The peels of many fruits are the most under-valued and overlooked parts when it comes to health. Take a look at the secret diaries (or modern-day blog) of any naturalist and you will find a range of beauty remedies as well as health benefits that you can take advantage of simply by keeping the peels of some of the fruits on when you eat them.
Orange Peel Health Benefits
Orange peel in particular is known and used widely by those who are into an organic lifestyle, perhaps because the fruit is available almost everywhere in the world today. We’re pretty sure that after you’re done reading about these health benefits, you’ll be collecting bits of the orange peel next time you dig into the fruit.
Fibrous fruit like oranges have a marvellous effect on the digestive system. They help clean out your insides and aid greatly in regulating bowel movements. One of the best orange peel health benefits is that it has over 200% more fiber than the flesh of the fruit! If you suffer from regular digestion problems, try an orange peel tea. First, leave the orange peel out in the sun till it is dry. If you don’t have the patience, buy dried orange peel. Soak a little, about a teaspoon full, in 450 ml of hot water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes, longer if you can take the strong flavor. Drinking the resulting tea will prove to be a pretty effective laxative.
Helps with Bad Breath
Throw away those sugary mint pellets and extra-strong gum. Chewing on orange peel can help alleviate bad breath. Do it on a regular basis and you may even be able to ditch your mouthwash in the morning.
Gives you Stronger Bones
Little-known fact – oranges contain calcium too and are a decent source of the nutrient. However, orange peel has more than twice the amount of calcium that oranges do. 100 gm of orange peel packs more than 150 mg of calcium while 100 gm of orange flesh holds less than 50 mg. As you probably already know, calcium is crucial for the health and maintenance of your bones as well as your teeth.
Battles Heart Disease
There are as many active ingredients in orange peel as there are in the actual fruit. One of them, hesperidin, is a fantastic antioxidant which protects your heart by lowering your blood pressure – the top cause of heart disease. In addition, orange peel helps to lower your cholesterol, thus adding another layer of protection against cardiovascular problems.
An Effective Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation within the body is never a good thing. The problem is that it occurs more often in the modern world due to stress and unhealthy eating habits. Inflammation inevitably raises your risk for other health issues like lupus, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Orange peels are known to be rather effective at lessening inflammation. Those suffering from very severe inflammation often find relief by incorporating orange peel in their diet on a regular basis.
Where there are antioxidants, there is the potential for a cancer-fighting food. So orange peel is recommended for those at high risk since the peel has a higher concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids which have been shown to reduce cancer risk as well as be instrumental in the cure for the disease.
Improves Immune System
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for overall health. Everyone knows that it is available in large quantities in oranges, but it’s the orange peel that holds the higher concentrations. Regular intake of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the occurrence of minor illnesses and lead to better health, making the common cold, fatigue, infections and headaches a thing of the past. Vitamin A, another vital nutrient in orange peel, also aids to boost your immune system in addition to improving your vision.
Help with that Cold
We’ve already seen that orange peel has more vitamin C than the orange itself. Vitamin C is known to help tremendously when battling a cold. Soak orange peel in some boiling water. Let it sit for a bit. Drink this from time to time during the day and your cold will disappear sooner than usual.
How to Consume more Orange Peel
- There’s always that orange peel tea we mentioned earlier.
- You can just break off a piece of orange peel and chew on it. Be careful that you start with a small portion as orange peels aren’t the yummiest things to put in your mouth and you may be put off by the strong flavor.
- Why not just eat it with the orange flesh? That will help to mask the flavor of the peel too.
- Can’t stand the flavor even with the smallest bites? Grate orange peel over your salad or your dessert. The flavor is a real pick-me-up so it will do more than make your food taste better. The fresh smell of the orange peel will make you feel more alert too.
- You can also julienne parts of the peel to your fruit salads or use them in your recipes.
- Dried orange peel is now easily available too and you may find it easier to stomach.
- Soak orange peels in sugar syrup and store in the fridge.
- Orange shavings and dark chocolate is a yummy flavor combination. You can sprinkle it on a chocolate square or, better still, melt your chocolate first and lightly coat juliennes of orange peel with it.
- Sprinkle a little orange zest into your cakes for a tangy surprise! Mind you, just put in a little bit because the flavor is really strong and can overwhelm the cake entirely if you end up adding too much.
Caution: Since most orange orchards are sprayed with pesticides today, the orange peels can have high concentrations of the poison on them. But that’s not all. To make oranges look more appealing, wax is rubbed on them. So make sure you wash orange peels properly before eating them. When buying dried orange peel, ensure that it is sold by a trusted brand.