what can i do with orange peels

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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Can You Eat Orange Peels, and Should You?

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits worldwide.

Yet, other than zesting, orange peels are usually removed and discarded before the fruit is eaten.

Still, some argue that orange peels contain important nutrients and should be eaten rather than thrown away.

This article reviews whether orange peels are a healthy addition to your diet.

Trio of peeled oranges header
Sophia Hsin/Stocksy United

Beneficial nutrients and plant compounds

Oranges are juicy, sweet citrus fruits known for being high in vitamin C.

It’s perhaps less well known that orange peels are also rich in several nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, and plant compounds like polyphenols.

In fact, just 1 tablespoon (6 grams) of orange peel provides 14% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C — nearly 3 times more than the inner fruit. The same serving also packs about 4 times more fiber.

Studies show that diets high in vitamin C and fiber benefit heart and digestive health and may protect against certain types of cancer.

Orange peel also contains good amounts of provitamin A, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, and calcium

Plus, it’s rich in plant compounds called polyphenols, which may help prevent and manage many chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

One test-tube study found that the total polyphenol content and activity in orange peels was significantly higher than in the actual fruit.

Specifically, orange peels are a good source of the polyphenols hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones (PMFs), both of which are being studied for their potential anticancer effects.

Also, nearly 90% of the essential oils in orange peels are composed of limonene, a naturally occurring chemical that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, including against skin cancer


Orange peels are rich in fiber, vitamins, and disease-fighting polyphenols. They also contain limonene, a chemical that may protect against skin cancer.

Potential drawbacks

Despite the nutritional benefits, eating orange peels also has certain drawbacks.

Pesticide residue

Pesticides are frequently used on citrus fruits like oranges to protect against mold and insects.

Though studies have found the inner fruit of oranges to have very low or undetectable pesticide levels, the peels contain significantly higher amount.

Studies link chronic pesticide intake to negative health effects, including increased cancer risk and hormone dysfunction.

These effects are primarily associated with chronically high levels of exposure rather than the relatively small amounts found in the peels and skins of fruits.

However, it’s still recommended to wash oranges under hot water to reduce the amount of pesticides ingested.

The FDA allows a very limited/regulated use of citrus red 2 food dye to be sprayed on some oranges to improve color but the amount used is extremely small. Human research is lacking on any health effects of consuming citrus red 2 dye.

May be hard to digest

Due to their tough texture and high fiber content, orange peels can be difficult to digest.

Eating them, especially larger pieces at a time, could cause stomach discomfort, such as cramps or bloating.

Unpleasant taste and texture

Unlike the inner fruit of an orange, the peel has a tough, dry texture that is difficult to chew.

It’s also bitter, which some people may find off-putting.

Despite its nutritional benefits, the combination of a bitter flavor and tough texture may make orange peels unappealing.


Orange peels have an unpleasant, bitter flavor and tough texture, which may be difficult to digest. Also, they may contain pesticides and need to be washed before eating.

How to eat it

Though you can bite directly into the skin of an orange, it’s best to eat smaller amounts at a time to prevent stomach upset.

Using a knife or vegetable peeler, orange peels can be cut into thin strips and added to salads or smoothies.

For a sweeter take, they can be candied or used to make orange marmalade.

Finally, orange zest is an easy way to incorporate smaller amounts of orange peel by adding it to yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, salad dressings, or marinades.

Still, if you decide to try them, remember to wash the fruit first.


Orange peels can be enjoyed raw in salads and smoothies, cooked to make orange marmalade, or zested to add a pop of orange color and flavor to foods.


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The bottom line

Though often discarded, orange peels are rich in important nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols.

Still, they’re bitter, can be hard to digest, and may harbor pesticide residues.

You can offset many of the drawbacks by rinsing them under hot water and then adding small pieces to smoothies or dishes like salads.

Nevertheless, given that you can obtain the same benefits from enjoying a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, eating orange peels isn’t necessary.


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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Orange Juice

Orange juice is enjoyed around the world.

It’s made by squeezing oranges to extract the juice, either by hand or using commercial methods.

It’s naturally high in vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium. Plus, commercial varieties are often enriched with calcium and vitamin D.

Nonetheless, there’s controversy regarding whether or not it contributes to a healthy diet.

Here are 5 health benefits of orange juice.

1. Rich in Several Important Nutrients

Orange juice is high in many nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of orange juice provides approximately.

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 26 grams
  • Vitamin C: 67% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Folate: 15% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 10% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDI

Orange juice is a concentrated source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that doubles as a powerful antioxidant and plays a central role in immune function.

