Produce Skin You Can & Should Eat

Why add unnecessary trash to the landfills when what you’re throwing out can actually benefit you? This list of produce skin that you can and should eat will blow your mind.

Organic materials (like food waste) are sadly the 2nd largest component of landfills and greenhouse gas emissions.1 How can you help? Stop peeling produce when you don’t have to!

Removing the skin from certain fruits and veggies not only creates unnecessary waste; but, wastes time and can rob you of precious vital nutrients.

So take the leap and start eating the skins of these 8 produce items! You won’t only be helping the environment; but, your beloved body too.

The kiwi fruit’s fuzzy brown skin is not only responsible for it’s name—it resembles the New Zealand native kiwi bird, but increases its nutrient content too!

Already a food high in fiber, the skin contains even more dietary fiber and vitamin C than the inner fruit inside says Lauren Marek, R.D. (University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus).

Scrub the skin under warm water to remove any grime and the fuzz should rub right off with it!

Potatoes are a low-cal starch that pack a ton of vitamins and minerals (i.e. potassium and vitamins B6 & C)2. But, don’t peel that skin! Most of these valuable nutrients are found in the potato’s rough skin3.

Boiled potatoes tend to lose a lot of their nutrients to the water they’re cooked in; but, cooking the starch in their skin protects them from this loss.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…one with skin that is!

This fruit’s skin is more nutrient-rich than the flesh because of its presence of phytochemicals4.

These plant-powered nutrients make apples a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium5.

Composed of 95% water, cucumbers are a great low-cal source of hydration and nourishing vitamins: A, C and K. When eaten with the skin on, they also throw fiber into that mix of goodness!6

Carrots are an amazing source of beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A) but a lot of precious nutrients are found in the flesh directly beneath the skin. That means your peeler may get dangerously close to ridding the veggie of this nutrient-dense flesh.

To avoid removing the nutrients, chop greens and ends then gently scrub carrots with a clean vegetable brush or sponge under warm water.

While the presence of beet skin doesn’t necessarily strengthen the root vegetable’s nutritional value, it can certainly be eaten.

Beet skin is helpful for containing the vibrant juice which can easily stain clothing or skin during preparation.

Prepare beets using the same method as carrots.

Although sweet potatoes are neither a potato or a yam (they’re actually members of the morning glory family)7, they carry a nutritional value similar to that of a potato.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber, potassium, folate and essential vitamins C & E. Like potatoes, a high percentage of these nutrients are found solely in the sweet potato’s skin.

Be sure to thoroughly scrub the rough skin before cooking to rid it off any earth remnants/toxins.

Eggplant’s purple skin is the only known organic source of the powerful free-radical fighting flavanoid and antioxidant, nasunin.

Nasunin protects cells from damage by defending the lipids, which are responsible for letting nutrients in and waste out8.

So the next time you indulge in any of these delicious fruits or vegetables, save yourself some time & nutrients by skipping the peeling step. Leave those babies skinned because your body will appreciate it (as will your hands) and the Earth will too!

[3] Dennett, C. (2015). Nutrition is More Than Skin Deep. Environmental Nutrition, 38(5), 6.
[4] Ask Tufts Experts. (2007). Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 25(2), 7.
[5] Skin Adds More Than Color and Crunch To an Apple’s Bite. (2000). Environmental Nutrition, 23(10), 8.
[7] Bhide, M. (2006). sweet potatoes. Better Nutrition, 68(2), 28-31.
[8] Eggplant: Superfood?. (2010). Running & FitNews, 28(3), 17-20.

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