Benefits of Eating Orange Peel and How to Enjoy

The majority of people normally throw away orange peels after consuming the oranges. However, many individuals are not aware of the fact that orange peels are packed full of minerals and other nutrients that are highly beneficial for their health. Greater than 55 types of flavonoids and more than 170 phytonutrients of different kinds are present in orange peels along with various types of minerals, vitamins, pectins and fiber. Let us discuss some health benefits of eating orange peel and other things to know.

Nutritional Basics of Orange Peel

If you eat around 100 g of orange peel or an entire orange peel you will consume 98 calories, 1.6 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates and 10.5 g fiber. Since you may not find consuming an entire orange peel very appetizing, you may consider eating 1 tbsp of orange peel, which is around 6 g of peel and contains 6 calories, 0.10 g protein, 1.6 g carbohydrates and 0.5 g fiber. Very little amount of fat, no cholesterol and no sodium is present in orange peel. Orange peel is a rich source of flavonoids such as PMFs (polymethoxyflavones) and hesperidin and other phytochemicals.

Minerals and vitamins

Orange peel is rich in vitamin C and one tbsp of peel contains around 8.2 mg of vitamin C. Other vitamins that are present in orange peel include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, folate, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6. The minerals present in orange peel are calcium (10 mg) and small quantities of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium and zinc.

Benefits of Eating Orange Peel

1. It helps with excess weight

One reason why people don’t like to eat orange peel is that it tastes bitter, but orange peel helps in losing excess weight as it has lots of fiber and contains fewer calories. By adding bulk to foods it helps in reducing the overall intake of calories; thereby, helping you shed those extra pounds. It also suppresses excess gain of weight by your body and prevents adipose tissue formation.

2. It has anti-inflammatory properties

Orange peel has anti-inflammatory properties similar to the drug indomethacin and helps in suppressing inflammation.

3.  It relieves problems of the respiratory tract

It provides great support for relieving respiratory distress and is effective in treating asthma. It helps in cleansing the lungs as it plays a key role in phlegm break down and expulsion. High amounts of compounds that help to reduce histamine and various types of antioxidants are present in orange peel, which aids in relieving different respiratory diseases such as cold, flu, bronchitis and lung cancer.

Histamine is a type of chemical that is responsible for producing allergic reactions. Hence, orange peel works as a potential anti-allergic food; thereby, relieving runny nose and sneezing from allergies. Orange peel contains a compound known as beta-cryptoxanthin, which has been shown to reduce lung cancer significantly.

4.  It prevents complications of the digestive tract

Orange peel contains high amounts of a kind of dietary fiber called non-soluble polysaccharides such as tannins, hemi-cellulose and pectins. These compounds help in preventing constipation by increasing the bulk of stool and decreasing the time for which the food remains in contact with the intestines. Eating orange peel also prevents heartburn, acidity and vomiting.

5.  It improves oral health and whitens teeth

Are you suffering from foul or bad breath? You can get rid of the bad odor coming from your mouth naturally by chewing orange peel instead of mouth freshener or gum. Orange peels also help in whitening stained teeth along with improving teeth sensitivity. To whiten your teeth you can rub the inside portion of the orange peel or you can also apply a paste of it on your teeth.

6.  It protects you from cancer

According to several studies, it also reduces the risk of several cancers including breast, colon and skin cancer. It protects against cancer of the colon by getting attached to toxic chemicals present in food; thereby, preventing the mucous membrane of the intestines from getting exposed to those toxic chemicals.

7.  It improves health of heart

Nobiletin, which is a kind of polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), is present in orange peel. PMFs are compounds which have shown to exert beneficial effect on the health of heart and lowers blood pressure. The risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease is reduced by these compounds and they also reduce levels of blood cholesterol (LDL) in the body.

8.  It boosts the immune system

It contains high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, which helps in strengthening the immune system. Thus you will be less prone to get flu, cold or cough infection.

Concerns when Eating Orange Peel

Main concern while eating peel of orange is its origin. In case you consume a peel that is non-organic, then you may be eating something that contains lots of chemicals. Hence, choose orange peel from an orange that is from a certified orange orchard or farm and which displays a green and white USDA certified organic sticker.

Another concern that is noted by USDA is its digestibility. Large portions of the orange peel may not get digested in the stomach. In you can’t eat the outer, tough orange peel; you may still get the nutrients from inner portion of the peel. Albedo or the white inner portion of the peel has fiber, vitamin C, pectin, glucarate and limonene.

How to Incorporate Orange Peel in Diet

Before using the peel, make sure to wash the fruit well, even if you are using an organic variety. The easiest method to include orange peel in your diet is to grate zest and then add it to your cookies, breads, salads, yogurt, dressings, tea, vegetables, desserts and fish. You may also blend the peel of orange while making smoothies. 

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