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Why you should stop peeling your vegetables

Food

Peeling vegetables can be the most tedious part of any meal as you spend extra minutes on prep time.

And when you're done, you're left with a pile of unusable skins that usually end up in the trash.

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When you peel vegetables you taking away important nutrients. Picture: Instagram

But according to health experts, what we throw away is actually one of the healthiest parts of our foods.


Daily Mail Online spoke to certified nutritionist and registered dietitian Mary Jane Detroyer, based in New York, about why we shouldn't be peeling our vegetables and all the hidden benefits found in the skins.

According to Detroyer, there are several reasons to be leaving the skin on, and the main reason is what you deprive your body of when you peel it off.


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The rind of produce like potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers all have plenty of health benefits.

'The skin has a lot of fiber and it's insoluble fiber, especially when the skin is colorful,' Detroyer told Daily Mail Online.

'Most of the time, the majority of the vegetable's nutrients are in the skin.'


One example is cucumbers, with dark dark green skin that contains the majority of its antioxidants, as well as most of its vitamin K.

And the skin of a potato packs more nutrients iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C  ounce-for-ounce than the rest of the potato.

'People, when they make mashed potatoes, often feel they have to peel the skin off. But they can just boil the skin and mix it right into the rest of the mashed potatoes,' Detroyer said.

She also added that the skin of vegetables contains antioxidants that fight against free radicals.

Free radicals are groups of atoms that can cause damage to the body when produced in excess, such as heart disease.

Vitamins C and E as found in many vegetables protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals by neutralizing them.

Additionally more colorful vegetables such as carrots and peppers have peels with phytonutrients, which contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and liver-health-promoting properties.

One common fear that causes people to peel their vegetables, according to Detroyer, is the amount of herbicides and pesticides that can found on the skin.


But that can be taken care of with a good wash, Detroyer said.

'Many people think they have to scrub their vegetables with soap and water to remove any of the chemicals, but if you just run them over with water, you'll get rid of the dirt,' she said.

The dietitian added that if clients are really worried, she tells them to visit the Environmental Working Group website to get an updated list on the produce with the least and most pesticide contamination.

'And if they have the budget to do so, I recommend that they invest in eating organic produce, which can get rid of that fear,' she said.


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'But the benefits of eating plant-based foods far outweighs the negative things you may read about pesticides and herbicides.'

A lot of peeling is preferential, Detroyer admits, depending on how you grew up eating vegetables or if you have more sensitive tastes.

There are even some skins that the nutritionist herself prefers to remove such as that of carrots because they 'change the texture' for her.

But Detroyer said she can't think of one vegetable in particular that has harmful effects by keeping on the skin.

She said: 'Even vegetables that have tough skins. When I roast eggplant, I roast it with the skin on. Or when I cook butternut squash, I cook it with the skin on.

'In the end, it's very beneficial and I always recommend that you get 50 percent of your daily intake from these plant-based foods.'

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