Eating healthy takes a little bit extra work. This may entail you making your every meal and following all cooking procedures spelt out by food manufacturers. When it comes to fruits and vegetables however, a lot of us believe we are taking in a lot of nutrients just by eating them.
Every time you peel your favorite vegetable or fruit, you may be throwing out many of the nutrients that it has to offer. Although it is not always the tastiest part of the produce, the skin offers a large amount of the nutritional benefits associated with fruits and vegetables. Below you will find a list of some of the most common produce items that are peeled, that should always be kept intact.
Peeling an apple won’t really rob you of a whole lot of vitamin C, but you will lose out on pectin- a soluble fiber that can help keep you regular and lower your bad cholesterol and blood sugar. Pectin also helps to slow digestion, which reduces your cravings for snacks to a minimum.
Grapes require a lot of pesticides during their growth process if they are to survive but that is not to say you should completely peel off the skin. The skins of red grapes contain resveratrol, a phytochemical which is highly beneficial to the brain and heart. And is has been shown that it slows cancer growth in cell and animal studies.
So much of the carrots’ benefits are tossed in the garbage if you are peeling this vegetable. The skin of a carrot contains most of the carotenoids and polyphenols, which can help treat and prevent heart disease, types of cancer and diabetes.
Contrary to popular opinion, the skin of a kiwi fruit is entirely edible and rich in nutrients. The fuzzy peel of a kiwi contains most of the fruit’s fiber, folate, potassium and copper contents. If you don’t care for the skin’s texture, it may help to run the fruit under running cold water and scrub the skin to get rid of the fuzz.
When a cucumber is peeled, minerals and vitamins including magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K consumed from the vegetable are lower as opposed to when the full, unpeeled vegetable is eaten. Plus, nearly all of the cucumber’s fiber comes from the peel- the inner flesh is mostly water.
Potatoes are the #1 vegetable that is often peeled before being cooked and eaten. Fresh potatoes wrapped in their natural skins offer a low calorie, low fat and vitamin rich side dish or snack. Most of the potato’s benefits are in the skin, which contains high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, phosphorus and folate.
Eggplant is nobody’s favorite, but when it is eaten, it is usually peeled. This waxy, purple outer layer should not be neglected. It is rich in a certain type of flavonoids that can prevent cell damage from the free radicals in the body. The skin also contains phytochemicals which reduce the risk of diabetes and lowers the blood sugar.