Before eating fruits, many people peel them. Are they missing out on health benefits by doing this?
Eating fruit in place of dessert offers lots of health benefits. Fruits are a excellent source of disease fighting antioxidants and have an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which is important for healthy collagen and a strong immune system. Some people use a peeler to remove the skin before enjoying a piece of fresh fruit. Is peeling fruit before eating it a good idea?
The Disadvantages of Peeling Fruit Before Eating It
Peeling fruit before eating it does reduce some of the health benefits. Fruit peels are a good source of fiber which most people don’t get enough of. The outer skin of some fruits such as the apple are rich in cancer fighting phytochemicals such as triterpenoids that help stop the growth of cancer in the laboratory. In fact, most of the anti-cancer benefits of apples are in the peel rather than the flesh of the fruit.
Even fruit peels from citrus fruits such as the orange have surprising health benefits. Orange rinds contains a natural chemical called d-limonene that’s believed to offer protection against cancer. Few people want to eat the rind of an orange, but the rind can still be used to make orange zest which is another way to get the many health benefits of eating fruit.
The Advantages of Peeling Fruits
Some people are justifiably concerned about the pesticides present in fruit peels. There’s little doubt that pesticide residues on fruits grown non-organically are most concentrated on the outer skin – which is a good reason to peel fruit that’s not organic. On the other hand, organic fruits that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides are now readily available which means people can enjoy the benefits of fruit peels with less concern about the effects of pesticides. Even organic fruit should be thoroughly washed before eating.
Peeling Fruit: The Bottom Line?
The best way to get maximum health benefits from eating fruit is to buy organic fruit whenever possible and keep the peel intact to get the benefits of the fiber along with the additional phytochemicals. On the other hand, it’s best to peel non-organically grown produce. Another option is to soak non-organic fruit in a weak vinegar solution and scrub it well with a brush to remove as much of the pesticide residue as possible.
There’s nothing like a fresh piece of fruit for its taste and health benefits. Eat it whole with the skin as often as possible to maximize the many health benefits that fruit has to offer.