Stop peeling your apples and carrots

Have you ever prepared lunch for your grandkids by cutting off the crust of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…?

And peeling off the skin of an apple or cucumber?

If so, let’s talk about the nutrients that are, quite literally, landing in the trash.

Eat the skin

It’s no secret many folks offer their wisdom to their children and grandchildren.

Well, encouraging them to eat the skin on seasonal produce might be an important life lesson that they’re not learning elsewhere.

And a recent study published in the Current Research in Food Science tells us why…

See, when you peel veggies and fruit, you’re missing out on nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals.

In fact, the skin of apples, peaches, pomegranates and persimmons, to name a few, hold the highest level of antioxidants (when compared to the flesh or seeds).

Yep, the beautiful produce colors aren’t just aesthetically pleasant… the darker the color, the more the potential health properties.

Let’s take a closer look…

Popular produce picks

Here’s a quick breakdown of popular produce choices—and the health compounds found in their skin.

  • Apples: When you peel off the skin, you miss out on higher levels of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C—as well as fiber and the antioxidant quercetin.
  • Carrots: Don’t be fooled, even with a thin layer, that carrot peel holds phenolic acids, carotenoids, vitamin K, niacin, and vitamin C.
  • Citrus fruit: This might throw you for a loop… but you can eat citrus peels. In fact, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes contain high amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids, and an antioxidant called hesperidin.
  • Eggplant: This dark purple veggie hosts antioxidants, nasunin, and fiber.

For direct health benefits of the nutrients listed above—or to learn about the nutrition of eating other unpeeled produce—a quick Google search will turn up plenty of results.

And before I go, it’s important to note that you should never eat the skin of cantaloupes, avocados, pineapples, onions, or garlic.

Last but not least, be sure to clean your organic produce under fresh water, scrubbing gently. (Click here to learn if your favorite veggie or fruit topped this year’s “Dirty Dozen” list.)


“Don’t trash the peels! The skins of fruits and veggies pack a nutritional punch.” National Geographic, 03/26/2024. (