It should come as no surprise that fiber is essential for your health1. The complex carbohydrate feeds your gut microbiome, supports digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, and assists with detoxification. Research shows that when we eat more fiber through whole foods or supplements, we lose weight more easily2—and we tend to consume fewer calories overall.
Chances are, there’s a good amount of fiber sitting in your trash can or compost bin right about now. Up to 31% of a vegetable’s fiber sits in its skin, so we’d be better off leaving the peels on in many cases. The fiber in fruit peels can also help fruit sugars get metabolized more slowly, preventing spikes in blood sugar.
This is easier with some foods than others. Leaving the peels on your carrots, for instance, is probably not going to blow your mind. But other things, such as eating the skin on your kiwifruit (a food-as-medicine intervention that I recommend in my naturopathic practice every day to improve gut health) can definitely seem weird if you’re not used to it.
There are many peels that you can eat, but there are some that you cannot. The skin of an avocado, mango, and cantaloupe, for example, is inedible. Here’s a bit of guidance on the produce peels that are high in fiber and how to use them: