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Friday, January 27, 2023

Is it recommended to peel fruits and vegetables before eating them?

Many people eat fruits and vegetables by peeling them before eating, but often not necessary, The peel contains important nutrients. In addition to the fact that discarded fruit and vegetable peels contribute to climate change.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and many phytochemicals (plant chemicals), including antioxidants (substances that protect cells from damage).

Not consuming enough foods rich in these nutrients has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In 2017, the World Health Organization reported that around 3.9 million people a year worldwide die from not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

in the shell, more nutrients

Eating the 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day recommended by the World Health Organization is difficult to achieve for many people. But what if eating these unpeeled foods could solve the problem? add vital nutrients for our diet?

It can definitely contribute. For example, the skin of seven root vegetables contains nutritionally significant amounts of vitamins such as vitamin C and riboflavin, and minerals such as iron and zinc: beets, mustard, wild carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, ginger and white potatoes.

and the US Department of Agriculture estimates that Apples without the peel have 15% more Vitamin C267% more Vitamin K, 20% more calcium, 19% more potassium and 85% more fiber than their peeled counterparts.

In addition, many shells are enriched biologically active phytochemicalssuch as flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.




The peels of fruits and vegetables also contain nutrients. Photo shutterstock.

benefits for the environment

Another reason not to dispose of the peels is their impact on the environment.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, uneaten food, including peels, makes up between 8% and 10%. global greenhouse gas emissionsmainly methane.

In New Zealand alone, with a population of only 5.1 million people, a record annual waste of 13,658 tonnes of vegetable peels and 986 tonnes of fruit skins is generated.

In what cases to peel fruits and vegetables

Why are fruits and vegetables peeled, considering the nutrient content of the peels and their contribution to food waste?

Outsiders have no choice they are not edibleTaste bad, are difficult to clean or cause damage, such as bananas, oranges, melons, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, onions and garlic.

Furthermore, peeling can be an essential part of a recipe, for example when making mashed potatoes. But there are plenty of edible skins—potato, beetroot, carrot, kiwi and cucumber—that we keep peeling off unnecessarily.

They Recommend Washing Fruits And Vegetables Thoroughly.  Photo Shutterstock.


They recommend washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Photo shutterstock.

Is there pesticide residue on the peel?

Some people who peel fruits and vegetables because they are afraid of pesticides.

While it is true that pesticide residues can accumulate on or just below the surface, Most are removed by washing,

In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration recommends washing fruits and vegetables with water plenty of cold water and scrub With a stiff brush to remove pesticides, dirt and chemicals.

Cooking techniques, such as boiling and steaming, can also reduce pesticide residues.

But since these don’t all disappear with washing and cooking, it can be useful Consult the Pesticide Ingredients List in fruits and vegetables. One of them is produced by the Pesticide Action Network for the United Kingdom. This can help us decide which fruits and vegetables we should peel and which peels are safe to eat.

If you want to learn more about fruit and vegetable peels and what to do with them, there are plenty of tips online, including help on how to compost, feed worms, or incorporate them into recipes.

With a little research and creativity, we can help reduce waste And increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. It’s definitely worth a try and helps meet one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: cutting food waste in half by 2030.

*Kirsty Hunter is Professor of Nutrition at Nottingham Trent University. The article was originally published in English on The Conversation.

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