No matter how you slice it (or peel it), apples are antioxidant-rich, fiber-filled, and delicious. But are there health benefits to consuming the peel of the apple, or just the fruit inside?
Apples, much like other fruits and vegetables, are an incredibly healthy addition to any diet. While the whole fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals, the peel is the powerhouse of the apple: it holds up to 300% more vitamin K and over 100% more vitamin A and C.
There is no question about the high levels of apple peel nutrition.
Some recipes, like apple pie, require peeled apples to achieve the right texture. That’s fine, but don't throw away those scraps! You can use apple peels and cores in a ton of delicious recipes, from jelly to vinegar or hard cider.
Read more below about the apple skin benefits that help this small fruit deliver big on nutrition.
Peeling Apples: Should You Do It?
This isn't cut and dry. Everyone has individual tastes, and if you prefer your apples peeled, you will still reap some of the health benefits that an apple has to offer.
If you don't have a preference, don’t peel your apples before you eat them and keep the extra vitamins in your diet.
Growers often spray apples with a lot of pesticides. Buy organic apples to avoid consuming these harmful toxins.
If you can't access organic apples, give each apple a thorough wash before eating them to remove wax and pesticides. Use a soft-bristled brush and warm water to clean each apple. Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to safely dissolve wax and remove some of the pesticides on the apple's surface.
This method can help, but it isn’t foolproof. You may feel more comfortable using an apple peeler to skin your apples and avoid ingesting dangerous pesticides.
Is Apple Skin Healthy?
Yes! Here are some vital reasons you should think twice before you peel your apples.
Dietary fiber in apples
Apple peels have a very high fiber content, which helps with satiety: you'll feel full for longer, allowing you to eat less throughout the day. Dietary fiber promotes weight loss, healthy eating, and friendly gut bacteria.
Viscous fiber is a particular type of fiber found in fruits that is especially good at appetite suppression, so eat up if you're looking to lose weight!
Reduced risk of diabetes
Eating apples daily can reduce your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes by 28%. The polyphenols help protect and prevent tissue damage to beta cells in your pancreas, which produce insulin and are usually damaged in those who have diabetes.
Sky-high vitamin content
Vitamins and minerals help your whole body to function at its best. Vitamin C keeps your immune system healthy and prevents free radicals. Potassium is an essential electrolyte that helps nerve function and muscle contraction. B vitamins aid red blood cell creation and neurotransmitters.
A medium-sized apple will give you up to:
- 11% of daily vitamin C needs
- 4% of daily potassium needs
- Riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6
The peels of the apple contain ursolic acid, which helps to burn calories. Scientists have linked this helpful acid to improving skeletal muscle, as well as decreasing the tendency toward obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease.
The high fiber content in apples can help with a multitude of digestive issues. Whether you struggle with constipation, diarrhea, or IBS, fiber can help regulate your digestion and promote healthy gut bacteria growth.
Heart disease reduction
Eating apples every day can help to lower cholesterol levels in our blood. The fiber and polyphenols work together to help reduce the risks of heart disease and lower blood pressure.
Apples and other fresh fruits are full of these helpful compounds that do everything from regulating blood pressure to reducing the likelihood of diseases, cancer, and heart-related issues. They also lower the chances of Alzheimer's and reduce cell damage. The most common antioxidants in apple peels are quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid.
Researchers found that the fruit's skin contains most of the antioxidants, with up to 328 times more in the peels than the pulp. So, be sure to keep the skins on your apples if you want a daily hit of antioxidants.
Final Word: Are Apple Peels Good for You?
There are many reasons to put down the peeler and eat your apple whole. From heart disease to cancer, or simply weight loss, these delicious fruits can give you quite a boost.
Some circumstances and recipes require peeled apples, but try to keep the skins on as often you can to reap this sweet and tasty superfood's benefits!