All You Need to Know About Orange Peels

Oranges are one of the most refreshing and common citrus fruits. They are versatile too. For instance, you can chop them into a salad, add it to a custard, or simply consume it raw. However, not many people know that the peels carry value as well. While you may not be able to eat it directly, you can definitely use add it to your diet. Alternatively, you can use it in your skincare or haircare routine.

Introduction

Orange peels carry health-promoting compounds such as vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. First, it contains A, B6, and C. Vitamin C, in particular, can enable heart and digestive health, as well as anti-cancer protection. This is so vitamin dense that just 1 tbsp of this peel (6 grams) can contains 14% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C. This is almost three times that of how much the fruit itself offers!

Second, it contains limonene. This is a natural chemical which protects you from cancer and inflammation. It wards away skin cancer in particular. Thus, these traces are especially helpful in tandem with a healthy diet.

Thirdly, it is rich in polyphenols. These are plant compounds which help to prevent and manage chronic conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Don’t just take this from us, though. A test tube study published by PubMed notes that the polyphenol content on the peel was actually higher than the fruit itself. This plays a key role in guarding you against cancer.

Fourthly, and most importantly, orange peels are fibre dense. Just one tbs packs in 4 times more fibre than the actual fruit. Thus, they keep you fuller for longer, and prevent overeating. In addition, it keeps your digestive system healthy.

Benefits

With regular use of orange peels, you’ll eventually notice the wonders it brings to your body. Here are just a couple of the multiple benefits they bring.

Orange Peels and Your Body

First, the high vitamin C content of orange peels boosts lung health. It namely prevents congestion and cleanses the lungs of phlegm. By extension, it acts as a natural immunity booster and prevents the flu or cold. So, opt for a mug of hot orange tea when you’re under the weather. This will instantly provide relief to your respiratory system and leave you feeling better.

Second, orange peels contain high levels of pectin. This is a form of fibre which regulates blood sugar levels. Further, these peels gets rid of a harmful protein source (RLIP76), which wards away high blood sugar levels. Most importantly, this contains a low glycemic load (just 5). This causes only a minimal increase in blood sugar levels.

Third, oranges and their peels are an excellent weight loss ingredient. This is because it is fibre-dense and low in calories. As a result, it keeps you satisfied for longer and prevents the need to binge. The presence of fibre also boosts regular digestive health. In fact, citrus peels in general help to treat stomach ailments. Further, the presence of vitamin C helps you burn fat.

Fourth, orange peels contain antibacterial properties which keep your teeth healthy. They namely protect your teeth from plaque and germs. For these reasons, you can naturally whiten your teeth through orange peels. The limonene, in particular, serves as a natural solvent and scent to refresh your teeth.

Fifth, and finally, these peels can give you naturally glowing skin. It namely treats skin ailments such as blackheads, dead cells, acne and blemishes, and improves overall complexion. You can reap these benefits further through a face mask with milk or curd. This will not only give you that extra glow, but can remove tan lines too.

Precautionary Measures

If orange peels are this great, then why aren’t we all eating them? Like most other substances, these come with certain drawbacks. In addition, they may impose additional risks on those with certain health conditions or predispositions. Be sure that you are aware of these before you use it.

Pesticide Residue

Many inorganic fruits and vegetables may contain traces of fertilisers or pesticides. These protect the plant from mould or insects. Further, they can enhance plant growth. However, these stay on the fruit even once you’ve bought them, and can thus adversely affect your health. For instance, it increases the risk of cancer, hormone disfunction, and indigestion.

Nevertheless, this isn’t the case with all fruit peels. Some fruits have larger concentrations of pesticides, while this is negligible in others. As a result, the level of hazard may also vary significantly. There are two ways you can keep yourself safe.

Firstly, opt for organic oranges whenever you can. This is a safe and all-natural choice, although it is often more expensive. Secondly, make sure to wash store-bought oranges under hot water. This washes away residue, and thus makes peels safe for consumption.

Difficulty in Digestion

Nearly all fruits and vegetables have a hard (and typically inedible) outer cover. This helps to pack in the seeds and keeps the fruit compact. Orange peels, in particular, have a tough outer cover and high fibre content. In addition, they carry a bitter and astringent taste. In fact, just two pieces of orange peel at a time can cause cramps or bloating. So, it’s no surprise that many people would prefer to throw these away and go for the juicier fruit instead.

There’s an easy solution around this. Rather than consuming orange peels in their raw form, you can use this in teas, cakes, salads, infusion water, and even certain rice dishes. Further, ‘orange zest’ or grated orange peel adds a refreshing touch to most desserts. Above all, orange tea (made with the peel) is one of the most soothing forms of consumption. This acts as a natural immunity booster as well.

Takeaways

Orange peels are a fantastic ingredient to refresh and rejuvenate your body. This is because they contain abundant nutrients, minerals, and flavonoids, all of which promote long term health. For instance, these peels can specifically boost lung, teeth, and skin health, and can promote weight loss. However, the inorganic form may contain pesticides or residue which harms your health. Further, these peels themselves are tough and difficult to digest. Make sure to wash them well and use them correctly (baked, grated, or in a cake or salad) so you enjoy the flavour and taste as well.

Check out some Ayurvedic tips for weight loss here. 

Join us here at Mekosha for a relaxing Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala. 

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