Lemons are known for possessing a truckload of benefits with everything from boosting the immune system and aiding weight loss, to maintaining a healthy complexion, but what about their peels?
Lemon peel benefits often get sidelined because people simply don’t know they exist or don’t consider them important enough to make a difference.
This is simply not true. In fact, if anything, lemon peel benefits are just as plentiful and potent as those of the fruit.
Here’s a quick rundown of how lemon peel can benefit you nutritionally.
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Lemon peel benefits for health
With a nutrient profile that qualifies lemons as a superfood, the peel of this citrus fruit isn’t far behind. Yielding several health benefits, here are a few of the most prominent.
High nutritional value
- Lemon peel contains small amounts of calcium which is important for cellular communication and maintaining strong bones.
- There is also some potassium content, which like calcium, plays a part in helping the cells communicate properly.
- Another important mineral, magnesium also finds its way into lemon peels. It is crucial for heart, liver, and pancreatic functions.
- The vitamin content in lemon peels is more than that found in juice. Vitamin C, in particular, acts as an antioxidant that protects DNA from free radical damage.
- D-limonene, a compound that gives lemons their distinct aroma is present in the peel and is associated with many of the fruit’s health benefits.
- The peel is also highly fibrous that can assist with regulating bowel movements, aiding weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and improving blood sugar levels.
Like their other citrus counterparts, both lemons and their peels contain vitamin C. This is the gold standard when it comes to keeping your immune system healthy and working optimally. Should you start to feel unwell, including lemon peel into your foods or drinks can give you the extra boost needed to power through.
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Supports oral health
Lemon juice, like many other fruit juices, is acidic and drinking large amounts may erode tooth enamel, leaving your teeth at risk for cavities and other types of damage.
Lemon peel, on the other hand, contains antibacterial substances that may be helpful in inhibiting microorganism growth. Some research identifies four different compounds present in the peel that may ward off common oral-disease-causing bacteria.
So, instead of relying on a lemon water drink alone, use a few drops of lemon essential oil extracted from the peel to flavor your drink.
Balances pH levels
Lemons turn alkaline once ingested, so are great for balancing pH levels. This is helpful if you’re looking for a way to ward off bad breath.
The anti-bacterial features of lemon peel can help reduce the level of bad breath causing bacteria and act as a breath freshener.
Its pH balancing features also make it a perfect option for brightening and toning the skin.
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Stabilizes the digestive system
Lemon peels contain fiber which is beneficial for keeping digestive health in check. Active compounds in the zest can kill intestinal worms, improve bowel regularity, and break up stones and deposits in the digestive tract.
The pectin in lemon zest can help enhance metabolism and help manage weight by extension.
Heart health benefits
Lemon peel flavonoids, vitamin C, and pectin may all play a part in promoting heart health by lowering blood cholesterol levels and other risk factors linked to these conditions.
Makes an excellent detox
Lemon peels contain compounds known as salvestrol Q40 and limonene that possess antioxidant properties. It is believed that the zest detoxifies uric acid buildup in the liver and bowels as shown by human and animal studies.
Many popular cleanses often use lemon in their cleansing regimen.
Although lemon peels do contain a spectrum of nutrients and fiber, you’d have to consume a lot of peel to gain nutritional benefits.
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How to use lemon peels
Despite the impressive health benefits lemon peels provide, you may still be unsure about how to consume them conveniently.
As a zest
For people who do use lemon peels, the most common way is to use it as a zest. This method works on practically everything with the zest not only providing nutrition but also making your foods and drinks taste fresher.
Freezing whole lemons and then grating the zest over oatmeal, yogurt, soups, or drinks makes for a reinvigorating topping.
Dehydrated lemon peels can be added to tea for a zesty tang or mixed with salt and pepper to create a homemade seasoning.
Both frozen and dehydrated peels can be powdered which can then be used in every way that you would use a culinary powder. Think mixing it into your salads, baked goods, tea, yogurt, and more.
Candied lemon peels
Satisfy your sweet tooth with candied lemon peels that taste both tart and sweet at the same time. You can also use them on their own or top as a topping on cakes and parfaits.
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Other uses for lemon peels
Lemon peels also offer a myriad of non-culinary uses that are as impressive as their dietary counterparts.
- Being a natural cleanser, it’s easy to incorporate lemon peels into a jar of vinegar and water to get a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaning concoction.
- You can also work it into your skincare routine by mixing lemon juice and peels together. Use this mixture to gently massage your face as an all-natural, acne-fighting treatment.
- Rubbing lemon peel on the skin also acts as an excellent bug repellent that smells nice too.
- And if you find your bathroom, kitchen, or even the trash can smell funky, simply putting some lemon peels there can help neutralize the questionable smell.
Lemon peel benefits: final thoughts
Even though lemon peel often gets thrown away, there is enough evidence to show that it carries many health benefits. Not only this but there are so many ways you can incorporate it in your daily life as a cleaner, cleanser, exfoliator, toner, scrub, seasoning, garnish, deodorizer, and much more.
So now that you know the extent of lemon peel benefits for cooking, cleaning, beauty, and more, you can put them to good use instead of discarding them.
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