When preparing vegetables like carrots and potatoes and even fruits like pears and apples many cut off the skin due to their flavor or just out of habit. Carolyn Brown, M.S., R.D., a nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York City however, is encouraging people to keep the skins on as it can be much healthier, and less hassle.
Peels are packed with the good nutrients, like antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, she says. When you strip the skins, you’re cutting out extra essential nutrients that fight disease and keep your body humming along smoothly, according to a review published in Advances in Nutrition.
For example, about one third of the nutrients in an apple—like vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium—can be found in the peel. The same goes for your spuds: Potato skins contain half the fiber—an essential carb that helps keep you full—and a whole lot more calcium and iron than just the starchy vegetable itself, Brown notes. Peels and rinds generally make up around half of a fruit’s overall fiber content, she adds.
“I recommend eating skins on apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, nectarines, peaches, plums, potatoes, and sweet potatoes,” Brown says.