Orange peel is often overlooked and discarded as waste, but little do people know that it is a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, orange peel can be a valuable addition to your diet. In this article, we will explore the various health benefits of orange peel and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
1. Rich in Vitamin C: Just like the fruit itself, orange peel is an excellent source of vitamin C. This essential nutrient plays a crucial role in boosting our immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells that help fight off infections and diseases. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
2. Boosts Digestive Health: Orange peel contains dietary fiber that aids in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. It also supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria which helps improve overall digestion.
3. Fights Cancer: The high levels of flavonoids present in orange peel have been shown to possess anti-cancer properties. These compounds inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation within the body. Regular consumption of orange peel may help lower the risk of certain cancers such as breast, colon, lung, skin, and prostate cancer.
4. Supports Heart Health: The flavonoids found in orange peels are not only beneficial for fighting cancer but also for promoting heart health. They help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Controls Blood Pressure: Orange peels contain hesperidin—a flavonoid known for its ability to lower blood pressure levels by relaxing blood vessels and improving circulation throughout the body.
6. Manages Weight: Including orange peel in your diet can aid weight management due to its high fiber content that promotes feelings of fullness while curbing cravings for unhealthy snacks. Additionally, the peel contains a compound called synephrine, which has been found to increase metabolism and promote weight loss.
7. Improves Skin Health: Orange peel is an excellent natural remedy for improving skin health. It contains essential oils that have antibacterial properties, helping to fight acne and reduce breakouts. The high vitamin C content in orange peels also helps boost collagen production, resulting in firmer and more youthful-looking skin.
8. Enhances Oral Health: Chewing on dried orange peels can help freshen your breath naturally due to their antimicrobial properties. The peel also contains calcium and vitamin C, which are vital for maintaining strong teeth and gums.
9. Reduces Inflammation: Orange peel possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions by reducing swelling and pain.
10. Boosts Brain Function: Certain compounds present in orange peel have neuroprotective effects that may improve cognitive function and prevent age-related mental decline such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Incorporating Orange Peel into Your Diet:
Now that we understand the numerous health benefits of orange peel, let’s explore some simple ways to incorporate it into our daily routine:
1. Zest it up: The most common way to use orange peel is by grating or zesting it over various dishes such as salads, desserts, or even stir-fries for an added burst of flavor.
2. Infused water or tea: Add a few strips of fresh or dried orange peel to your water bottle or steep them with green tea for a refreshing citrusy twist.
3. Candied Orange Peel: Boil thin strips of orange peel in water until tender; then simmer them in sugar syrup until coated with a sugary glaze. These candied peels make delicious snacks on their own or can be used as toppings for cakes and desserts.
4. Homemade Cleaners: Make your own natural cleaners by infusing white vinegar with orange peels. The citrus oils in the peel act as a natural degreaser and leave your home smelling fresh.
5. Smoothies: Add a small piece of orange peel to your smoothies for an extra nutritional boost. Be sure to thoroughly wash the orange before using the peel.
It’s important to note that when consuming orange peel, it is best to use organic oranges or wash conventionally grown oranges thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue.
In conclusion, don’t underestimate the power of orange peel! From boosting immunity and aiding digestion to promoting heart health and improving skin, this often discarded part of the fruit is a treasure trove of health benefits. So next time you enjoy an orange, think twice before tossing away its valuable peel.