Lemon Peel Benefits: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Out That Lemon Peel!

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lemon peel benefits

The health benefits of lemons and lemon juice are pretty well known. But if you’re like the majority of people, you are probably squeezing out the lemon juice and tossing the left over lemon peel in the trash! I used to do that too!

But wait, wait, wait, that lemon peel contains even more nutrients, vitamins, and health benefits than the lemon juice.

Nutrients and Health Benefits in Lemon Peels

Lemon peels contain about 5 to 10 times more vitamins than lemon juice! Yep, that’s what you’ve been wasting!

They are also an excellent source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, and beta carotene. Lemon peels improve bone health too! Since they contain high amounts of calcium and vitamin C, lemon peels have been shown to aid preventing osteoporosis, inflammatory polyarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Don’t forget all the fiber you will get from lemon peels! 3.5 oz of lemon peels contains 10.6 grams of fiber.

Reduce Oxidative Stress

We all want to reduce our levels of oxidative stress. Lemon peels contain citrus bioflavonoids which are very powerful at reducing your levels of oxidative stress . This portion of the lemon also aid in eradicating toxic elements in the body and removing carcinogenic elements.

Help Fight Cancer

Lemons have been used to prevent and treat cancer. Lemons are anti-microbrial and ward off against bacterial infections and fungi.

When lemon peels are consumed, they have been shown to prevent various types of cancers, including skin cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.

A study found that the consumption of lemon peels in tea was beneficial in preventing the development of cancer cells.

Lemons are also very alkalizing! Cancer thrives in an acidic body, by making your body alkaline this will prevent cancer. Take advantage of the whole lemon and don’t just juice and toss!

Lemon peels contain salvestrol Q40 and limonene, which have been shown to prevent and treat cancer. These components fight against present cancerous cells in the body.

How to Eat a Lemon Peel

There are a couple different ways you can prepare your lemon peels.

  1. Place your lemons in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take them out and grate them. You can sprinkle the grated lemon peel on your meals or in your drinks.
  2. Grate the outside of your lemon (without freezing).  Sprinkle the lemon peel pieces on your meals or in your drinks.
  3. Or you could just bite right into one.

Grated lemon peels make a great addition to salads and teas! They add amazing flavor to any meal!


Do you usually throw out the lemon peel?


Sources: http://www.naturalnews.com/033649_citrus_bioflavonoids_oxidative_stress.html

Linked on: Family Table Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Teach Me Tuesday, Anti-procrastination Tuesday, Titus 2sdays, Fat Tuesdays


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  1. says

    Hey hey–great post.
    I shared it on my FB page, and one my readers asks, “What about toxins…? If they’re not organic?”
    The easiest answer would be, “Get organic,” but if they aren’t available, is it worth it, with conventional lemons?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Vanessa! Thanks for stopping by! That’s a great question and a tough one, I would definitely say if at all possible use organic! Data has shown that the pesticide load tends to be more concentrated on the flesh of the fruit. However, luckily, lemons aren’t considered to have the highest pesticide load/be in the “dirty dozen”. If you’re going to use non-organic lemons make sure to wash them well and use a natural bristle brush to lightly scrub the surface, to help remove pesticide residue. I would still use a non-organic lemon peel if there were no other options, but would focus more on juicing it.

    • Debra says

      Organic lemons have either candola oil or wood resin on the skins. They are very tacky. How can this be good to digest? I cannot find anything that will remove the stickness….

      • Brenna says

        My mom grows organic lemons and their sticky right off the tree!- it’s the natural oil on the rind on her lemons that makes it sticky. I can’t wash it off for the life of me. But wherever it’s dirty I use a veggie brush and the dirt comes off easy bc it emulsified in the oil.

      • Mrhycannon says

        Lan, if it makes anything bitter, add a drop of honey.. Honey scores high in nutrients it’s antibacterral.. I love the idea of drying ‘everything’ especially for teas and soups.. (Try tangerine in place of orange..) I’ve always dried peels for teas but never tried them powdered..

        I use an onyx morter and pestle to powder my herbs.. I do so much now that I need something bigger.. I’ve already gone from a 4 in tall x3in opening to 4 1/2 inch high with a 3 1/2 inch opening.. Does anyone have suggestions for what I can to go to next.?

