Oranges are a citrus fruit with a pitted peel and are well known for their vitamin C content which is a powerful antioxidant, helping protect your cell damage. They also contain health-promoting compounds known as flavonoids and are a good source of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium and potassium. While oranges are a great source of nutrients, essential for overall health, their peels are equally important that you can include in your everyday diet. It actually contains higher amounts of certain nutrients than the flesh, so using recipes that incorporate the zest of orange will give your diet an extra boost.
Although orange peel may not look appetising, it can be extremely beneficial in boosting your metabolism, controlling blood pressure and improving skin appearance, to name a few.
Though orange peel is edible, it is not as sweet or juicy as the pulp. It actually contains more fiber than the fruit inside contains. If you do not eat the peel, you will miss a good amount of nutrients. It has flavonoids, vitamin A, C, B6 and B5, calcium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folate and dietary fiber. Leaving the tough outer part of the peel, the white inner part between the skin and the fruit can be consumed. It is sour or bitter in taste but it actually contains just as much vitamin C as the fruit itself with a good deal of fiber. The bitter taste is the result of many flavonoids that orange peel contains.
Orange peel offers a range of many health benefits including:
Improves digestion: Orange peel contains pectin that prevents constipation and improves digestion. It helps fight acidity and heartburn. Being rich in fiber, it is good for the digestive system.
Strengthens immune system: The high levels of vitamin C in orange peel offer anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may help prevent the release of a chemical that can cause allergic reactions. The peel also helps in cleansing your lungs that help to expel phlegm and fights off cold, flu and other respiratory illnesses. Also, it helps in suppressing inflammation. Thus it helps improve the immune system of the body.
Heart-friendly: Orange peels are rich in flavonoids, hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones that have been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol in animal studies. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in healthy heart functioning.
Helps prevent cancer: Flavonoids in orange peels have a number of anti-cancer effects. In addition, they are absolutely overflowing with antioxidant compounds which aid in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer.
Helps in weight-loss: Being full of fiber, orange peel is good for satiety. It promotes fat burns due to its vitamin C content. Make herbal tea using fresh lemon rind and water. It is one of the best ways to reduce weight.
Speeds up metabolism: Orange peels help in increasing your metabolism and improving energy and stamina. Consuming orange peel tea is one of the most effective ways to increase metabolism.
Improves oral health: Orange peel is an important component for oral health. It helps to remove yellow marks from the teeth and treats bad breath. Rub orange peel slowly over your teeth before going to sleep at night. Let it work overnight. Rinse your mouth in the morning. Use this remedy thrice a week until you get the desired results.
Beneficial for skin: Grind orange peel and use it as a scrub for healthy glowing skin. Orange peel is loaded with vitamin C which aids in skin exfoliation and helps to dry out acne improving the overall look of your skin. Lemon peel is also well known for having anti-ageing benefits. It contains powerful antioxidants that protect your skin against free radicals.
Good for diabetes: Lemon zest may contain key ingredients that help to manage blood glucose levels. Nutrients found in lemon peel specifically polyphenols, can help improve insulin resistance.
One of the easiest ways to eat orange peels is to grate the zest and add it to salads, dressings, yogurt, tea, vegetables, stews and non-vegetarian dishes. You can also dry the peel and grind it to a powder form to be sprinkled on various food items. A candied orange peel can also be made and used for garnishing desserts, dips and chocolate dishes. It can also be infused with olive oil to make it perfect to serve with salads or veggies. You can strip it fresh and use it on cakes and salad dressings for a tangy hit. The peel’s digestibility can be a big concern here. Instead of consuming large chunks of the peel, chopping it into smaller pieces or strips would be easier to consume and better for digestion. It can be grated to add in oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies. The peel will give an extra boost of nutrients and fiber to your food. Always remember to wash well the whole orange (even if it is organic) prior to use the peel.
Oranges are one of the most popular fruits worldwide, but very few consume the peel. It is often discarded due to its taste, texture or in order to avoid consuming pesticides. However, throwing the peel in the bin can keep you deprived of one of the most nutrient-rich parts of this fruit. Although it is now being popularly used for garnishing or as an addition of a tangy flavour to any dish, but recent studies have included it among the category of natural ingredients which may help you keep fit and healthy.
Thanks to orange peels!