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When we eat citrus fruits, we tend to throw away their peels, but did you know that the peels have many health benefits too? The peels of the citrus fruits contain various phytochemicals like limonene, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, and potassium which make the peel much more nutritional and healthier than the fruit.
The phytochemicals present in the peels have cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties while the potassium present in the citrus peels aids in managing blood pressure. Let's discuss more about the various health benefits of the peels of citrus fruits and include them in our diet.
Do consult your nutritionist before you choose to do so in order to avoid any sort of health complications especially if you lack calcium or had a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Consuming the zest of citrus fruits every could mess with your body's calcium absorbing ability and may affect your bone health adversely as citrus peels contain oxalates, which can affect your body's ability to absorb minerals.
Health Benefits of Citrus Peel
1. Protects From Cancer
The peels of citrus fruits are antioxidant-rich, they shield us from cancer. It has also been found that the peels of citrus fruits like lemon, mandarin and grapefruit contain compounds which aid in preventing any form of damage caused to our cells by radiation. The high levels of vitamin C present in the citrus fruits help in improving the impact of the antioxidants on our body.
2. May Help In Preventing Diabetes
According to a research published by the Journal of Life Sciences, the citrus peels which contain polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) may help in averting diabetes. As per the research, the levels of serum triglycerides (TG), as well as cholesterol, were found to have been reduced by the citrus peel extracts. These are known to trigger diabetes as well as obesity. The insulin sensitivity in the body might improve with the help of the citrus peel extracts.
3. May Lower Cholesterol Levels
As per a research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, including citrus peels in your diet can aid in lowering your cholesterol levels due to the presence of the PMFs in it. In a research that was carried out on hamsters who were given a cholesterol triggering diet which included just 1% of PMFs, it was observed that the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL were cut by up to 40 per cent. Another similar study conducted on humans portrayed similar results, a drop was observed in the total cholesterol levels. Apart from improving your heart health, citrus peels might also aid in curing heartburn.
4. Helps To Improve Digestion
Lemon peel is known to aid digestion, it helps by relieving issues like acid reflux, acidity and cramps. The compound limonene present in the citrus peel aids in curbing heartburn, a report by Mother Earth Medicine revealed. So if you suffer from indigestion, gastritis, etc., you can curb them naturally just by including citrus peels in your meals.
5. Combats Microbes
The oils present in the citrus peels, especially in lemon peels, have strong antimicrobial properties. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology stated that lemon peel has antibacterial, antiviral as well as anti-fungal properties. It helps in fighting cold and flu, in addition to fighting intestinal parasites and bacterial infections. Citrus peels aid in boosting your immunity.
How To Include Citrus Peels In Your Diet?
Take any citrus fruit of your choice, use a zester or grater to get the peel from the fruit. Try getting organically grown citrus fruits instead of the conventionally grown fruits, doing so would help in preventing the chances of pesticide consumption. You can use the zest for making jams, the zest helps in making the jams even more delicious.
You can also add the zest in smoothies and increase its nutritional value as well as flavour. Another simple way to have citrus peels is by adding the zest in a bowl of yogurt, you can top it with fruits and nuts of your choice and drizzle some honey on it.
The zest of citrus fruits can also be included in salad dressings and also be used while baking muffins, pies and cakes.