Even if a caveman had a paring knife, he wouldn’t peel his vegetables; that’s because instinct told him what we are only now beginning to relearn.
Eating unrefined, whole, natural foods can significantly improve your health. That means leaving the surface of vegetables intact when you eat them.
The skin contains high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are vital to bodily functions, plus polyphenols that have amazing medicinal properties, from prevention of cancer and heart disease to anti-aging effects.
Most people know that the skin of an apple promotes wellness. It contains the complex known as “carbohydrate pectin,” which helps to facilitate water flow throughout your body’s cells and to regulate your intestine.
What might not be as well known is that the skins of tomatoes, cucumbers and most other “fruity” vegetables evidence similar effects.
Potatoes are often seen as the “bad boy” of the vegetable world—high in starch content and low in nutritional value. But if the skin is left on and eaten, the game changes entirely.
Potato skins are rich in dietary fiber. They deliver vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese and iron.
In fact, a single whole potato with its skin on contains 18% of the daily dietary reference intake (DRI) of iron. Skin included, a large baked potato has 278 calories (14% of DRI), only three of which come from fat (4.6% of DRI), and none being saturated.
What’s more, the whole potato has 7.5 grams of protein, which is 15% of DRI.
When you cook a vegetable whole, you really gain in two ways. Besides getting the additional nutritional value found in the skin, the nutrients inside do not leach out during the cooking process.
This is especially true when boiling, steaming, or blanching vegetables. As for raw produce, if washed properly, the skin of most vegetables is edible just as it is.
Whether you slice them up for a salad, cut them in sticks for a snack, or juice them for easy consumption, most vegetables should remain in their skins, just as nature provided them.
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