Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the US, but the orange peel is a different deal altogether. Did you know that the peel is the healthiest part of the entire fruit? Surprising, isn’t it? In case you are wondering what to do with leftover orange peels, there is more for you. Keep reading.
How Are Orange Peels Good For You?
Some reports suggest that the orange peel is actually the healthiest part of the whole fruit. As surprising as that might seem, research tells us that orange peels are rich in flavonoids and several other important phytochemicals that offer various health benefits. Just to give you an idea – while the orange flesh contains about 71 milligrams of vitamin C, the peel contains over 136 milligrams.
The peel is also replete with copper, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin A and other B vitamins, and dietary fiber.
All of these nutrients contribute to human health in marvelous ways. And we will look at them now.
What Are The Benefits Of Orange Peels?
1. Orange Peels Help Prevent Cancer
As per studies, the flavonoids in orange peels inhibit a protein (termed as RLIP76) that is linked to cancer. The peels also contain another compound called limonene, which can cut cancer risk.
Other studies speak of the efficacy of citrus peels in general in preventing cancerous activities in remarkable ways
2. Improve Lung Health
Thanks to their excellent vitamin C content, orange peels help break down congestion and cleanse the lungs. Vitamin C also boosts immunity, and this helps ward off and prevent lung infections.
The peels can help you expel phlegm by cleansing your lungs. Enhanced immunity also prevents ailments like cold and flu.
3. Aids Diabetes Treatment
The peels are rich in pectin, a fiber that is known to regulate blood sugar levels. This sure can help people with diabetes. Studies have also shown how treatment with orange peel extract can help prevent diabetic nephropathy . And then, we have the protein we discussed earlier – RLIP76. Elimination of this protein from the system prevents diabetes – and this is what orange peel does.
Also, the glycemic load of the fruit is just 5 – and this means orange peel causes only a small rise in blood sugar.
4. Strengthen Heart
Orange peels are rich in a flavonoid called hesperidin, which has shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The peel also has anti-inflammatory properties, and since heart disease is caused by inflammation, they can help in this regard.
Another set of compounds in orange peels are the polymethoxylated flavones, which lower cholesterol levels better than certain prescription drugs.
5. Help In Weight Loss
Oranges are low in calories, which is one reason they are a great addition to a weight loss diet. And they are filled with dietary fiber, which controls your appetite and discourages binging.
Orange peels also contain vitamin C that is known to help burn fat.
6. Boost Eye Health
Though there is less information on this, some sources say that compounds like limonene, decanal, and citral in orange peels can help boost eye health. They have anti-inflammatory properties that fight infections and improve vision.
7. Enhance Digestive Health
The fiber in the fruit peel aids digestion and promotes regularity. Studies also show how citrus fruit peels, in general, have been used since ancient times to treat digestive disorders
8. Help Fight Inflammation
One New York study shows how orange peel exhibits excellent anti-inflammatory properties
Further research tells us how orange peels can suppress inflammation in a way similar to indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory drug.
Also, the flavonoids in orange peels are known to permeate membranes and heal inflammation.
9. Protect Teeth
Thanks to the antibacterial properties of orange peels, they protect you from dental caries
Additionally, you can also whiten your teeth using orange peels. The limonene in orange peels also works as a natural scent and solvent. This helps whiten your teeth in a natural way.
10. Make Skin Glow
Orange peel is considered a boon for the skin as it treats blackheads, dead cells, acne, and blemishes. It also brightens your face. You can also add milk or curd to get that extra glow or for removing tan.
That’s about the benefits. But did you know there are a few other uses of orange peels?
What Are The Other Uses Of Orange Peels?
There are other ways you can use leftover orange peels. Take a look:
- You Can Make Tea
Put fresh orange peels into a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Then, turn off the heat and allow the peels to steep for an hour. Strain the water, and your tea is ready.
- You Can Make An Air Freshener
Simply adding the peels in boiling water can freshen the air around you. In fact, you can inhale the air (steam) for relief from headache.
- You Can Make Candies
Cut the peels into ¼ strips and place them in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and boil on high heat. Drain the water and repeat this process twice. In another small bowl, whisk 1 ½ cups of sugar and ¾ cup of water. Add this mixture to a saucepan and bring to a medium simmer. Allow it to cook for about 10 minutes. Now, add the peels to this and allow it to cook for an hour. Avoid stirring to prevent crystallization. Drain the syrup and spread the peels on a drying rack for about 5 hours. You can store them in an airtight container.