Fruits and vegetables are, without a doubt, an important part of the diet, but not many are aware of the fact that their peels are also rich in phytochemical components such as dietary fiber, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals.
According to an extensive report published by the Boldsky website, the peel of some fruits and vegetables such as lemons, apples and mangoes contains about 15% of phenolic compounds compared to the core of the fruit.
However, it should be noted that some peels are not edible and without health benefits, despite the fact that they contain a high percentage of phenolic compounds.
Orange peel is a rich source of fiber (pectin) and phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, flavonols, phenolic acids, and glycosylated flavonoids. Its contents are characterized by various properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidic, anti-cancer and anti-atherosclerotic.
Its uses include:
• It can be added to tea.
• Dryer and powder to be used as a mask to refresh the facial skin.
• Rubbed on the skin as a way to avoid mosquito bites.
Apple peels contain antioxidant compounds such as catechin, chlorogenic acid, procyanidin, epicatechin, and quercetin in high amounts. Also, the phenolic compounds contained in the peel of the apple are about 2-6 times more than in the core. Apples help prevent a range of chronic and inflammatory diseases when eaten without peeling. Its uses include:
• It can be used to prepare homemade apple cider vinegar.
• It is added to juices, smoothies, apple shakes or other fruits.
• It is made into an antimicrobial room air freshener.
• Dries and grinds for use as a face mask.
A study showed that lemon peel can positively affect obese children and adolescents and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes in later stages. Lemon peel is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, which are known to contain a high percentage of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Its uses include:
• It is added to tea.
• It is used to cleanse the skin or to lighten the darkening of the armpit area.
• It is rubbed on the scalp to treat fungal, bacterial or other scalp infections.
Banana peels represent about 40% of the total weight of the fruit. It is a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibers such as pectin, cellulose, lignin, semi-cellulose and resistant starch, which have many gastrointestinal benefits for humans. Banana peel also contains vital antioxidants such as carotenoids, phenolic acids and catechins, which play a major role in the prevention of many diseases. Its uses include:
It is used as a great moisturizer to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
• Rub it on the hair to make it soft and shiny.
• Rubbed on the teeth to whiten them.
• Reduces the effects of sunburn, insect bites and itching.
Pomegranate peel contains high antioxidants such as flavonoids, anthocyanins and phenolic acids. The pomegranate peel constitutes 50% of the total weight of the fruit, while the weight of its seeds does not exceed 10%, and the bark is 40%. Pomegranate peel has anti-cancer, neurodegenerative, immunodeficiency and anti-osteoporosis properties. Its uses include:
• It is added after dilution and grinding to wheat dough powder to prepare high quality bread with a high content of fiber and polyphenols.
• It is added to tea.
• It is used to prepare pomegranate peel oil that can be applied to the face to prevent aging, acne and other skin diseases.
• It is placed on the hair to prevent hair loss.
Eggplant is a great source of anthocyanins which are known to reduce the risk of MS metabolic syndrome to a great extent. It is useful in the prevention of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Eggplant also contains many other antioxidants and benefits the body in many ways. Its uses include:
• Eggplant skins can be roasted with meat or added to other vegetables to increase the nutrients in the meal.
• Eggplant peel juice can be used as a treatment for facial burns as a result of the heat of the sun’s rays.
• It is dried and ground and then mixed with milk to be used as a treatment for oily facial skin.
Potato peel contains a powerful antioxidant due to the presence of two dominant phenolic compounds, gallic acid and chlorogenic acid. It also contains terpenes, flavonoids, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B, and fiber. These compounds can help prevent heart disease, bacterial infections, and cancer, as well as promote wound healing and weight loss. Its uses include:
• It is used to speed up wound healing.
• It is roasted and eaten in the form of flakes.
• It is used to treat skin burns.
• It is used to lighten dark spots on the skin.
Tomato peels contain rich amounts of carotenoids, phenols and fatty acids. It is also converted into tomato peel oil, which has an abundance of benefits. These compounds have antioxidant properties and can help repair damage to the skin, prevent cardiovascular disease, and reduce the risk of cancer. Its uses include:
• Tomato peels can be fried and used as a crunchy addition to salads and pasta, or added to soups and broths.
• It is dried and turned into a powder to be used as an anti-parasite.
• Apply to wounds to accelerate wound healing.
Cucumber peel is rich in fiber and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and silica, which are important components of muscle, bone, eyes and skin health. This is the reason behind the frequent advice to eat cucumbers without peeling. Its uses include:
• It is added to juices to cool the digestive system.
• Grind and place on the face to calm the skin after sunburn.
• It is roasted and added to salad dishes.
Onion peel contains a high amount of quercetin and dietary fiber, which gives it the advantage of anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. It can help prevent the risks of obesity, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Its uses include:
• It is added to soups and broths to make them thick and nutritious.
• Added while preparing rice to add more vitamins and minerals. It is used during the preparation of homemade bread.
• It is boiled in water to prepare an analgesic for pain and cramps and to treat insomnia.
• Onion peel soaks make a great hair dye and anti-itch lotion.
Although carrot peel accounts for only 11% of its total weight, it can provide about 54.1% of the total content of phenols such as chlorogenic acid and decafylquinic acids. Carrot peel also contains high levels of vitamin C and niacin with powerful anti-cancer properties. Its uses include:
• It can be used to prepare products such as powder, candy and pickles.
• It is mixed with soups and broths to improve the taste and make it nutritious.
• Added to baked goods and can prepare crispy carrot chips.
• It is added to fruit juices.