Lemon is not only a refreshing and tasty fruit, but is also a storehouse of various nutrients that offer a myriad of health benefits. Although most of us use only the juice of this amazing fruit, the lemon peel is also equally important as it contains many enzymes and chemicals that can keep us healthy. In fact the peel of a lemon is found to contain 10 times more nutrients and bioactive compounds than the actual fruit itself. Lemon peels contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidant flavonoids that can give a nutritional boost, although you would have to consume large amounts of it to reap significant benefits.
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Nutritional value of lemon peel
Lemon peel is low in calories, saturated fat and contains no cholesterol whatsoever. It is a good source of important vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate. Lemon peel is a great source of fiber and also provides us with high amounts of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Lemon Peel Benefits
The lemon peel that most people discard is a healthy food that can be ingested or applied topically. The nutrients and enzymes present in it make it beneficial for many cooking, medical and beauty purposes. So next time you think – is lemon peel good for your health, you should read some of the benefits of lemon peel here:
Lemon peel prevents oxidative stress
Lemon peel contains high concentrations of bioflavonoids that have strong antioxidant properties. These compounds scavenge the free radicals that cause oxidative stress to the cells in your body leading to early aging and many serious diseases like cancer and heart diseases.
Lemon peel enhances skin health
Lemon peel helps in imparting a special glow, clearness and softness to the skin. Rub the peel on your skin to get smooth and soft skin. The citric acid contained in the peel stimulates the growth of new skin, cleanses the skin by removing dead skin cells and makes the skin appear lighter and brighter. The antioxidants in lemon peel eliminate the free radicals and prevent oxidative damage that may lead to the development of aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. The acid in lemon peel helps to eliminate the excess oil on your face, thereby helping to prevent acne and pimples.
Lemon peel improves heart health
The consumption of lemon peel has been found to be helpful in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood, which in turn can help in maintaining the health of the heart. The peels contain polyphenol flavonoids that are capable of reducing the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol levels. The potassium found in the lemon peel is helpful in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Moreover, the various nutrients such as vitamin C present in the peel help to prevent blockage in the blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Lemon peel and cancer
According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, lemon peel is effective in inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. The various flavonoids found in the peel can help in preventing cancerous cell division. It is an excellent source of terpenes such as d-limonene, which have anti-cancer properties. Another study published in the journal of Nutrition and Cancer discovered reveals that there was considerable decline in squamous cell carcinoma in people who consumed the peel as well as lemon juice. This effect is believed to be due to the presence of high amounts of d-limonene oil peel, which inhibits the growth of several types of cancers, including breast, colon and lung cancers. Limonoids not only helps in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells but also promotes cell suicide or apoptosis. Lemon peel also contains modified citrus pectin (MCP), which is easily absorbed by the digestive system and slows down the spread of cancers such as prostate, breast, or skin cancer.
Lemon peel boosts immune health
Having a strong immune system is absolutely important to staying healthy. Lemon peel is rich in several nutrients including vitamin C, which improves your immunity and protects the body against infections and many ailments. Eating lemon peel is considered to be a good remedy for treating common ailments such as cold, flu, sore throat and other similar infections.
Lemon peel for healthy bones
Calcium is a mineral that is essential for developing strong and healthy bones. Lemon peel contains high amounts of this mineral in addition to vitamin C and hence eating the peel has been found to help in preventing conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bone fractures, inflammatory polyarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Lemon peel is good for oral health
The high concentration of vitamin C in lemon peel helps in preventing dental problems such as gum disease, gingivitis and bleeding gums. The essentials oils of the peel, when applied topically are effective in getting rid of the bacteria that cause dental cavities and periodontitis. The acid content of lemon peel is beneficial in whitening dull or stained teeth. In order to get a whitening effect, all you have to do is to rub the inner white portion of the peel on your teeth for a few minutes and then rinse well with water.
Lemon peel improves digestion
Lemon peel can improve the health of the digestive system as it contains plenty of dietary fiber. Fiber helps in normalizing the bowel movements by adding bulk to the stools and promoting easy expulsion of the waste matter from the intestine. Thus it is of great help for people suffering from digestive problems like constipation. Lemon peel has also been found to be helpful in reducing gas and cramping in the digestive system. It has long been used in traditional medicine to relieve upset stomach, indigestion, colic and also to stop vomiting. Lemon peel helps in destroying putrefactive bacteria in both the mouth and intestine, thus helping to eliminate bad breath and improve digestion.