Additionally, vitamin C helps promote bone formation, wound healing, and gum health.

Orange juice is also rich in folate, which is needed for DNA synthesis and supports fetal growth and development

Not to mention, it’s an excellent source of the mineral potassium, which regulates blood pressure, prevents bone loss, and protects against heart disease and stroke.

SUMMARYOrange juice is high in several necessary nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

2. High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants in orange juice promote health by preventing oxidative damage — an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules known as free radicals.

Research shows that antioxidants are crucial to maintaining overall health. They may even help protect against chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Orange juice is a good source of antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid.

One 8-week study found that drinking 25 ounces (750 ml) of orange juice daily increased antioxidant status significantly (8).

Another study had similar findings, reporting that drinking 20 ounces (591 ml) of orange juice daily for 90 days increased total antioxidant status in 24 adults with high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Plus, in a study in over 4,000 adults, orange juice was considered one of the top sources of antioxidants in the average American diet — alongside tea, berries, wine, supplements, and vegetables.

SUMMARYOrange juice is high in antioxidants and can help increase antioxidant status to aid in disease prevention.

3. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small mineral deposits that accumulate in your kidneys, often causing symptoms like severe pain, nausea, or blood in your urine

Orange juice can increase the pH or urine, making it more alkaline. Studies show that having a higher, more alkaline urinary pH may aid in preventing kidney stones.

One small study observed that orange juice was more effective than lemonade at reducing several kidney stone risk factors.

Another study in 194,095 people found that those who consumed orange juice at least once daily had a 12% lower risk of developing kidney stones than those who drank less than one serving a week

SUMMARYOrange juice can increase the pH of the urine and, as a result, lower the risk of kidney stones.

4. May Improve Heart Health

Heart disease is a serious problem, accounting for over 17 million deaths worldwide each year

Some studies show that drinking orange juice may reduce several risk factors for heart disease — such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol — and help keep your heart healthy and strong.

For example, one study in 129 people found that long-term orange juice consumption lowered levels of both total and “bad” LDL cholesterol

Furthermore, a review of 19 studies noted that drinking fruit juice was effective at decreasing diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a reading) in adults

Orange juice has also been shown to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in people with elevated levels — which could improve heart health

SUMMARYOrange juice may help increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as diastolic blood pressure.

5. May Decrease Inflammation

Acute inflammation is a normal part of the immune response designed to protect against disease and infection.

However, sustaining high levels of inflammation long term is thought to contribute to the development of chronic disease

Elevated markers of inflammation like C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) have all been seen in conditions like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Some studies suggest that orange juice could decrease inflammation and problems tied to it.

One review found that orange juice possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce levels of specific inflammatory markers tied to chronic disease.

SUMMARYOrange juice may help decrease markers of inflammation, which could help reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Potential Downsides

Though orange juice is connected to several health benefits, it’s also high in calories and sugar.

What’s more, unlike whole fruits, it lacks fiber, meaning it’s less filling and could potentially lead to weight gain (26).

Practicing portion control and opting for fresh-squeezed or 100% orange juice can help maximize health benefits while reducing your risk of adverse effects.

You can also try diluting orange juice with water to cut calories and prevent weight gain.

SUMMARYOrange juice is high in sugar and calories, which may contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar. Drink it in moderation and opt for fresh-squeezed or 100% orange juice whenever possible.

The Bottom Line

Orange juice is a favorite beverage high in antioxidants and micronutrients like vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

Regular consumption has been associated with several health benefits, including improved heart health, decreased inflammation, and a reduced risk of kidney stones.

Can You Eat Mango Skin?

The skin, peel or rind of fruits and vegetables acts as a protective covering for the softer, more delicate flesh inside.

Though often discarded, the majority of these peels are edible and packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals and powerful plant compounds.

Mango is a popular fruit whose skin is commonly removed and thrown away before eating.

Some people argue that mango skin — which is highly nutritious — should be consumed instead of tossed.

This article explores the value of eating mango skin.

Nutrients and Plant Compounds May Offer Various Benefits

Mango (Mangifera indica) is a tropical fruit celebrated for its sweet taste and high nutrient content.

Until the fruit fully ripens, the outer skin or peel is green.

When ripe, the skin turns shades of yellow, red or orange, depending on the type of mango.

The nutritional benefits of mango are well established. It’s an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C, E and B6, as well as the minerals potassium and copper.

