There’s nothing quite like relishing the natural flavours of seasonal fruits. They not just delight our taste buds but also give us a boost of much needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But when we are indulging in these sweet treats, we often pay no heed to the peels and dive straight in for the flesh. Health experts point to the fact that some of the most vital nutrients in fruits are found in their peels. In fact, what goes as food waste can actually be made a part of the diet by using it in interesting ways. Be it mangoes, guava, banana, orange, lemon, apple or pears, the peels can provide you with many benefits.
Mango peels, which we commonly throw away, can be used at home in making marmalades, baked chips, pickles, smoothies, and other treats. It is slightly bitter in taste and chewy, a contrast from the juicy flesh inside, but it can cut down on excessive sweetness when you team them with other sugary ingredients. They contain a powerful antioxidant called Mangiferin that can protect against UV damage and skin cancer, along with vitamins A and C and fiber.
Banana peels too can actually be consumed as they contain vitamin A, antioxidants, B vitamins but majorly vitamin B6, soluble and insoluble fibers, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. According to a Japanese Scientific Research, it is better to opt for the yellow skin as it has anticancer properties and helps in the production of white blood cells. If you opt for the green skin, it is advised to first boil it for 10 minutes to soften the peel and then consume it. You can enjoy them as they are, steam them or blend into smoothies.
Orange peels contain essential oils, and as such they were traditionally used as a flavouring agent in baking cakes or puddings. Today, due to easily available essences, orange peels are often discarded when they can instead be used in so many delicious ways – made into candies, grated and used in desserts, added as a bitter element in salads, made into a healthy, dried snack to munch on, etc.
Lemon peels too should not be discarded as there are many benefits that come tagged with them. Lemon peel is a great source of calcium and Vitamin C, and is therefore excellent for bone health and associated issues. Bioflavonoids present in it help in keeping stress at bay and eliminating toxins from the body. Lemon peel is also good for heart health and regulating cholesterol. It is enriched with pectin which facilities weight loss. It is a great beauty ingredient for treating skin tan, dandruff and body odour. In food, you can grate some zest and add in your salads, soups and even desserts. Dried and powdered lemon peel can be added with other masalas to spruce up regular cooking, or made into candies, jams and pickles.
Courtesy of NDTV News