Introduction: The old adage goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While apples are undoubtedly healthy, many people peel off and throw away the nutrient-rich skin of the apple. The apple skin is not only edible but also provides many health benefits. In this article, we explore some of the major health benefits of eating apple skins.
Higher Nutrient Content
The apple skin contains a higher concentration of nutrients than the flesh inside. The skin is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like quercetin and catechin. You benefit from these additional nutrients by not peeling your apples.
Better Heart Health
Apple skins are high in pectin, a fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. The skin also contains polyphenols that have antioxidant properties and can help reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. So, leaving the skin on can boost the heart-healthy effects of apples.
The high fiber content of apple skins promotes better digestion and gut health. The fiber acts as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in the gut. It can help regulate bowel movements and prevent digestive issues like constipation. The polyphenols in the skin also have anti-inflammatory effects that can soothe the digestive system.
Controls Blood Sugar
Apple skins are high in polyphenols that can help control blood sugar levels. Polyphenols can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood glucose spikes after eating. So, leaving the skin on may aid blood sugar control, which is important for health and reducing diabetes risk.
The antioxidants in apple skins like quercetin and catechin have potent anti-cancer effects. They can help eliminate free radicals that cause cell damage and reduce the risk of cancer. Studies show that apple skin extracts may prevent the growth and spread of breast, colon, and liver cancer cells. Thus, apple skins may have chemo-preventive properties that could help ward off cancer.
Can you eat too much apple skin?
While apple skins are generally safe to eat, it’s important to remember that they can be high in pesticides and other contaminants. To reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals, be sure to wash your apples thoroughly before eating them. Additionally, eating too many apple skins can cause stomach upset in some people, so it’s best to consume them in moderation.
Can you eat apple skins if you have a food allergy?
Apple skins are not a common allergen, but some people may be allergic to certain proteins found in apple skins. If you have a food allergy, it’s important to speak with your doctor before consuming apple skins or any other new food.
What are some creative ways to incorporate apple skins into your diet?
There are plenty of creative ways to enjoy the many apple skin benefits. Here are a few ideas:
Add apple skins to smoothies for an extra boost of fiber and nutrients
Use apple skins to make homemade apple cider vinegar
Bake apple skins with cinnamon and sugar for a healthy, crispy snack
Use apple skins in place of potato skins for a healthier take on loaded baked potatoes
The next time you eat an apple, think twice before peeling off the skin. Apple skins are edible and packed with nutrients that provide various health benefits. Leaving the skin on can help you get more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in your diet and improve digestion, heart health, blood sugar control, and even cancer prevention. With numerous benefits and an easy way to consume, apple skins are worth including as part of a healthy diet.