Mangos also contain various plant compounds, including polyphenol and carotenoid antioxidants.

Like the flesh of the mango fruit, the skin is highly nutritious.

Research shows that mango skin is loaded with polyphenols, carotenoids, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E and various beneficial plant compounds

People who consume diets high in vitamin C, polyphenols and carotenoids have lower risks of heart disease, certain cancers and cognitive decline

One test-tube study found that mango skin extract exhibited stronger antioxidant and anticancer properties than mango flesh extract .

Additionally, the skins of these sweet fruits are high in triterpenes and triterpenoids — compounds that have demonstrated anticancer and antidiabetic qualities

The skin is also packed with fiber, which is important for digestive health and regulating hunger.

In fact, fiber makes up 45–78% of the total weight of the mango peel


Mango skins are highly nutritious and loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.

Potential Drawbacks of Eating Mango Skin

Though mango skin boasts a significant number of nutrients, it also carries risks.

May Cause an Allergic Reaction

Mango skin contains urushiol, a cocktail of organic chemicals also found in poison ivy and poison oak.

Urushiol can promote an allergic response in some people, especially those with sensitivities to poison ivy and other urushiol-heavy plants.

Be aware that consuming mango skin may cause an itchy rash and swelling of your skin

May Contain Pesticide Residue

Research links pesticide exposure to negative health effects, such as endocrine system disruption, reproductive problems and increased risk of certain cancers

Keep in mind that these effects are primarily associated with high, routine pesticide exposure, not the small amounts ingested from eating fruit skin.

Has an Unpleasant Texture and Taste

Though mango fruit is sweet, soft and pleasant to eat, the texture and taste of mango skin might seem unappetizing.

It’s relatively thick, difficult to chew and slightly bitter in taste.

Despite its nutritional benefits, the fibrous texture and unappealing taste of mango skin may turn you off.


Mango skin contains urushiol, a mixture of compounds that can cause allergic reactions. The skin also has an unappealing taste and may harbor pesticides.

Should You Eat It?

That mango skin is edible and packed with important nutrients and powerful plant compounds has been established.

Yet, you may wonder if the potential benefits outweigh the drawbacks outlined above, such as the tough texture, bitter taste and potential pesticide residues or allergic reactions.

In truth, the same nutrients in mango skin exist in many other fruits and vegetables, so it’s not necessary to endure the unpleasant taste of mango skin to reap its potential health benefits.


Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can provide the same nutritional benefits as eating mango skin.

How to Eat It

If you want to try mango skin, there are a few ways to eat it.

The easiest way is to simply consume mangoes the way you would an apple, pear or peach, biting into the fruit without removing the skin.

To mask the slightly bitter taste, try tossing skin-on mango slices into your favorite smoothie. Blending mango skin in with other tasty ingredients is an excellent way to make it more palatable.

Whether slicing or eating whole, be sure to wash the skin thoroughly with water or a fruit and veggie cleaner to remove pesticide residue.


You can try eating mango like an apple, biting into the fruit without removing the skin. If you want to mask the skin’s bitter taste, try blending unpeeled mango slices into your favorite smoothie. Always be sure to wash your mango thoroughly.

The Bottom Line

Mango skin is edible and packed with nutrients like vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

Though it may offer health benefits, it has an unpleasant taste, may preserve pesticide residues and contains compounds that may cause allergic reactions.

While eating mango skin is safe for most people, it’s unnecessary.

Simply consuming a diet high in whole foods — including fresh, colorful produce — will provide your body with all the nutrition it needs.

How to cut a mango


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Is Orange Juice Good or Bad for You?

Orange juice is the most popular fruit juice worldwide and has long been a breakfast staple.

Television commercials and marketing slogans portray this drink as unquestionably natural and healthy.

Yet, some scientists and health experts are concerned that this sweet beverage could harm your health.

This article looks at orange juice and whether it’s good or bad for you.

From the Orchard to Your Glass

Most store-bought types of orange juice aren’t made by simply squeezing fresh-picked oranges and pouring the juice into bottles or cartons.

Rather, they’re produced through a multi-step, rigorously controlled process, and the juice can be stored in large tanks for up to a year before packaging.

