When you think of oranges, a host of beneficial properties come to mind. However, the peel is an often-overlooked aspect of this nutritious fruit. Historically, orange peels were highly valued and used for their essential oils in a variety of medicines and remedies. They are still in regular consumption (mainly as a zest) as part of the Mediterranean diet. Considering this diet is credited with numerous healthy benefits, they may be onto something when it comes to eating orange peels. In fact, the peel can contain as much as four times the fiber of the actual fruit as well as more flavonoids.
Orange Peel Detoxing Benefits
The limonene and flavonoids found in orange peel seem to have anti-carcinogenic properties by acting as a blocking agent. Studies have shown that limonin and limonene, both found in high concentrations in the peel, can induce the enzyme activity of glutathione S-transferase, which is an important detoxifying enzyme. Also, limonene is also one of nature’s great solvents helping to carry waste out of cells as well as nutrients into them--which is one of the reason that Jon Barron uses it in most of his liquid formulas.
Orange Peels May Decrease Risk of Cancer
The citric acid found in orange peels also helps starve cancer cells by cutting off their energy supply. A number of studies have shown decreased risk of several cancers, most notably skin, breast and colon cancer, linked with the increased consumption of orange peels.
Orange Peels as Natural Weight Loss Aid
In addition, orange peels and orange peel extract can provide an extra benefit to diabetics and those looking to reduce overeating. This is due to the fact that orange peels are a natural source of pectin, a natural fiber that helps decrease the rise in blood sugar after a meal. It may also be helpful in lowering cholesterol. In a May 2004 "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" article, Canadian researchers and the United States Department of Agriculture reported that isolated compounds from orange and tangerine peels showed promise as a natural alternative for reducing LDL cholesterol without the side effects of mainstream cholesterol drugs.
Orange Peels for Urinary Health Issues
D-limonene, the biochemical found in orange peels that we mentioned earlier, is helpful in dissolving kidney stones. In fact, the use of D-limonene mixed together with concentrated, unsweetened cranberry juice or capsules has a proven track record in dissolving kidney stones. In addition, orange peel has antiseptic, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties, which are extremely beneficial in eliminating any kidney or urinary tract infections. This is why you’ll find orange peels as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s kidney, gallbladder, and pancreas optimization formula, KGP Flush.
Orange Peels Help With Heartburn
Orange peels may also help with heartburn. According to a 2007 “Alternative Medicine Review” article by Jidong Sun, Ph.D., Sun, d-limonene possesses the ability to neutralize gastric acid and support normal peristalsis.
Orange Peels for Natural Allergy Relief
Allergy sufferers may benefit from consuming more orange peels as well, as the peel contains natural histamine suppressing compounds. Orange peels also play a role in lung cleansing by helping break down and expel congestion.
How to Use Orange Peels
Most people aren’t going to start eating orange peels because they are so bitter. One method of getting the nutritious value of this fruit, however, is using the peels to make orange zest and adding the zest to foods and beverages. Making zest is simple. Just grate an orange rind with a grater or zesting tool. One caveat, however, is that in some studies, high concentrations of pesticides have been found in orange peels. An obvious alternative is to only consume the peels of organically grown and processed oranges, where chemical pesticides or herbicides would not have been used on the peel. Another option is to add organic food grade limonene oil or orange peel extract to liquid supplements.
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