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January 5, 2017
By A. Weinberg, Contributing Columnist
From the time we were little, we’ve been pretty socially conditioned.
There is almost always a part of the food we have to take off. If it’s a
strawberry, the stem; if it’s pizza, grease; if it’s a potato, the skin. And
if it's another kind of fruit, often we avoid the peel.
Until recently, we didn’t know that the peel could actually be a kind of
medicine. Peels get a bad rap, right? Popular media shows people
slipping on banana peels. But do they show the bruised person getting
up and reflecting about how much fiber there is in that banana peel?
However, the good news is that the zesty orange peel, also known as
the rind, is rich in nutrients that fight a host of diseases and conditions.
You may have eaten orange peel in desserts or infused into tea
without even knowing. You probably didn’t know how much good it
was doing you, or that there are other ways to consume orange peel.
Read on to find out about how orange rinds keep many of our pesky
21st century problems at bay, as well as how you can best eat your
rinds without just swallowing them straight.
1. Orange Rinds Destroy Bacteria that Cause Tooth Cavities
It’s not like you can replace toothpaste with these bad boys, but
science supports the fact that they are indeed antimicrobial and good
In 2016, SB Shetty and medical professionals from the Sharavathi
Dental College examined the effects of orange peels on various
bacterium. They looked at aqueous and ethanol extracts from citrus
peel screened for in vitro antimicrobial activity against streptococcus
mutans and lactobacillus acidophilus.
The bacteria most blocked, however, were dental cavity pathogens, as
an extract of citrus sinensis peel, followed by cold ethanolic extract.
The researchers concluded that orange rinds contain compounds with
Instead of a super-sugary piece of cake for dessert, try something with
orange zest, or add a peel to your herbal tea.
2. Orange Rinds Inhibit Cancer Cells
An orange peel a day keeps the doctor away? Keeping them in your
diet could scare cancer away.
The magical ingredient, "polymethoxyflavones", are found in the citrus
genus, especially in orange and mandarin peels.
According to a 2009 report from Hang Xiao and researchers at the
University of Massachusetts, the citrus fruit’s exterior is especially
potent in the inhibition of lung cancer.
They concluded that active ingredients in the rind caused apoptosis
(benign programmed cell death) to the cancerous cells. Consequently,
orange peel enriched with monomethylated polymethoxyflavones is
being further explored for its potential in nutraceuticals used in cancer
prevention. (Read more about what to eat if you have prostate cancer.)
3. Orange Rinds Help Your Digestion
It’s great to be able to eat a big meal and actually digest it comfortably.
Orange rinds could help out with that process.
The Department of Health confirms that fiber within fruit peels,
including oranges, help to keep your bowels functioning as they
According to a Department of Health spokesperson, "It passes through
the gut without being broken down, and it helps other foods to move
through the digestive system more easily." Dr Marilyn Glenville,
nutritionist and leading expert on women's health in the U.K., confirms
that eating a range of fruit peels is good for us.
She says that, "Most of the antioxidants contained in fruit are found
within the peel or the pith rather than in the pulp itself.”
Antioxidants lower your risk for cancer and heart disease and slow
aging in general.
4. Orange Rinds Reduce Respiratory Problems and Allergies
Orange peels contain histamine suppressors, which is great news
because they break down and expel congestion.
Whether it’s a bad cold, asthma, or an allergic reaction, adding a few
orange peels to the mix could be key in getting better.
Dr. Edward Group, nutritionist and CEO of the Global Healing Center,
confirms that antihistamines can reduce irritation overall in the body.
Next time you are feeling sneezy, stuffed up, or just not breathing
right, incorporate some orange peels into your cooking.
5. Orange Rinds Work Well with Diabetes
Orange rinds can be a good dessert too. Whether you put them as zest
on top of something or mix them into a tea or smoothie, they are pretty
good at satisfying that craving for something sweet, without the
damaging effect of processed sugar.
The American Diabetes Association lists oranges and citrus in general as
superfoods: The high fiber content isn’t just good for digestion.
Oranges and orange rinds also lowers blood sugar levels in people with
Type I diabetes and improves blood sugar lipids and insulin in people
with Type II diabetes.
6. Orange Rinds Reduce Heartburn
Orange rinds are good news for many people: According to a Gallup
Organization National Survey, 60 million Americans experience
heartburn at least once a month, and 25 million experience the
discomfort every day. Fresh orange peels work safely and effectively,
without side effects, for most, according to Decker Weiss, an Arizona-
Scientists theorize that orange rinds help food move to the esophagus
quickly, therefore reducing heartburn.
7. Orange Rinds Lower Cholesterol
Many scientific studies support the theory that the same super
flavonoids that help thwart cancer also reduce cholesterol.
While polymethoxyflavones are present in oranges and orange juice,
they are 20 times more present in orange peels, confirms researcher Dr
Elzbieta Kurowska, of the Canadian company KGK Synergize.
She adds, "We believe that super-flavonoids have the potential to rival
or even beat the cholesterol-lowering effect of some prescription
drugs, without the risk of side effects." Fewer side effects and more
delicious? Sign me up.
How Should I Consume Orange Rinds?
Some of you may be reading this article and saying to yourselves,
“Well, this is all well and good in theory, but what am I supposed to
do? Eat the orange and then just suffer through eating the peel around
it. Not my thing.”
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|Orange peels contain an ingredient that
inhibits the growth of cancer .