Every time I eat an orange, I always start by skinning it and throwing away the peels. Apparently, I’ve been doing it wrong my whole life! Just beneath the skin peels lies an abundance of fruit acids and vitamin C. The peels even have more phytonutrients and flavonoids than the inner pulp – which most of us have been tossing down the drain.
Here are 8 reasons I’ve recently discovered as to why you should never throw away your orange peels.
1. Peels Improve Skin Tone
Orange peels can remove skin blemishes and dark spots! Their vitamin C content maintains your skin’s suppleness, prevents dullness and adds a healthy glow. It even acts as a natural sunscreen by blocking harmful UV rays! (Note: I wouldn’t use this as a replacement for sunscreen.)
- Mix 2 teaspoons each of orange peel powder and plain yogurt along with 1 teaspoon of honey to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to your face and neck, and gently massage in a circular motion.
- Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Use this face mask paste 2 to 3 times per week.
To prepare orange peel powder, dry the peels in the sun for about 3 days.
2. Fights Aging Signs
Orange peels contain tons of antioxidants, which fight off the free radicals responsible for wrinkles and sagging skin. This also works as a great skin toner!
- Mix 1 tablespoon each of orange peel powder and oatmeal powder with enough honey to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on your face and neck area.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Apply once a week for the best results.
3. Whitens Teeth
You know that yellow tinge on your teeth? Orange peels can remove it! They contain a compound called d-limonene, which helps reduce teeth staining (even from smoking!)
- Rub the inside of an orange peel (the white portion) over your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse. Do this twice a day until you’ve got those pearly whites.
- Alternatively, you could mix some orange peel powder and some water to make a paste. Add dried leaves for bonus points. Use this paste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth. Repeat twice a day for a few weeks.
4. Aids Weight Loss
Vitamin C has been shown to help you lose weight. Orange peels have tons of the stuff. In order to aid your weight loss goals, replace coffee or soda with orange peel tea.
- Dry the peels from some organic oranges in a cool, dry place.
- Put 1 tablespoon of dried peels in 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove the peels and add some raw honey.
- Drink 2 cups daily.
5. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Orange peels can reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol) in your body. LDL increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. The pectin in orange peels helps to reduce cholesterol and even lower blood pressure!
All you have to do is drink the orange peel tea I talked about above twice a day, every day.
6. Regulates Bowel Movements
Orange peels can improve your digestion! The high dietary fiber in them helps regulate your bowel movements and prevents constipation. This is also a good treatment for various digestive disorders, including indigestion, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and heartburn. Oh, and that awesome pectin in the peels promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut!
After you finish eating, just (you guessed it!) drink a cup of orange peel tea.
7. Works as a Natural Air Freshener
Let’s face it: Oranges smell fantastic. Their peels smell fantastic as well. That strong citrus smell is great at masking unpleasant odors across your home.
- Put a handful of fresh orange peels, some lemon juice, and some cinnamon sticks in 2 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Strain, allow the mixture to cool and then transfer it into a spray bottle. Use as needed!
- Put some orange peel powder in small bottles and use them around the house.
- Put dried orange peels at the bottom of your trashcan to stop those awful smells from cropping up.
8. Repels Mosquitos and Ants
Bugs suck. But you’re in luck – they hate orange peels! They don’t like the limonene (which contributes to the citrus smell) in the orange peels. This actually works with all citrus fruit peels.
- Make some orange peel powder and put it in areas where bugs congregate.
- Rub fresh orange peels all over your skin to act as a natural bug repellent.
There you have it – don’t throw out those orange peels!
Featured photo credit: Erol Ahmed via unsplash.com