First, oranges are washed and squeezed by a machine. Pulp and oils are removed. The juice is heat-pasteurized to inactivate enzymes and kill microbes that could otherwise cause deterioration and spoilage

Next, some of the oxygen is removed, which helps reduce oxidative damage to vitamin C during storage. Juice to be stored as frozen concentrate is evaporated to remove most of the water

Unfortunately, these processes also remove compounds that provide aroma and flavor. Some of them are later added back to the juice from carefully blended flavor packs

Finally, before packaging, juice from oranges harvested at different times may be mixed to help minimize variations in quality. Pulp, which undergoes further processing after extraction, is added back to some juices


Supermarket orange juice isn’t the simple product it may appear to be. It undergoes complex, multi-step processing and can be stored in large tanks for up to a year before being packaged for sale in stores.

Orange Juice vs Whole Oranges

Orange juice and whole oranges are nutritionally similar, but there are some important differences.

Most notably, compared to a whole orange, a serving of orange juice has significantly less fiber and about twice the calories and carbs — which are mostly fruit sugar.

Here’s a closer look at the nutritional value of one cup (240 ml) of orange juice compared to a medium orange (131 grams) — either counts as one serving of fruit

Orange juiceFresh orange
Fat0 grams0 grams
Carbs25.5 grams15 grams
Fiber0.5 grams3 grams
Protein2 grams1 gram
Vitamin A4% of the RDI6% of the RDI
Vitamin C137% of the RDI116% of the RDI
Thiamine18% of the RDI8% of the RDI
Vitamin B67% of the RDI4% of the RDI
Folate11% of the RDI10% of the RDI
Calcium2% of the RDI5% of the RDI
Magnesium7% of the RDI3% of the RDI
Potassium14% of the RDI7% of the RDI

As you can see, the nutrient content of whole oranges and juice is similar. Both are excellent sources of vitamin C — which supports immune health — and a good source of folate — which helps reduce the risk of certain birth defects in pregnancy

However, juice would be even higher in these nutrients if some weren’t lost during processing and storage. For example, in one study, store-bought orange juice had 15% less vitamin C and 27% less folate than home-squeezed orange juice (4).

Though not listed on nutrition labels, oranges and orange juice are also rich in flavonoids and other beneficial plant compounds. Some of these are reduced during orange juice processing and storage

What’s more, one study found that — compared to unprocessed orange juice — pasteurized orange juice had 26% less antioxidant activity immediately after heat processing and 67% less antioxidant activity after about a month in storage


An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of orange juice has about twice the calories and sugar of a whole orange. Their vitamin and mineral content is similar, but juice loses some vitamins and beneficial plant compounds during processing and storage.

Are Some Types Healthier?

The healthiest type of orange juice is the kind you fresh-squeeze at home — but that can be time-consuming. Therefore, many people opt to buy orange juice from the supermarket.

The least healthy options are orange-flavored drinks that contain only a small percentage of real juice, along with several additives like high-fructose corn syrup and yellow food coloring.

A healthier choice is 100% orange juice — whether it’s made from frozen orange juice concentrate or never frozen. These two options are similar in nutritional value and taste

Stores also sell orange juice with added calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients. However, due to its high calorie count, you shouldn’t drink it just for these added nutrients. Instead, taking a supplement pill is a calorie-free way to fill in any dietary gaps

If you’re watching your calorie intake, you can buy orange juice beverages that promote 50% fewer calories and less sugar than regular orange juice.

However, these drinks contain added water and sugar substitutes — either natural ones, such as stevia, or artificial ones, including sucralose and acesulfame potassium, which you may prefer to avoid. If included, these will be listed in the ingredients list.

Finally, you can choose how much pulp you want in your orange juice. Extra pulp doesn’t add enough fiber to change the count on the nutrition label compared to pulpless juice, but it does supply beneficial plant compounds, including flavonoids


The most nutritious option for store-bought juice is 100% orange juice with extra pulp. The worst choices are orange-flavored drinks that contain little real juice along with added sugars.

Possible Benefits

Nearly 80% of Americans fall short of the recommended daily fruit intake, which is two cups daily for the average adult. Orange juice is available year-round and has consistent quality, making it a convenient and flavorful way to help you meet your fruit quota

Additionally, it generally costs less than whole oranges. Therefore, it can help those on a strict budget meet their daily fruit recommendations

Still, health experts advise opting for whole fruit over juice when you can and note that fruit juice should make up no more than half of your daily fruit quota, meaning no more than one cup (240 ml) a day for the average adult

Several studies have tested the heart health benefits of orange juice and suggest that it may help increase your antioxidant status and protect against free radical damage to cholesterol, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis

However, these studies are typically sponsored by companies or groups with an interest in selling more orange juice and/or require people to drink higher amounts of orange juice, such as two cups a day or more.

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