Did your mother teach you to peel your vegetables and fruits before eating them? Or, maybe you are concerned about possible pesticides on your produce. Whatever the reason is, there are pros and cons of peeling your fruits and vegetables.
Pros of Reaching for the Peeler
It may be aesthetics or habit, but there are good reasons to peel your produce. One reason is that some peels are simply inedible.
You can’t eat fruit peels like honeydew melon and avocados, regardless if you cook them or try to eat them raw. Another example of inedible skins are the ones that surround citrus fruits. The skins are very tough and bitter if you try.
Other fruits and vegetables are tough to clean completely. Sometimes, commercially produced fruits and vegetables are coated with a layer of wax that is hard to remove. Other times, the shape and texture make it hard to remove dirt completely from your produce.
Finally, some produce peels contain pesticides. You can wash some pesticides off the peel if it has not seeped through the skin. But, if it has your only option is to remove the peel completely.
Cons of Peeling Your Produce
On the other hand, removing your vegetable and fruit peels could also remove vital nutrients. The nutrient content of fruits and vegetables varies by type, but many produce carries its vitamins and minerals in the skin.
The peels are also where the majority of antioxidants and fiber reside. As much as 31% of the total fiber is in the skin of a vegetable. This fiber is lost when you decide to reach for the peeler. Similarly, eating fruit peels can increase your antioxidant intake by approximately 323 times more than just eating the pulp.
Also, getting rid of the peels can also deprive you of those feelings of satiety after eating. That high fiber content in vegetable and fruit peels is also the same thing that can help you feel full for longer periods of time.
Other than fruits and vegetables that have inedible skins, peeling your produce is a personal choice. To balance out the pros and cons of peeling your fruits and vegetables, you should eat the skins that are edible and reserve your peeler for those that are indigestible. In this way, you receive the benefits of both sides.