The 14 Healthiest Fruit and Vegetable Peels

May 9, 2022

Fruits and vegetable peels are the most nutrient-packed part that is usually thrown away. There are some characteristics of the peels that make them beneficial. 

  1. Peels can double or triple nutrients: peels contain more nutrients than the rest of the fruit and can increase nutrient intake drastically. 
  2. Peels contain a lot of fiber: fiber is essential for regulating digestion and feeding good bacteria in the gut which may help with weight management. Up to 1/3 of the fiber content in vegetables and fruits is found in the peels.
  3. Peels are sky-high in antioxidants: antioxidants are concentrated in the outer layer of fruits and vegetables and help with younger-looking skin and many other benefits. 

Top Fruit and Vegetable Peels to Eat

  1. Citrus Fruit: they are great immune-boosting foods because they have a high amount of vitamin C. Their peels contain 2-3 times more vitamin C than the inner fruit. The peels also contain volatile essential oils. Biting into the rind of a citrus fruit is not ideal, but grating it and using the zest in recipes is a great way to consume the peels. 
  2. Apples: apple peel contains vitamin E and folate as well as vitamin K. Vitamin K is a blood-clotting nutrient and has an important role in bone metabolism and calcium regulation. 
  3. Potatoes: minerals are concentrated in the skin of potatoes. They also contain resistance starch which feeds the good bacteria in the gut.
  4. Watermelon: watermelon contains citrulline (an amino acid that gets transformed into arginine), but citrulline is present at a much higher concentration in the white rind. 
  5. Cucumbers: inner flesh of cucumbers contain 96% water; therefore, many of the nutrient reside in the skin of cucumbers. The skin contains higher amounts of vitamin K and minerals such as selenium, magnesium, and calcium. They are also high in flavonoids. 
  6. Peaches: studies found that peach skin contain antioxidants like caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid as well as carotenoids. Carotenoids have many anti-aging benefits for the skin. Support eye health, and increase immune function. 
  7. Zucchini: the highest antioxidant content is found in the skin of zucchini. The peels contain vitamin C and potassium. 
  8. Mangoes: mango peels are rich in antioxidant vitamins E and C and contain a significant amount of fiber. They also contain urushiol which is a natural chemical that some people may be allergic to. 
  9. Pears: they contain soluble and insoluble fiber which help regulate bowl movements and feed good bacteria in the gut. They are also rich in antioxidants which lower inflammation and risk of heart disease. 
  10. Tomatoes: tomato skin contains naringenin chalcone that has anti-allergic activity and works by inhibiting histamine release hence inhibiting allergic reactions. 
  11. Eggplant: eggplant peels contain anthocyanins which is a great antioxidant.
  12. Grapes: they contain resveratrol which is an incredibly powerful antioxidant mostly concentrated in the peels of grapes. 
  13. Kiwis: kiwi peels are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. Scraping the fuzz with a spoon or cloth can help with comfortable consumption of the peel. 
  14. Bananas: banana peels are rich in potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and tryptophan. Adding chunks of them to a smoothie helps give extra nutrient boost. 

It is best to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them with their peels/skin on because conventional produce is sprayed with toxic pesticides which is concentrated in the peel. Also keep in mind that some fruit peels like mangoes and kiwis can cause mouth irritation, so it is best to start with small amounts to ensure no reaction. 

The Power of Peels for Skincare

Citrus peels have powerful skin-boosting properties such as brightening skin and balancing oil production. For example, orange peels have anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce the appearance of redness. 

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