When eating oranges, most of us will throw its outer layer away, thinking that the skin is inedible. While an orange peel has a bitter flavor, you can definitely eat or add this food to numerous recipes. In fact, the fruit’s rind is rich in various nutrients and other substances that can strengthen your body. To give you a better idea, here are the health benefits of orange peels.
The Health Benefits of Orange Peels
1. Fights Inflammation and Free Radicals
Our bodies are constantly exposed to various substances that can harm our health. The best examples are the free radicals present in your food and surroundings. As you know, these unstable molecules can damage your cells and DNA, leading to several ailments such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic inflammation. To fight the free radicals, experts recommend including foods rich in antioxidants in your daily meals.
The good news is that orange peels contain polymethoxyflavones (PMFs) that can stop the negative effects of the free radicals. But, that’s not all. These types of compounds also possess strong anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help prevent cancer.
2. Strengthens Your Immune System
Like lemons, oranges are among the most popular sources of vitamin C. But, the fruit’s flavorful and juicy flesh is not the only part with ascorbic acid. Orange peels are also rich in vitamin C. As you know, taking this specific nutrient may help prevent the common colds or flu by boosting your body’s immune cells or defenders. Aside from that, you can also get vitamin A from the fruit’s rind- another essential nutrient that improves your immune function. Thus, one of the most valuable health benefits of orange peels is strengthening your body’s defense against harmful substances and disease-causing microorganisms.
3. Prevents Heart Diseases
Aside from preventing the common colds, eating orange peels can also promote a healthy heart. This effect is due to the rind’s hesperidin and nobiletin contents. Basically, these compounds are not only capable of reducing inflammation in your body. These substances can also help ward off common heart problems by stabilizing your blood pressure and lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
4. Good for Your Lungs
With today’s pollution problems, the harmful particles in the air may irritate and infect our lungs, leading to respiratory problems like a cough and colds. Fortunately, one of the most popular health benefits of orange peels is cleansing and strengthening your lungs. Basically, this edible fruit rind has compounds that can break down and expel phlegm (sticky mucus).
Aside from that, you can also drink a tea made from orange peels as a natural remedy for allergies. The main reason is due to the rind’s substances that can reduce irritation and prevent your body from releasing histamine.
5. Improves Your Digestive Health
As you know, numerous bitter-flavored products like citrus peels can enhance your body’s ability to break down food. But, there’s more. Orange peels are also rich fiber such as pectin and hemicellulose. Basically, pectin, a soluble fiber, can help clean your intestines. The insoluble fiber (hemicellulose), on the other hand, stimulates bowel movement, preventing constipation.
Some Words of Caution
Although orange peels have various healing properties, you have to be cautious when eating citrus rinds. Keep in mind that a lot of fresh produces have herbicides, pesticides, and other toxic substances on their skin. For this reason, it is necessary to wash the fruit thoroughly before consumption. You can also try using a vinegar solution to get rid of these toxic chemicals. Aside from that, citrus peels have a bitter flavor, which you may find unappetizing. Thus, the best way to reap and enjoy the various health benefits of orange peels is to grate and sprinkle it on salads, dressings, smoothies, desserts, and veggie recipes.
- Polymethoxyflavones in Orange Peels (ACS)
- Hesperidin and Blood Pressure (AJCN)