7 Fruit Peels for Better Health
As the seasons begin to change, you may notice the new varieties of fruit available at your grocery store or farmer's market.
Certain fruits are great for eating for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack; but did you know that you could be using the peels for other health benefits?
For example, an article posted on The Health Site website
reported seven fruit peels that are essential for your health. One of them is watermelon. After you've eaten the juicy pink part, don't be so quick to throw away the peel.
The white part of the peel can help aid in weight loss, and, if rubbed on your skin can help remove excessive dirt.
What are the other six fruit peels you should be using?
Dr. Mike shares the seven fruit peels you should be saving and how they aid in boosting your overall health.
RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: March 31, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD
Healthy Talk with Dr. Michael Smith, MD. And now, here's the country doctor with the city education, Dr. Mike:
DR MIKE: So, let's talk about the health benefit of fruit peels. The peel, right? I think a lot of times, people cut away the peel. Even with apples, I see people cutting away the peels. Turns out, the peel itself has, in some cases, more nutritional value than the pulp—the fruity part. We definitely know there's less sugar in the peel, regardless of the fruit. The pulpy part, what we call the fruity part, that's really, in most cases, 50-60% sugar and water. There are antioxidants in there, but the skin or the peel of the fruit is very beneficial. So, I have a site that I really like to use a lot.
It's a non-technical site and I just want to let everybody know that I have absolutely no connection to this site in any way, shape or form, so whether you go and visit this site or not, that's up to you. I don't get any benefit from it. I just like it. I use it and I came across a little article on the health benefit of fruit peels. I thought, "Wow, that's a great topic." That site is TheHealthSite.com. You can check out some more information about fruit and fruit peels there.
So, I think on TheHealthSite.com, they talked about more than just...I picked five of what I thought were interesting fruit peels to talk about. There were other ones they had there. I'm going to start with—and these aren't necessarily in the order of most healthy to least healthy. They're more in the order I found interesting.
Let's just start with the first one. Pomegranate peel. Of course, this is interesting to me because if you've listened to my show, you know I love pomegranate. I think I talk about it all the time in lectures and radio shows. It's really an amazing fruit, right? But, I've never once thought about the peel. That's the one fruit that I know. You open it up and you get the seeds. Then, what was interesting when I first saw this, I thought, well, okay, so you have that tough red skin, right? That's the peel. In between the tough red peel (skin) and the seed of the pomegranate, which is what most people are eating, there is this white, fibrous part. It's very thick. It's the same fibrous part you can find in citrus fruit as well, but it's just real thick in the pomegranate. I thought maybe that's what they were talking about, but according to this report, no. It really is the red skin, the tough part. I'm not really sure how we're consuming this.
So, there you go. Maybe I need to try this. Personally, I think I would rather boil this and maybe drink the water, but we'll have to see. It goes on to mention that, by the way, the peel can also protect against heart disease. That I understand. A lot of the antioxidants that are found in the seed are also in the peel. Sore throat, bone health, dental hygiene and gut health. Come on! The pomegranate—it's a vitality fruit and it's not just the seed, apparently. It's that tough red skin as well. So, that's the first one.
Second one. This one also kind of caught my eye. The watermelon peel. Now, in this case, it was specific to the white part, not the outside green peel. Again, fruit has this layer of white fibrous material between the peel, the other skin and the pulp. All fruit have it. As I just mentioned, pomegranate has a huge part that's really thick. Watermelon has a decent little rind around it of this white, fibrous part, but that white part, apparently, is packed with many nutrients. The peel itself, which is usually discarded, obviously, might have some benefit in weight loss.
Again, I didn't vet these things in the research, so I encourage you to go check it out yourself. Additionally, when you rub this peel on this skin, it acts as a cleansing or astringent. It can help to remove dirt particles. Of course, I guess just take a shower. Another benefit of watermelon peel is that it reduces the free radicals on your skin thereby preventing skin damage. So, maybe after you shower, before you put on serums and lotions, maybe you rub watermelon peel on you. Maybe that's a potential use. I thought that was interesting. I know my dog likes watermelon and the rind and that is a safe fruit for them. Just make sure they don't get the seeds.
Okay. Number three. Cucumber peels. Now, this one didn't surprise me. I prefer the skin still on the cucumber. As a matter of fact, at my church we just had a spaghetti dinner. We made some salad and one of my jobs, because it's about the only thing I can do and I have to be very careful with this, is to cut vegetables. I'm not good at all in the kitchen. Love to eat. Can't cook. I started cutting and slicing up the cucumber with the peel on. I washed it, of course, and started cutting it up and the guy that was kind of running this for us, I guess I was the sous chef, if you will. He was the chef. He was like, "No! No! You've got to peel that." And he's, of course, the head of the kitchen.
So, I ended up peeling the cucumbers and then slicing. I don't know. I've never done that. I like the cucumber skin. But, apparently, in most cases, it is thrown away. But, it's extremely rich in antioxidants and nutrients. The peel is high in fiber, low in calories. Now, this I do know, there have been a couple of studies on cucumber and antioxidants and, specifically, from the peel, on weight loss.
Nothing significant, but may aid in a nice diet and exercise program. Apparently, according to this report on TheHealthSite.com, it prevents constipation. That I haven't heard. I guess it's just the fiber, I assume. Aside from this, cucumber peel is loaded with beta-carotene. That's a type of vitamin A. Vitamin K, which, as we know, vitamin K1 is what you're going to find in the vegetables, but vitamin K1 does turn into vitamin K2. I've done a whole segment on that and vitamin K2 is extremely important for how your body manages calcium. There is apparently some calcium in the cucumber as well. So, you're going to help with bone and maybe preventing blood clots and even improve vision with the beta-carotene.
So, yes. The cucumber peel—I wouldn't peel it. Slice it up just with the peel on it. That's the way to do it. But, be respectful. Don't make a chef mad. He's actually a good friend of mine, Joe Robert. I can make fun of him. So, I always volunteer for him for church functions and he's actually fired me as volunteer because I'm not really good in the kitchen.
Okay. Let's go to the apple peel. Now, this one, I think, is more familiar with people. You know, the apple peel has one particular type of fiber that's so important. It's called pectin. Oh, it's so good for you. As a matter of fact, there's a form of pectin called modified pectin, specifically that's good for detoxification, getting rid of metals and even having some anti-cancer properties. So, definitely apple peels are important.
Then, of course, lemon peels, right? Lemons and the peel itself are loaded with vitamin C. Great for skin and producing collagen. Great for your gums, bone health. So, definitely try to use some of the skin, maybe in some cool water. There you go. Fruit peels for health.
This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.