Reasons Why You Should Never Throw Away Orange Peel. Doctor Explains

An expert suggests that even with careful meal preparation, unavoidable small scraps shouldn’t be discarded. These leftovers have valuable uses that can promote sustainability and reduce waste.

Home cooks often don’t realize they might be discarding some of the most nutritious parts of their ingredients. Dr. Karan Raj, an NHS surgeon with a large TikTok following, advises against throwing away orange peels.

Although not usually eaten alone, the zest can enhance the nutritional value of various dishes. Orange peels are a good source of pectin, a soluble dietary fiber, and are rich in Vitamin C, sometimes even more so than the fruit’s flesh.

They also contain carotenoids and polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties. These peels can be creatively used as a garnish on desserts like ice cream and cakes, or mixed into yogurt.

Research has demonstrated that orange peels are richer in polyphenols—plant compounds with health benefits—than the fruit’s flesh. A 2023 study found that orange peels contain higher levels of phenolic compounds, vitamin C, flavonoids, and exhibit greater antioxidant properties than the seeds and pulp. Dr. Raj, in a video, also highlighted the nutritional value of seeds from butternut squashes and pumpkins, noting they are an excellent source of plant protein.

He recommends roasting these seeds to add to soups and salads or eating them raw as a snack. Additionally, he suggests using the often-discarded skins of onions and garlic in soups, stocks, and stews to infuse them with nutrients like Vitamins A and C, which can be strained out before serving.

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