Lemon peel for weight loss
Lemon peel helps you lose weight as it contains pectin, which forms a gel like substance in the stomach that reduces the absorption of sugar. This helps in reducing food cravings and hence leads to weight loss. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, pectin fills you up and you tend to feel satisfied for a longer period of time, thereby reducing your appetite and stopping your tendency to eat for up to several hours.
Lemon peel is good for people with diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, citrus fruits like lemon are beneficial for people suffering from diabetes as these fruits are loaded with vitamins, soluble fiber and other important nutrients. The soluble fiber found in the lemon peel helps in managing diabetes by helping to slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood stream, thus helping to steady the levels of blood glucose.
Lemon peel can soften rough skin
Lemon is a great remedy for softening rough skin on the elbows, knees and heels. A combination of baking soda, lemon peels and lemon juice, when applied on the rough skin can help in making the skin soft and smooth.
Other uses of lemon peel
Apart from all the health benefits mentioned above, there are numerous other uses for lemon peels, especially for cleaning purposes. Some of them are listed below:
Lemon peel for eliminating grease
The lemon all purpose cleaner, also known as lemon vinegar is a very effective solution for removing tough stains and grease. To make this solution, stuff lemon peels in a glass jar and pour vinegar over it. Close the lid and forget about it for two weeks. After two weeks strain the liquid and add water (50:50). This solution that has disinfecting properties can clean almost anything.
Use lemon peel to freshen your refrigerator
Placing lemon peels in your fridge can absorb the smells inside and provide a refreshing citrusy scent.
Lemon peel can drive away ants and pests
Insects like ants, roaches, pests and fleas can’t stand the smell of lemons and so placing lemon peel on door entrances, windowsills, cracks or holes can help in eliminating these insects.
Lemon peel as a polish
Rubbing chrome faucets and other tainted chrome with lemon peel can help remove residue and mineral deposits. It can also be used to brighten brass, copper, or stainless steel. All you have to do is simply rub the affected area with sea salt and lemon peel and then rinse.
Lemon peel for deodorizing garbage disposal
Place a few lemon peels in the garbage can and notice the nice citrus and fresh smell it can bring to your kitchen.
Lemon peel for removing stains from coffee cup
The stains in your coffee mug can be removed by placing lemon peel into it and adding water. Allow it sit for a few hours and then wipe the stains with a cloth. You can see that the stains are easily removed.
Lemon peels can clean the microwave
Add lemon peels to a microwave safe dish containing some water. Microwave on high for about five minutes and allow the water to boil. The steam will condense on the tops and walls of the oven. Carefully remove the hot bowl from the oven and then wipe with a towel. Your microwave oven will be clean and smelling fresh.
How to Make Candied Lemon Peel?
Candied lemon peel is good way of eating lemon peel. Your ingredients for making Candied lemon peel include – lemon peels, sugar and other flavorings. It would take around a hour to make good candied lemon peel at home. First is removing peels out of lemon. Just cut lemon with sharp knife in 4 quarters. Peel off flesh away. You can use them for making other foods. Scrape out the fibrous white part from the lemon peel inside. Then slice them into long thin strips. In a pan boil these strips they are bit soft. Strain out water and allow them to cool. Boiling removes the bitterness from lemons. Now make sugar syrup by boiling sugar with equal amount of water. Add lemon peels to this syrup and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes on low simmer. When fully cooked these lemon peels would be translucent and easy to bite. Drain the lemon peel strips and allow them to cook for 15 minutes. Now coat the lemon peels with powdered sugar and allow them to dry. Your candied lemon peels are ready. Tastes good with chocolate dip. You can add bit of cardamom or nutmeg for a mild flavor. If you find process difficult candied lemon peels are available in market. Where to buy candied lemon peel? Search the shop nearby else you would definitely find it online. Here is wonderful illustration by Marcie on how to make candied citrus peels.
Grated lemon peel is also known as lemon zest. Lemon zest includes only the yellow part of the peel. White portion of the peel is often bitter. Lemon peels are air dried and has multiple uses. Dried lemon peel is often used as spice. It adds lemony zest flavor. Dried lemon peels are used in making herbal tea. Try out green tea with dried lemon peel for refreshing flavor. Similarly lemon zest can be air dried for future use. Dried lemon zest is often substituted for fresh lemon zest.
Everyone is familiar with the fact that lemon has natural medicinal and soothing properties. Surprisingly enough, the lemon peel also contains certain vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which can improve your overall health. So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But be sure not to throw away the peel! Just explore more ways to use lemon peels.