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Should You Peel Your Fruits and Vegetables?

 No doubt increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will improve your health.

It's debatable, though, whether certain fruits and vegetables are best eaten with or without peel.

Peels are frequently thrown away out of habit, desire, or an effort to limit pesticide exposure. However, eliminating the peels can mean eliminating one of the plant's most nutrient-rich components.

This article examines the scientific evidence to decide if it is preferable to remove peels from fruits and vegetables.


Peels are packed with nutrients

Peels include a wealth of healthy nutrients.

Depending on the fruit or vegetable, they contain varying levels of nutrients. Unpeeled vegetables, on the other hand, typically have higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy plant substances than peeled produce.

In actuality, a raw apple with skin has up to 19% more potassium, 20% more calcium, 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, and 115% more vitamin C than a peeled apple.

Similar to this, a potato with skin that has been boiled can have up to 175% more vitamin C, 115% more potassium, 111% more folate, and 110% more magnesium and phosphorus than one that has been peeled.

Peels from vegetables also include a lot more fibre and antioxidants. For instance, a vegetable's skin may contain up to 31% of the total amount of fibre in the vegetable. Additionally, fruit peels might contain up to 328 times more antioxidants than apple pulp.

Consequently, consuming your fruits and veggies without peeling them can boost your vitamin intake.


Fruit and vegetable peels are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among other nutrients. Your total intake of these nutrients might be increased if you eat the peel along with the pulp.

Peels may help you feel fuller and longer

Peels from fruits and vegetables might curb your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer.

This is mainly because they contain a lot of fibre. While the precise amount of fibre varies, before the outer layers are peeled, fresh fruits and vegetables may have up to a third more fibre.

Fibre can help you feel fuller for longer, according to numerous research. Fibre may accomplish this by physically extending the stomach, reducing the rate at which it empties, or affecting the rate at which your body releases chemicals that signal fullness.

Studies suggest that viscous fibre, a type of fibre found in fruits and vegetables, may be particularly helpful for suppressing hunger.

Additionally, fibre provides nourishment for the beneficial microorganisms in your gut. Short-chain fatty acids are created by these bacteria when they consume fibre, and they seem to increase feelings of fullness.

Furthermore, numerous studies have found that diets high in fibre tend to cause people to feel less hungry and consume fewer calories each day, which may result in weight loss.

As a result, eating unpeeled fruits and veggies may help you eat less and possibly even lose weight.

SUMMARY Because fruit and vegetable peels are so abundant in fibre, they may help you feel filled for longer and curb your appetite.

Peels may help prevent some diseases

Antioxidants are healthy plant chemicals found in fruits and vegetables that may lower the risk of numerous diseases.

Simply put, the major goal of antioxidants is to combat dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. Oxidative stress can be brought on by high quantities of free radicals, which can eventually injure cells and possibly raise the risk of disease.

Antioxidants may help reduce the risk of heart disease and several types of cancer, according to researchers.

Lower risk of neurological illnesses like Alzheimer's disease has also been related to certain antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants are naturally abundant in fruits and vegetables, however, studies show that they are concentrated more on the outer layer.

According to one study, the antioxidant content of fruit and vegetable peels was up to 328 times greater than that of their pulps.

Therefore, you should eat fruit and veggies unpeeled to maximise your intake of antioxidants from them.


Consuming fruits and vegetables that have not been peeled may increase antioxidant consumption. This could lower your risk of developing some diseases by preventing free radical damage.

Some peels are hard to clean or inedible

Some fruit or vegetable peels may be difficult to eat or downright inedible.

For instance, avocado and honeydew melon peels are not recommended for consumption, whether they are cooked or uncooked.

Other fruit and vegetable peels, like those from pineapple, melons, onions, and celeriac, can have a hard texture that makes them challenging to chew and digest. It is typically advisable to remove and avoid eating these peels.

Furthermore, even though some vegetable peels are regarded as edible, most people find them to be unappealing when they are still raw. Examples include the peels of winter squash and pumpkin, which are best eaten after cooking to make the peels softer.

Citrus fruits also have bitter and rough skins, which make them challenging to eat raw. These are usually best used as zest, fried, or just thrown out.

Even though they are entirely edible, certain fruit and vegetable peels have a bitter flavour or are covered in a layer of wax or grime that can be challenging to remove.

Peeling may still be your best option if the thought of eating these fruits and vegetables with the skin makes you decide against eating them at all.


Some peels may not be edible, have a rough texture, be difficult to clean, or be difficult to digest. Peels may be better removed in these situations and left unattended.

Peels may contain pesticides

Pesticides are frequently used to boost productivity and lessen crop damage.

Contrary to popular opinion, both commercially grown and organically cultivated fruits and vegetables contain pesticides.

While certain pesticides do penetrate fruit and vegetable flesh, the majority are restricted to the peel.

Pesticide residues that are merely lightly adhered to the peel's surface can be removed by washing. Peeling is the most effective approach to get rid of pesticides that have soaked into fruit and vegetable skin, though.

For instance, a recent assessment indicated that peeling removed up to twice as much of the pesticide residues identified on apples than washing with water did.

This may be sufficient justification for many people to only consume the flesh of all fruits and vegetables if they are worried about their overall exposure to pesticides.

The EWG research, which ranks the pesticide contamination levels in 48 common fruits and vegetables in America, may be of interest to those who are particularly concerned about their pesticide intake.

However, the advantage of the higher number of nutrients in the skin may not necessarily offset the risk of ingesting a little bit more pesticides.

Pesticide use on fresh produce is strictly controlled. Less than 4% of the time do pesticide levels surpass the permitted top limits, and even then, studies demonstrate that this rarely causes harm to people.

Therefore, even if washing veggies removes more pesticides than peeling them does, the difference is probably insignificant and shouldn't cause concern.


Pesticide concentrations in fresh produce are strictly controlled. Even though washing alone does not seem to be as good at removing pesticides as peeling seems to, the difference is probably too minor to notice.

Which peels are safe to eat?

While certain peels might not be healthy to consume, others might.

The summary of which common fruits and vegetables need to be peeled and which don't are provided in the lists below.

Best peeled:
  • avocado
  • onion
  • citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, etc.)
  • tropical fruits (lychee, pineapple, papaya, etc.)
  • garlic
  • hard winter squash
  • melon
Edible peels:
  • apple
  • apricot
  • zucchini
  • asparagus
  • banana
  • berries
  • squash (if well cooked)
  • carrot
  • potato
  • cherries
  • plum
  • citrus fruits (grated or cooked)
  • cucumber
  • pepper
  • eggplant
  • pear
  • grape
  • kiwi
  • mushroom
  • parsnip
  • pea
  • peach


It is best to peel some fruits and vegetables, such as melons, garlic, and pineapples. Some fruits and vegetables, such as apples, eggplants, and plums, are best eaten whole.

The bottom line

Peels are among the most nutrient-dense components of a plant since they are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some fruits and vegetables have stiff peels that are either impossible to eat, difficult to digest, bitter, or both. It is advised to avoid eating these peels.

But the majority of peels are edible. So, if at all feasible, try eating your fruits and veggies without peeling them.


Should we peel apple skin?

Eating it with the peel is way more healthy than eating without the peel.

Should I eat apple skin?


Should I remove the cucumber skin?

It is usually not necessary to peel a cucumber or remove the seeds if you plan to eat it raw.

Is it OK to eat the skin of fruit?

Peels are packed with beneficial nutrients.

Is it OK to eat the skin of fruit?

Peels are packed with beneficial nutrients.

Is it OK to eat cucumber skin?

You can eat the peel of a cucumber.

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