A lot of kids don’t care for fruit and veggie skins, and we’ll do almost anything to get them to eat green stuff (the good kind), so if peeling helps we do it. After a certain age, the choking hazard from some tougher skins like apple becomes less of a concern, but our kids’ preferences may have settled. How much nutritional value are we losing? We think it is fair to say that any fruit and veggies are good, so don’t stop peeling if you do, but here are some things we found out about it recently.
An apple with its peel provides almost twice as much fiber, 50 percent
more vitamin A, and 25 percent more potassium as one without it. (Just
wash the apple first.)
Most of the cuke’s fiber comes from the seeds, and you won’t lose too
much potassium, either. That hard-to-wash-off waxy coating is there
mainly to slow down ripening.
Peel. The texture of unpeeled carrots can be a turnoff, and peeling won’t cost you much potassium, vitamin A, or fiber.
The flesh and the skin are packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, and
fiber. If the fuzz is a deal breaker, try nectarines, which have the
same nutrients and fiber.
You’ve probably been spooning out the green flesh inside for years, but a kiwi’s fuzzy exterior is also edible. In fact, the skin contains more flavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin C than the insides—and double the fiber. So ditch the spoon, wash the kiwi and eat it like a peach. If you find the fuzz unappetizing, scrape it off first.
Researchers found that mango skin contains properties similar to resveratrol, which helps burn fat and inhibits the production of mature fat cells. Mango flesh extracts were also tested, but did not produce the same results, which suggests that one needs to eat mango skin in order to get this beneficial property.
A mango’s peel also contains larger quantities of carotenoids, polyphenols, omega-3, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids than its flesh. Another study found compounds more heavily concentrated in mango’s skin that fight off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Mango skin also has quercetin.
The skin of a mango can be eaten raw, or cooked along with the insides. Another way to eat both flesh and skin is to pickle the entire mango.
In a related consideration, we always check for information from the Environmental Working Group. They don’t have anything specific to say about peeling or not peeling, but this decision might well be affected by the what pesticides are on what produce. Their 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is worth checking out.