Fruits and Vegetables: Nutritional Benefits in the Skin and Peel

(RxWiki News) The skin or peel of fruits and vegetables is a concentrated source of healthy vitamins and minerals.

When you remove the peel or skin from fruits and vegetables, you lose a lot of nutrition. The skin is a concentrated source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and potentially beneficial phytochemicals. Some appealing facts:

  • The pigments in produce are healthful, and the peels or skins are often the most colorful part.
  • Vegetable peels or skins are particularly good sources of insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation.
    • Some peels, notably apple, are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol and control blood sugar.
  • Apple peels may also help prevent cancer.
    • Lab research has found that whole apples have a much greater effect on cancer cells than peeled ones, probably because of antioxidants in the skin.
  • Ounce for ounce, potato skin has far more fiber, iron, potassium, and B vitamins than the flesh. It’s also rich in antioxidants.
    • The only reason to avoid the skin is if the potato has a greenish tinge.
  • You don’t need to wash fruits and vegetables in soap or detergent—plain water is fine.
    • It will remove nearly all dirt, as well as bacteria and some pesticide residues, if any, on the surface.
    • Scrub firmer produce like potatoes with a vegetable brush.
    • The wax on cucumbers, apples, tomatoes, and eggplants is harmless.