You all know that citrus fruits are filled with health-promoting enzymes, nutrients and phytochemicals. But studies have shown that the peel, which is usually thrown-out, is often more nutritious than the fruit itself.
Citrus peels contain compounds that provide additional health benefits. They are packed with calcium, vitamin C, antioxidant and bioflavonoids. Also they provide potassium, which helps maintain blood pressure and limonene, a phytochemical that may have anti-cancer effects.
Health Benefits of Citrus Peels:
1. Anti-bacterial Properties
A study which was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, stated that the oils in lemon peel contains strong antimicrobial activity. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. This means it could help fight flu, colds, intestinal parasites and bacterial infections.
2. Antioxidant Properties
Citrus peels contain high antioxidant, which helps protect DNA from cancer-causing damage. Also, one of the compounds found in the peel of lemon, grapefruit and mandarin can decrease radiation-induced harm to cells.
3. Improves Digestion
Lemon peel can help digestion by decreasing cramping and gas. Mother Earth Medicine reported that the limonene present in citrus peel, helps in the relief of heartburn. Also, it relieves acid reflux and supports peristalsis, which is the movement of food through the digestive tract.
4.Lower Cholesterol Level
As per the Prepared Foods Network, citrus peels may help contribute in lowering your risks of heart disease. A study which was published in the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry” found that the PMF compounds present in citrus peels can help to lower cholesterol when included in your diet.
5. Prevent Diabetes
A recent research published in the “Journal of Life Sciences” indicates that citrus peel extract, which contains polymethoxylated flavones or PMFs may help prevent diabetes. The study showed that citrus peel extract help reduced the level of serum triglycerides or TG and cholesterol. Both of these are known to contribute to disorders such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, citrus peel extract may help improve insulin sensitivity.
How to Get the Citrus Peel?
You may use a zester. If you do not have one, you can use a grater instead.
How to Use the Peel?
Lime or lemon zest is perfect in fruit smoothies and may also be add into plain yogurt. You can add it to pies, muffins and salad dressings.
Also, it is advisable to choose organic, most especially when you are eating the peels, because the skins of conventionally grown citrus fruits may contain pesticide residue.
But, if you have a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones and low calcium levels, check with your doctor before zesting every day. Citrus peels contain oxalates, which may interfere with your body’s calcium absorption.