Next time you eat an orange, don't throw out the rind -- orange peel has many uses in your kitchen. Dehydrating the orange-coloured, leathery peel turns it into a concentrated source of strong citrus flavour. Including dried orange peel in your diet gives a small boost to your calcium and vitamin C intake, and it's quite low in calories.
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A tablespoon serving of dried orange peel provides only 6 calories and 0 g of fat. You also take in 1.5 g of carbohydrates, which is a minuscule percentage of the daily calorie allowance at 4 calories per gram if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. Dried orange peel contains only trace amounts of protein. Dried orange peel contains 0.6 g of fibre per tablespoon.
Dried orange peel contains trace amounts of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid in a 1 tbsp serving. The most significant nutrient in orange peel is vitamin C. The vitamin C in dried orange peel can help your immune system, not only bolstering your body’s ability to fight off sicknesses, but also working to speed up the rate at which you heal from injuries.
A serving of dried orange peel provides you with some calcium. Adding just a small amount of this dehydrated food to your meal plan makes dried orange peel a smart choice for giving your bones and teeth a health boost, and it may even help you avoid osteoporosis, a medical condition that weakens your bones. You also take in trace amounts of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc in each serving of dried orange peel.
Eating dried orange peel gives you access to a rich supply of flavonoids, particularly tangeretin and nobiletin. These flavonoids may help you control your cholesterol. A study published in the May 2004 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” correlates the consumption of orange peel with significantly lowering levels of the “bad” type of cholesterol in animals. Human studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Use grated, dried peel to add orange flavour to any dish, including cookies and other baked goods, casseroles and meat dishes. You can also use dried orange peel strips as an edible garnish. Add dried orange peel to hot water to brew up fruit-flavoured tea as well.
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- The Daily Plate: Orange peel
- MayoClinic.com; Healthy diet: End the guesswork with these nutrition guidelines; February 2009
- University of Maryland Medical Centre: Vitamin C
- University of Maryland Medical Centre: Calcium
- Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing; Vitamins and minerals; July 2006
- "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry"; Hypolipidemic effects...Diet-induced hypercholesterolaemia; Elzbieta M. Kurowska, et al; May 2004