You may simply do it out of habit, but there are many fruit and vegetables that don’t need peeling. Of course, there are some situations where you really do need to peel your fruit or vegetables. For instance, you can’t eat a banana peel, or a dragon fruit peel, and you should definitely peel your produce if it isn’t organic (and could be laden with a variety of different herbicides and pesticides).
However, some peels, like apples, potatoes, and kiwi, are all incredibly beneficial and should be consumed due to their higher mineral and vitamin content. Nature made these vegetables and fruit to be eaten the way they are, and although they may not look as pretty when un-peeled, they provide much more added fibre and nutrients!
10 Fruit and Vegetables That Don’t Need Peeling
I always remember my mom peeling my apples when I was little. Of course, as we got older, and news got out that the peel is actually better for you than the actual fruit, we no longer peeled our apples. Apple peels contain 2-6 times more nutrients and insoluble fibre than the apple flesh. Apple peels also contain a flavonoid that inhibits ACE enzyme activity, which in turn helps regulate our blood pressure.
People always think it’s weird when I eat kiwi peels. In fact, it’s perfectly normal! The hairy skin of kiwi fruit contains anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties. With 3 times the antioxidants as the pulp, you should most definitely be eating these fruits with the peel ON!
Watermelon flesh is good for you, but watermelon rind is even better. They contain more vitamin C, B6 and citrulline (an amino acid that dilates blood vessels to improve circulation) than the sweet sugary flesh inside. The green and white part of the rind can be juiced along with some of the pink flesh (as well as some mint and lime) to create an incredibly tasty juice.
Orange and lemon peels contain higher levels of vitamin C than the juicy parts inside. Citrus fruit peels are incredibly high in antioxidants, almost twenty-times more so than the flesh. The white pith that surrounds the fruit just before the peel is also high in pectin, a necessary fibre component known to help lower cholesterol and promote growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Say what?! Banana peels! You bet. Banana peels help ease depression due to their rich serotonin content (a mood-balancing chemical). In addition, these spotted peels are rich in the antioxidant lutein, a compound that helps protect our eyes when exposed to UV light (and thus prevents against cataracts). The next time you make a smoothie, be sure to add in a tablespoon or so of the peel for added benefits. Make sure the banana is significantly ripe, as this will mean the peel will be less starchy, more malleable, and sweeter!
I’ve never understood why some people peel their potatoes. I actually prefer the skin over the flesh inside! Potato skins (and sweet potato skins) are loaded with fibre and nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, copper and iron. Mashed potatoes with skins left on, is quite satisfying, and provides more texture and saltiness! Try it next time your body is craving some heavy starches.
Most of the nutrients in a carrot are surprisingly located in the skin! Carrots are incredibly rich in carotene, which helps protect our eyes and make our skin glow from the inside out! They are loaded with fibre for a healthy colon, and taste pretty incredible too – what’s not to like about carrots?
It’s always irked me when I watch someone peel a cucumber. The little voice inside my head screams “what are you doing!?” as I then kindly ask them if I can eat the peelings (haha). Cucumber peels are high in the mineral silica, which promotes smooth, silky hair and beautiful nails. Not to mention, the peel is where most of the fibre is, so if you want to have regular bowel movements, don’t cut off the skin!
Beet skins usually taste a little more earthy than the flesh inside, but they also contain a higher mineral and vitamin density. Beets are a great anti-ager by helping fight wrinkles and other skin conditions (hello, folate!), preventing age-related macular degeneration (thanks to vitamin A and carotenoids) and maintaining the function of our brain (nitrate improves blood flow and helps us think clearer and faster).
Eggplant skin should definitely not be removed! The deep purple hue is an obvious sign that this vegetable packs more in the skin than it does in the flesh. Eggplant skin contains an antioxidant called nasunin (a type of flavonoid in the anthocyanin family). This antioxidant is a potent free radical scavenger that helps fight cancer and protect cell membranes from damage.
Aine Holder says
If the fruit or veggie is not organic (can’t always find it in our grocery store) can the peel be cleansed enough in a vinegar/water solution or would you still peel it?
Carly Fraser says
I personally would not risk it. Always peel if not organic.
Mary Reilly says
I'm totally impressed! I am always looking for new information. And I am very happy to hear that some of these fruits and vegetables can be eaten completely. I definitely will try them.