Eating more fruits and vegetables daily, undoubtedly, is the best practice. More so, the skin or rind (tougher skin in some fruits) or peel of every fruit and vegetable is unique in its nutrient content.
Removing the peel is removing one of the most nutrient-dense parts of the plants.
Let’s have a look at some important benefits of the peels,
– Acts as a Prebiotic: Relation between prebiotic and probiotic is symbiotic. Meaning, in the presence of prebiotic- a type of fibre, probiotic-good bacterias in the gut work better to improve our gastrointestinal health for better immunity and for better absorption of nutrients. So to have better health, probiotics should be well fed. Most of the prebiotics are in the outer cover, as in the peels of every fruit and vegetable.
– Great source of Phytochemicals: Plants produce compounds like antioxidants, polyphenols, carotenoids, anthoxanthins and anthocyanins. They are found in the pulp and in peels as well. All these compounds have a positive impact on our body.
Antioxidants for premature ageing, fights against dreaded disease like few types of cancers.
Beta carotene; the active member of the Carotenoids group makes vit. A for healthy eyes, skin and hair.
Polyphenols to treat digestion issues, maintain cardiovascular health and in weight management.
Anthocyanins and anthoxanthins impart vibrant colours to various fruits and vegetables. From yellow, orange, red to purple. Fruits and vegetables are a powerhouse of these compounds. Include them daily.
– Peels have more micro-nutrients than pulp: Non-peeled produce contains more vitamins and minerals than their peeled counterparts.
Vit. C (ascorbic acid) is more in the peels compare to its flesh. Orange, guava, Indian- Gooseberries (amla), kiwi, lemons and vegetables to name a few are broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, potato have an excellent amount of vit.C in their peels. Though in citrus fruits the rind sometimes is not edible, we can use the zest of such fruits for flavouring rather than using artificial flavours.
Likewise, vit. K, vit. E, vit. A, along with vit.C, with antioxidant properties, are found in the peels.
Some vital minerals like zinc, chromium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium are found in the peels and pulp as well, of fruits like apple, banana, berries, apricots, mango, pineapple, strawberries and in vegetables like leafy greens, avocado, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower along with its leaves, cucumber, mushrooms.
So, think before discarding the edible part of the fruits and vegetables as they are equally rather more filled with goodness.
Washing thoroughly or soaking them in water before consumption for at least 30 minutes can help leach out harmful chemicals.