Are you letting the best health foods escape you?
Did you know that there is more vitamin C in white part of the skin of oranges than in the rest of the orange?
Whole Fresh Fruits - the valuable pectin fibre is found in the skin and pulp. Figs, prunes and raspberries have the highest fibre content.
Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content.
In the past, apple skins were discarded in food products such as juices because the flavanoids in the skin caused cloudiness in the juice. Now it is known that the flavanoids are powerful cancer fighters and support the heart and liver.
The blue in blueberries comes from the anthocyanin pigment. In the North American blueberry, the pigment is only found in the skin. Unripe berries with a thick skin contain the highest concentrations of pectin.
Kiwi fruit rival bananas in potassium, pound for pound. And flavonoid antioxidants abound in the skin, which is edible but best if you rub the fuzzy stuff off first.
Don't peel them if you want to maintain their spectacular color; and many nutritionists claim much nutrition is contained in the skin.
Fruit And Vegetable Juices
Although much of the calcium in the orange is lost during juicing, you can buy calcium-fortifed orange juice. OJ is also rich in phytonutrients. Depending upon how much pulp they leave in, it can even contain some fiber. In other words they are charging you to take out the nutrients then charging you to put the back in and call it fortified.
Resveratrol is synthesized by plants in response to stress like lack of nutrients and fungal infection. It exists in the skin of both red and white grapes.
The yellow part of the skin (zest) of lemons has most of the limonoids in the fruit. Recent research has shown that limonoids were equally potent as tamoxifen for inhibiting the proliferation of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells,.
Much of the fiber in fruit is in the skin of nectarines. To get the full benefit of fiber, wash the fruit well and then eat the whole fruit - with the skin.
Healthy phytochemicals include terpenoids found in the skin of citrus fruits, and
limonoids in the outer skin (zest) of lemons and oranges (inhibit tumor growth).
Peaches (insert Justin Bieber song now stuck in your head)
"I get my peaches down in Georgia....🎤"
Today's peaches need not be peeled, especially when served fresh for fruit plates and salads. This is because most peaches are de-fuzzed by machinery soon after picking. Leaving the skin means less work for the cook and is a smart choice from a nutritional point of view. Much of the full, deep flavor and nutrients in peaches are found in the skin.
Nutritional Rich Source of Fair content of vitamin C (mostly in the skin)
Plums have only moderate amounts of soluble gums and pectins in the flesh, as well as small amounts of cellulose and the non-carbohydrate food fiber lignin in the skin.
The greatest concentration of antioxidants in the potato was in the skin, Howard noted. Preliminary studies by Miller and Howard point to patatin, the major water-soluble protein in potatoes, as being the possible source of the antioxidant activity.
Tomatoes contain significant amounts of different antioxidants, including: lycopene (a carotenoid), phenolic compounds (flavonoids and phenolic acids) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). As these antioxidants are found mostly in the skin it is important to eat the skin as well as the flesh of the skin.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than polished white rice, but most of the goodness is in the brown stuff that is removed to make white rice.
There are 3 parts to the wheat grain. Starch, germ, and bran. The food processors remove the last two and sell them back to you as bran and wheat germ, because these are the only good parts of wheat. Starch just makes you fat.
Taste of Skins
Some of these skins have a strong flavor which you may find unpleasant. Dried fruit are excellent flavoring devices. Peanut paste is another, which can hide even the taste of medicine, but make sure that you are not allergic to it.
Non-organically grown apples and soft fruits are heavily sprayed. If organic alternatives are not available you are better off peeling them even though vital nutrients in the skin will be lost. If grapes are your preferred choice, search for a dedicated partner who is willing to peel them for you!
Apple cores concentrate agricultural poisons so don't use them if not organically (without agricultural chemicals) grown.
If you can't buy organic produce you can buy special surfactants intended for washing your fruit and vegetables. Most of the chemicals don't wash off in plain hot water.
Shane Griffin CNP, ROHP