yellow bell peppers, potatoes, eggplant are members of the night shade family.
If you want to obtain the benefits of lycopene you can purchase this supplement in your health food store. As always, adhere to the Principle of Uniqueness to honor your body’s individuality and find what is right for you.
Eating The Peels
Now that you know how important peels can be for your health, it’s time to incorporate them into your diet.
Once you have a well established inner ecosystem and your candidia is under control, then you can introduce other small amounts of the other healthy fruits like apples, grapes and tomatoes.
Candied Lemon Peel Recipe – The Healthy, Body Ecology Way!
Now that you know the healthy benefits of vegetable and fruit peels, you may want to take advantage of these health benefits right away!
For the holidays and special occasions, you can now make candied lemon peels with Body Ecology’s zero-calorie all natural one-to-one sugar substitute,Lakanto!
Recipe for Body Ecology Candied Lemon Peel
Use this recipe to make candied lemon, lime or orange peel!
- 3 firm, ripe lemons, limes or oranges
- 1/4 cup Lakanto All-Natural Sweetener
- 1/2 cup water
- Using a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the fruit, leaving the bitter white pith.
- Dice or cut the peel into strips, according to intended use. Place the diced peel or strips in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil, drain, and refresh under cold running water.
- Return to the saucepan, add the Lakanto and 1/2 cup water and cook over moderate heat until the liquid has evaporated and the peel is bright and shiny.
- Spread peel on a silicone baking sheet, separating the strips.
- Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. The candied peel will keep for up to 6 months.
- Flavonoids, Phytochemicals.info. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/flavonoids.php
- Sweet Orange Tincture, Tropilab.com. http://tropilab.com/sweetorangetincture.html
- Rutin, Phytochemicals.info. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/rutin.php
- Flavonoids, Phytochemicals.info.
- He, Xiangjiu and Rui Hai Liu, “Triterpenoids Isolated from Apple Peels Have Potent Antiproliferative Activity and May Be Partially Responsible for Apple’s Anticancer Activity,” J. Agric. Food Che, 8 May 2007. http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/2007/55/i11/abs/jf063563o.html
- Apple, WHFoods.org.
- Resveratrol, Phytochemicals.info. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/resveratrol.php
- Resveratrol, Phytochemicals.info.
- Lycopene, http://www.lycopene.org/