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To Peel or Not to Peel Your Produce

When you were a kid, did you make your mom peel your apple slice snack?

Did you only eat the inside of your baked potato?

Little kids tend to avoid the skins, but as adults, we know better. Skins and seeds of produce are loaded with nutrients and that removing them loses those benefits.

A lot of fruits and veggies store most of their goodness right inside their peels and seeds. Those peels and seeds that often wind up in the trash are also one of the best sources of fiber.

So, which peels and seeds are best for you?

And which ones should you look out for?

peeling produce infographic

Apples

apple skins never peel potatoes

Apple peels are loaded with antioxidants. These may help prevent cancers.

They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugar.

Apple flesh is loaded with vitamin C, and almost half of that nutrient is just under the skin. This benefit could be lost when the fruit is peeled.

The best way to get the benefit of the vitamin C and other nutrients is to eat an apple with the skin on.

Apple seeds are a different story.

Though they do contain loads of vitamin B-17, the pips (as they are called) contain amygdalin.

This can release a poison called cyanide if the seeds are chewed.

Swallowing one or two seeds is not a big deal. But if you chew a lot of apple pips, you are likely to get very, very sick.

Potatoes

Potato skins are loaded with so many nutrients that it’s hard to keep count!

Potassium, vitamin B, antioxidants and loads of fiber are all in there.

So, when it comes time to mash your potatoes (no matter which type you like), leave the skins on. And make sure you eat the inside AND the outside of your baked potato!

Avocados

avocados never peel potatoes

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about avocado seeds and the benefits they may offer.

Though there has been some preliminary information saying that there are nutritional values to extracts from the seeds, that doesn’t mean that the seed itself is healthy.

Even the California Avocado Commission has said not to eat the avocado pit, as it may “contain elements that are not intended for human consumption.”

Stick with the luscious green fruit for now. There's plenty to feel good about when you enjoy your guacamole!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a fruit that seems like a vegetable. Besides being delicious, they offer a ton of health benefits.

They contain beta-carotene and all of the other carotenoids in a single package that maximizes their benefits.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is touted by many as the best of all the antioxidants.

They fight prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer, and they’re rich in potassium.

Best of all, the part of the fruit that's highest in all of these nutrients is the tomato peel.

One of my favorite ways to get the benefits of vegetable and fruit peels is through a refreshing gazpacho.

Here’s a twist on the traditional gazpacho recipe that is quick and easy to make, and loaded with health benefits.

tomato gazpacho recipe

Yours in health and happiness,

Danette

P.S. Help me spread the word about peels and seeds by sharing this and I want to hear from you in the comments below! Do you love Gazpacho too?

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