Fruit is an important part of any nutritious, balanced diet. Some people like to peel fruit such as apples and pears. However, peeling fruit before you eat it can deprive you of the many important vitamins and nutrients found in the skin. Wondering which fruits you shouldn’t peel to benefit of their full nutritional value?
You can use this “rule of thumb” guideline: If your thumbnail can easily break the skin, you shouldn’t peel it.
Put the peeler down when handling apples. The fruit is one of the 13 most vitamin-rich foods in the grocery store—an apple a day really might help keep the doctor away—but the apple peel has 500 percent more nutrients than the actual fruit flesh.
Avoid the temptation to peel grapes, even if the peel is slightly tart. The skin contains much of the fruit’s antioxidants, including resveratrol, the cancer-fighting substance that helps give red grape skin its color. This skin of the grape is what lends wine its antioxidant properties.
Most of the phytonutrients in an orange are in the white pulp and peel, which is why orange juice with pulp has more nutritional value than orange juice without pulp, according to the the World’s Healthiest Foods website. When peeling an orange, try to keep as much of the white pulp on the surface of the fruit as possible. Although you probably don’t want to eat the orange rind, you can toss some into a blender when you are making smoothies.
To get the full benefit of a pear’s nutritional value, you should eat the peel, according to the Iowa State University Extension. This is where you find beneficial antioxidants like vitamin C. However, pears often bruise easily, and the bruises can become moldy. In such cases, you shouldn’t try to eat the pear peel.