Juicy, sweet, and well-known for its concentration of Vitamin C, oranges, the healthy citrus fruit, are the perfect snack and adds a special tangy flavor to numerous recipes. There is no doubt that oranges are the most demanded fruit around the world. However, the orange peel is an often overlooked facet of this nutritious fruit. In the old times, orange peels had high value and people could extract essential oils from them in a number of remedies and medicines as well. Even today, orange peels are in regular consumption as a part of the Mediterranean diet.
Being considered as a fruit full of health benefits, there may still exist some unclear doubts regarding using orange peels. So, firstly, let’s accept this fact that the orange peels contain nearly three to four times the fiber of the actual fruit and flavonoids. Amazing, isn’t it?
So, let us look at the wonderful benefits of orange peels and how those can be brought into our daily use.
Good for a Healthy Heart
Orange peels are rich in a flavonoid called hesperidin and possess anti-inflammatory properties. A recent survey concludes that a diet containing citrus fruits, such as oranges, offers protection against cardiovascular disease due to the folate present in it. It is necessary for lowering the levels of the cardiovascular risk factor. The PMFs i.e polymethoxylated flavones in orange peels have been shown to lower cholesterol more effectively than prescription drugs without their associated side effects.
Also, consuming hesperidin present in oranges could significantly lower diastolic blood pressure and the progress can be noticed within two to three weeks.
They have Anti-cancer Characteristics
The flavonoids present in the orange peel can impede RLIP76 protein, which is interrelated to obesity and cancer. The study has revealed that the experiment has been performed on a mouse and scientists could successfully remove RLIP76 from its body. It showed that the mouse cannot get obese and cannot get diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer as well. The same can be taken into consideration for the human body.
Offers Anti-allergic and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Histamines, the chemicals causing allergic reactions can be prevented due to the compounds present in the orange peels making them a highly anti-allergic food. The orange peels’ high Vitamin C contents are beneficial for our immune system that can combat respiratory illnesses, like colds and flu. Not the least, the extracts from the peel helps suppress inflammation that could be otherwise done with the help of an anti-inflammatory drug.
They Support Natural Weight Loss
Orange peels and orange peel extract provide an additional benefit to diabetics and for those who are up to reducing weight. This is owing to the fact that orange peels are a natural source of Pectin, which is a natural fiber that decreases the post-meal rise in blood sugar. Researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that isolated compounds from orange peels can act as a natural alternative for reducing LDL cholesterol, excluding the side effects of mainstream cholesterol drugs.
Clear the Way for Kidney Stones
The biochemical, D-limonene, found in orange peels can help in dissolving kidney stones. For this, D-limonene is to be mixed together with concentrated and unsweetened cranberry juice or capsules. This method has proven huge success in dissolving kidney stones. Additionally, orange peels possess bactericidal, antiseptic, and fungicidal properties which help in removing urinary tract infections or kidney infections.
Enhanced Skin Appearance: Applying orange peels extract with milk helps lightening dark spots on the skin. It can also be used as a skin toner.
Improved Digestion and Metabolism: According to Ayurveda, orange peel helps improve digestion and gears metabolism.
Mouth Freshener: Chewing orange peels or rubbing them inside teeth helps whitening as well as deals with their sensitivity.
Relieve Heartburn: The biochemical, D-limonene, present in the orange peels neutralizes gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis.
How to Use Orange Peels?
Because it is bitter in taste, no one can start eating the orange peels directly. That is why, to get the nutritional value of oranges, one can use orange peels to make orange zest and can add the zest to foods and beverages, as per need. Preparing the zest is very simple. You just have to grate an orange rind with a zesting tool or grater. You can also use a vegetable peeler or knife and your zest is ready to be used in the recipe!
-By Ashwini Deshpande