Eat Your Orange Peels! Here’s Why

Eat Your Orange Peels! Here’s Why

Racoons are known to wash their food, but when they come across an orange tree full of ripe fruit, do you think they peel their oranges? Deer, cows, squirrels, and other animals love citrus fruits, with peels and all–and for good reason. Research on the bioflavonoids found in the peels of citrus fruits tells us they are some of the most potent antioxidants in nature.

Citrus bioflavonoids provide the fruit with protection from many predators, insects, and microbes. When humans eat an orange peel, the same protection and immunity provided to the plant is passed to us in a process called xenohormesis (when protective plant chemicals offer health benefits to humans). Bioflavonoids found in the peel of citrus fruits have been shown to be powerful boosters of immunity and effective agents for an immune event. 

In This Article

10 Reasons to Enjoy Citrus Pith + Peel

  1. Boost immunity
  2. Enhance the antiviral properties of the citrus’ Vitamin C
  3. Support healthy microcirculation
  4. Protect the phospholipid layer of your cells
  5. Protect against lymphatic congestion
  6. Protect against hemorrhoids
  7. Support cardiovascular wellness
  8. Support healthy skin and protect against skin aging
  9. Protect against DNA damage
  10. Support healthy blood sugar

Citrus fruits are generally harvested in warmer climates during the colder months, when our immune systems are more severely challenged. In fact, studies show that the antioxidants found in citrus bioflavonoids protect the phospholipid layer of the cell walls  in the brain, respiratory and intestinal tracts. The fats that make up the cell wall can easily go rancid and break down when they are supposed to be protection for the inner workings of a cell. These studies show that the citrus flavonoids not only protect the cell wall, but can reconstitute the fats that may have gone rancid. 

See also Vegetable Oils + PUFAs: How do Oxidation + Free Radicals Impact Our Health?

In Ayurveda, fats which balance vata or the nervous system are thought to  protect the body from stress and immune events. Both the vitamin C and bioflavonoids found in the pith (the white part between the peel and flesh) and peel can protect these fats from rancidity while boosting immunity

Get Your Bioflavonoids Naturally

When you decide to eat your next organic navel orange, cut it up (peel included) into small bite size pieces. Try a few pieces and see how you feel; you may need to work slowly up to the point where you can eat the entire orange.

You can also blend a whole lemon into your next smoothie. You will get the vitamin C found mostly in the pulp, of course, but you will also get a whopping dose of some of nature’s most potent bioflavonoids: 

  • Quercetin
  • Hesperidin
  • Naringin
  • Narirutin
  • Didymin
  • Eriocitrin
  • Diosmin
  • Diosmetin
  • Naringenin
  • Neohesperidin
  • Nobiletin
  • Tangeretin
  • Rutin
  • Eriodictyol

Perhaps the most famous of these are diosmin and hesperidin, which have been studied for supporting healthy micro and vascular circulation, hemorrhoids, lymphatic congestion and more. The combination of these are found in our Lymph-Vein HP formula for powerful lypmhatic support.

Learn more about LifeSpa’s Lymph-Vein HP here.

In Ayurveda, the dried peels and pith of citrus fruits has been used for centuries for supporting cardio-vascular health, microcirculation, and lymphatic support. Today, science supports these benefits and more. Citrus flavonoids have been shown to be powerful free radical scavengers, support insulin sensitivity, and healthy lipid metabolism – all while supporting healthy cellular replication and cardiovascular health.

Studies also show that the citrus peel bioflavonoids can be used topically on the skin for numerous skin issues such as skin aging, photoaging, skin pigmentation, and overall healthy skin.

See also Skin Care From the Inside Out

The Vitamin C + Bioflavonoid Synergy

There is prevalent research that demonstrates the immune-boosting benefits of both Vitamin C and the bioflavonoids that naturally occur synergistically in citrus fruits. In one study, when vitamin C and the bioflavonoid quercetin were administered together, there was a further boost in immune function. The ascorbate in the vitamin C was shown to recycle the quercetin, enhancing the antiviral properties of both the vitamin C and quercetin.

Learn more about LifeSpa’s Citrus C, which provides 500mg of vitamin C and 500mg of full-spectrum botanical citrus bioflavonoids. 

Other research has shown that the combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, when administered together, are significantly more powerful protectors against DNA damage than when they were administered separately. Another study measured the chemoprotection of vitamin c and the bioflavonoids, alone or together. The study showed that the vitamin C did not have a protective effect unless it was used in conjunction with a bioflavonoid. For maximum benefits, make sure you are getting high quality vitamin C alonside your bioflavonoids!

What’s the Best Source of Vitamin C + Bioflavonoids?

Get It as a Food

While daily fruits and vegetables are key sources of bioflavonoids, the bioflavonoids found in the peels and pith of citrus fruits are exceptional. As a food, chomping on your orange or lemon peels may not  be the most appetizing, so it’s good to consider these peel-based nutrients as medicine for blood sugar support, immunity, skin health, metabolic support, and cardiovascular health. One citrus fruit + peel per day during the winter and spring may provide ample support for a healthy immune response.

For Year-Round, Daily Use

In Ayurveda, the wonderberry known as Amla or Amalaki is a rare citrus berry that carries 5 of the 6 tastes and delivers one of the highest sources of vitamin C and its associated bioflavonoids. Learn more about the amalaki wonderberry here


For First Defense During an Immune Event

LifeSpa Citrus C has 500mg of vitamin C and 500mg of plant-based bioflavonoids (instead of the synthetic bioflavonoids found in lower quality supplements). I suggest taking 3,000 to 5,000 mg (3-5 capsules) at the start of an immune-compromising event for the most effective immune support.

Chyawanprash is a vitamin C- and bioflavonoid-rich paste, made of primarily amalaki berries. This can be used as baseline immune support during the winter and spring (1 tbsp after meals, 2x/day) or every 2 hours as first defense for an immune event.

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Dr. John

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