Are You Really Gonna Eat That? The Peel of the Orange

Who remembers Orange Julius? They were probably the Original Smoothie. It was that small 10×10 smoothie shop in the mall, red, blue and yellow uniforms with the funny hats.

Well, I am pretty sure I stumbled upon their secret ingredient. The ORANGE PEEL. I make the most delicious smoothie, and better yet super healthy and amazing for our body and it tastes almost it not totally like an Orange Julius.. However, mine is green.

Fast forward to 2017, I took a weekend seminar The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen, with Dr Michael Lara, MD. The take away from this seminar was this planet has given us EVERYTHING we need for optimal physical and mental health. From root herbs like turmeric and ginger, to all cruciferous vegetables and spices like cilantro and parsley… not to mention the immune building properties of fermented veggies and bone broths that you can make at home (more to come on that – it more than a mouth full).

How Are Orange Peels Good For You?
Some reports suggest that the orange peel is the healthiest part of the whole fruit. As surprising as that might sound, 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. Dietary fiber is key, in feeding the beneficial bacterial in the colon.

Additional Benefits Of Orange Peels?
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Chen Pi (dried orange peel) is used in a plethora of herbal formulas: Strengthening the immune system, nourishing and the lungs, and assisting in digestion. Chen Pi s also used for moving stagnation throughout the body, which in common talk is helping to decrease pain and inflammation.

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. Even other studies speak of the efficacy of citrus peels in general in preventing cancerous activities in remarkable ways. (1)

Orange Peel helps in aids in 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. (2)

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 polyethoxylated flavones, which lower cholesterol levels better than certain prescription drugs. (3)

THE BOTTOM LINE: Eat it, Smoothie it or use it in cooking. Do not throw it away!

AUTHOR – Sabrina Kirkland


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HPLC-DAD Phenolic Characterization and Antioxidant Activities of Ripe and Unripe Sweet Orange Peels

Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables

Vitamin C Prevents Ultraviolet-induced Pigmentation in Healthy Volunteers: Bayesian Meta-analysis Results from 31 Randomized Controlled versus Vehicle Clinical Studies

Extraction of Pectin from Orange Peel and Study of Its Protective Effect Against Loperamide-Induced Impaired Gastrointestinal Motor Functions and Oxidative Stress in Rats