In one of our previous post we had published about the health benefits of watermelon rind. In this post we will explore the benefits of citrus peels or the rind.
The peel of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, and mandarins are also called citrus zest. They are among the most abundant and frequently consumed fruits in the world today, with lemon skin in particular being widely utilized as a flavoring.
Zesty citrus peels
The citrus peels,in particular, contain the greatest concentration of valuable phytonutrients, , seasonings that add flavour to a variety of preserves, and sweet and savoury dishes.
Until recently, the perceived medicinal properties of citrus have been associated primarily with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which occurs in high concentrations in all of the citrus species.
Oranges are considered the “gold standard” in terms of food vitamin C content. British navy used limes to prevent its sailors developing the vitamin C-deficiency disease, scurvy, is one of the most well-known historical uses of food in a medicinal context.
Citrus zest beyond Vitamin C benefits
However, as we understand more about plants and the compounds they contain, it is becoming evident that many other phytonutrients present in citrus zest contribute to the wide health advantages that vitamin C is frequently still credited with.
Health Advantages of Citrus peels
Citrus fruits have been extensively researched as anticancer agents and have been proven to be effective against a variety of cancer types.
Pectin, a kind of fiber found in citrus, has also been researched and proven to slow the growth of advanced prostate cancer. Pectin has also been shown to reduce the chance of recurrence of mouth and throat cancers.
Citrus zest protects against cancer via the mechanisms mentioned below.
- Lowers oxidation: Antioxidants are effective antimutagens, protecting our DNA from cancer-causing damage, and citrus fruits contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants as well as a variety of other active antioxidant chemicals. Citrus fruits have high levels of lycopene, which has been demonstrated to protect against prostate and other cancers.
- DNA restoration: The antioxidant naringenin not only prevents DNA damage but also improves DNA repair, lowering the risk of cancer formation.
- Causes death of cancer cells: Nobilitin, a phytochemical, kills cancer cells in two ways. It works as a cytotoxin, directly destroying cancer cells, but it can also function indirectly, causing apoptosis and interfering with cell cycles in certain forms of liver cancer. It has also been proven to be beneficial in avoiding the onset of colon, breast, and certain leukemia malignancies. It also synergizes with some anticancer medicines, reducing cancer cell resistance to these traditional therapies.
- Suppresses Tumor growth: Coumarins, including tangeretin, have antitumor effects and can suppress tumor development by interfering with the signaling pathway between tumor cells.
- Reduces Toxin production: The phytochemicals naringenin and quercetin protect us from NNK, one of the most powerful inducers of lung cancer. NNK is a very toxic tobacco-related environmental carcinogen to which both smokers and nonsmokers are exposed. These two medicines operate by preventing liver enzymes from converting NNK into a carcinogenic metabolite.
#2 Heart disease and lipid regulation
- Natural cholesterol controller: Polyphenol flavonoids, particularly those present in grapefruit, are helpful for lowering aberrant cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as is citrus pectin, which also contributes to the polyphenols’ cardioprotective properties.
- Added Benefits of Vitamin C: Citrus flavonoids are strong antioxidants, even more so than vitamin E, and their benefits are increased when consumed in their natural state due to the high quantities of vitamin C present in citrus.
- Reduces atherosclerosis chances: Citrus also aids in the reduction of LDL cholesterol oxidation, which is linked to the development of atherosclerosis.
#3 Antimicrobial properties
Fights against multiple diseases & disorders: Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be effective against over 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 fungi strains, and a large number of single and multi-celled parasites – even when the microbes are diluted hundreds of times to the point of no toxicity to human cells.
This suggests that ingesting these seeds on a regular basis can help our bodies fight infections, even in their early stages.
Lemon zest and 20 other essential medicinal spices are included in VitaSpice capsules.
Important phytonutrients in citrus
Citrus zest is high in the following phytonutrients:
Antioxidants: Ascorbic acid, genistic acid, lycopene, naringenin, neohesperidin, rutin, and tangeretin are all antioxidants.
Other ingredients include auraptene, hesperetin, limonin, lutein, nobiletin, pectin, quercetin, and zeaxanthin.