Orange peel, also known as the zest, is the outermost layer of the orange fruit. While it is often discarded as a byproduct in the preparation of orange juice or eaten as a snack, orange peel has been found to have a number of nutritional benefits.
One of the main nutritional benefits of orange peel is its high content of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system, protect against heart disease, and improve skin health. Orange peel contains about three times more Vitamin C than the actual orange fruit.
In addition to Vitamin C, orange peel is also a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy, lowers cholesterol, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Orange peel is also a good source of B-vitamins, including folate, which is essential for healthy fetal development.
Orange peel also contains a variety of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. These flavonoids include hesperidin and naringenin. Studies have found that hesperidin may help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain, while naringenin may help to improve liver function and protect against liver damage.
Orange peel also contains a compound called limonene, which is known for its ability to promote healthy digestion and help to reduce stress. Limonene is also believed to have anti-cancer properties and may help to prevent the formation of tumors.
While orange peel has a number of nutritional benefits, it is important to note that it also contains a small amount of oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in some people. Additionally, the white pith underneath the orange peel can be bitter and may not be palatable.
Overall, orange peel can be a healthy addition to your diet, as long as it is consumed in moderation. To get the most nutritional benefit from orange peel, it is best to use it fresh, as the nutritional content can degrade over time. Orange peel can be added to salads, soups, marinades, and desserts for added flavor and nutrition.
In conclusion, Orange peel is a rich source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, B-vitamins, flavonoids, limonene and other beneficial compounds. While it may contain oxalates, it can be consumed in moderation to enjoy its nutritional benefits. Orange peel can be added to various dishes to add flavor and nutrition to your diet.
It is always recommended to consult with a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider before making any significant changes in your diet. They will be able to provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual needs and health condition.