Eating a generous helping of colorful fruits and vegetables every day is vital to good health because they provide important vitamins and nutrients. However, many of us are not aware that peeling some fruits and vegetables is a mistake because their peels are loaded with extra nutrition and unique antioxidants.
So, you might want to set aside the peeler when it comes to these fruits and veggies:
Fresh potatoes sans fatty accoutrements are quite healthful, low in calories, and are a good source of vitamins C and B6, phosphorous, niacin, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and zinc. But you are missing out on all the extra nutrients when you peel your potatoes.
Baking them is considered the best way to keep all the antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, and electrolytes within the spud. Also, when you boil the potatoes keep their skin on because in that way the nutrients won’t leach into the water.
Carrots offer many benefits for eye, mouth, and overall physical health. They are rich in beta-carotene and when ingested beta-carotene becomes vitamin A, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system, lowers the risk of heart disease, and protects against free radicals.
The outer flesh of carrots are unique in that they contain a few non-nutritive phytochemicals- carotenoids, terpenes, and polyphenols- which help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, and other chronic illnesses.
Cucumbers are rich in potassium and fiber, they are about 95% water which makes them deeply hydrating, and are low in calories. They contain flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes which protect against cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease.
Leave the skin on the cucumber if you want to achieve these benefits in full. Keep in mind that most of the nutrition is concentrated in the peel.
If you prefer to eat apples without the peel, you are missing out on some important nutrients. Apples contain pectin which comes from the peel, as well as a suite of phytochemicals that help regulate blood sugar, improve breathing and lung function, and promote cardiovascular health.
Kiwi is a great source of fiber, vitamins E and K, copper, potassium, manganese, and folate. It contains more vitamin C than an orange. You might be surprised to learn the peel of the kiwi is entirely edible. The fuzzy exterior can be gently cleaned by rubbing it under cool water.