Do not toss those valuable lemon peels!
Apr 14, 2023
Shiny, juicy, and bright lemons are prized by many. But did you know that the lemon peel can also be treasured? The next time you squeeze or cut a lemon, think twice about throwing it in the composter; the much-neglected lemon peel has many health benefits!
Called zest by chefs and flavedo by botanists, according to curejoy, the Ancient Greeks and Romans understood its importance and used every part of the fruit. Many already know about using peels around the house; they can be made into a natural home cleaner, dish scrubber, fridge, deodorizer, and kettle cleaner. But the peel is also a healthy food with many added nutritional benefits!
Keep small pieces of lemon peel on hand to steep in a tea, or add to a cup of water or juice. You can also sun-dry the peel, then grind into a powder to flavor cakes. Or, add its zest when cooking quinoa or rice. Go easy on the quantities as the acids could be damaging to your teeth and tummy.
Whatever you do with your peels, do not toss! Here are five ways you can benefit from lemon peels.
Peels are Packed With Nutrition
One tablespoon of lemon peel provides nine percent of the daily value of vitamin C, according to Healthline. Peels also offer fiber and small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. An important element of the peel is D-limonene, which gives it its fresh flavor and multiple health benefits.
May Assist With Oral Health
The peel of a lemon has antibacterial properties that may curb the growth of microorganisms, according to Healthline. In fact, a study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology shows that lemon peel may prevent oral disease that causes cavities and periodontitis.
Could Boost Your Immune System
It is the vitamin C in lemon peels that could stimulate the body’s immune system, according to Healthline. This, in turn, can reduce the symptoms of the common cold. This study, published by Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, shows that healthy vitamin C may reduce the duration of a cold in adults by eight percent, and in children by 14 percent.
Did you know that mosquitoes abhor lemon? In fact, lemon peel extracts are toxic to certain strains of mosquitoes, according to curejoy. Many are familiar with growing citronella and lemon balm, however, you can have your own free, DIY repellant at home simply by keeping your lemon peels! Crush the peel and leave it in water around the house. Every few days, refresh your batch.
Peels are High in Antioxidants
The antioxidants in the lemon peel may assist in fighting off free radicals that could, in turn, cause disease, according to Healthline. The compound D-limonene is a flavonoid antioxidant that may lead to a risk in heart disease and type 2 diabetes. D-limonene also increases an enzyme that may assist in reducing oxidative stress, which could, in turn, result in reducing the chances of tissue damage.
Peels of citrus fruit also contain healing phenolics, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, carotenoids, and could help reduce sugar, according to a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
NICOLE NATHAN BEM,
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.