Orange Peels (Zest) « Health Now, Wealth Forever

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By Gary, on October 2nd, 2012

Orange peels are very beneficial to us, yet we usually just discard them in our trash bins or better yet, into our compost bins.  But, our bodies can use them and benefit from them.

We have been inundated with the health benefits about the meat of the orange.  You know – high in vitamin C, high in antioxidants, high in calcium, etc.  It is also praised for being very low in calories, 60 calories per medium sized orange.

Experienced cooks use orange zest, an orange peel grated over other foods, as flavor enhancers.  But, what if we used it for its nutritional value?  Let us compare the nutritional value of the peel to the meat of the orange.

The orange peel is loaded with calcium, four times the amount versus the orange meat based on equivalent weight.   Orange peel also has 1.5 g of protein and is a source of potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.  Orange peels contain beta-carotene, a pigment in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is beneficial for your immune system, as well as vision health.  The University of Maryland Medical Center says beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, which helps protect your body from free radicals that can cause cell damage.

Bonus:  Orange peels can be used for cleaning.  The outer layer of an orange peel contains orange oil. This essential oil can be used in soaps and water-less hand cleaners.  The oil is a solvent, so it can effectively clean your skin without the use of hazardous chemicals.

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