      • Lori, Health Extremist says

        Hi Lan, it hasn’t made my bone broth bitter, whenever I add it to broth or to a cup of tea, it adds a great flavor and I like the taste even better.

  2. Brittany Ardito says

    Just remember to thoroughly clean the peel with vinegar before consuming. Lemons are sprayed with pesticides and coated to prevent spoiling.

  3. says

    Do you have more sources than just the one? In that, he mentions that once they are peeled, they immediately start to lose their anti-oxidant properties. I was thinking of drying, powdering and capsuling them, but maybe pickled rinds are the way to go. Or maybe neither of those methods would retain the nutrients.

    I’d also love to see links to studies for all those claims (I’ve found the one for the tea). Please!

  4. Diane says

    I blend a whole meyer lemon in the Vitamix with a quart of water and 2 TBSP of olive oil every morning. It’s a great liver cleanser and really tasty!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      That’s a fantastic liver cleanser! I use to do that every night, will have to start doing it again!

  5. Mrhycannon says

    I have used strips of lemon, orange and tangerine peel in teas and other drinks.. Grated, minced peel can be used for yummy deserts.. I sprinkle different herbs on most of what I eat.. You can chop them fresh or sprinkle them dry from a shaker..

  6. says

    Lovely reminder. I love lemons and am absolutely a fan of getting everything you can out of every ingredient. Reading the post made me crave some lemon water. Think my body’s trying to tell me something? 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    I so agree with you on everything you wrote! We use Lemon essential oil from Young Living. We LOVE the taste of it in water or in cooking. Plus it’s great at boosting mood, cleaning and detoxifying your body/leveling out your pH as well. It removes petrochemicals from your body too. If you put a drop in plastic you will see that it literally eats away at the plastic or styrofoam…and that’s what it does inside our bodies. Amazing stuff!

    • says

      I know these comments are from AGES ago, but this was exactly what I wanted to ask about! I was interested in getting the Lemon extract from Young Living, and it turns out it’s Lemon rind extract. I’m wondering if it has the same nutritional value as Lemon juice? I love to drink warm water with lemon daily but thought this might be more resourceful. Only, I don’t want to lose the benefits. What do you think??

  8. Marilyn says

    I love lemon water but have been throwing away after getting the juice out. Can you grate the lemon and freeze it for later use? If so, what is the best way to freeze?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I use to do that too! I would have a glass of lemon water every morning and not realize the amazing benefits in the peels I was throwing out. You can grate them and use them right away, or you could freeze the lemon and just take it out and grate as much as you need and put the lemon back in the freezer when done.

    • Anonymous says

      I buy big bags of lemons, wash them in warm vinegar water, dry them well and put them in freezer bags…this way we always have lemons for baking, juicing, or for detox drinks…we are never with out lemons and never have to throw them out…

  9. Diana says

    You can grow a dwarf lemon tree in a large pot on your patio if you don’t have room in your yard or no yard at all! They look and smell wonderful, are super easy, and produce so much fruit that you will be giving some away. Use soap or oil sprays if you get any pests (rare), then you will know there are no chemicals on your peel. You will have to bring inside for frosts however, but they will thrive in a sunny window. Besides fresh I use dehydrated slices (circles) and either throw in soups whole or pulverized, and also enjoy salting whole Moroccan style- YUM!

    • Jaslyn says

      Is there a specific name I should look for to buy for a lemon tree. I live in upstate NY, so we get very cold, indoors, even by a south facing window gets cold.. any suggestions, or is this just not an option for me? Any help is greatly appreciated! I LOVE lemons, as do all my children, in fact my 3 year old eats them like apples, while we all watch in amazement!! LOL!

  10. Colleen says

    Is freezing the grated peel the only way to store it? If I grated a bunch at a time and kept it in the fridge in a mason jar (for daily use), how long before it expires? Thanks!

  11. says

    I used to throw them away but read an article on making lemon extract. Does extracting them pull all of the benefits or should I find a way to consume the solids? Great post, btw!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Thanks Jim! I have also read great health benefits of using lemon extract, especially in the area of cancer prevention. What are you using to extract, vinegar?

      • says

        No, actually I am just experimenting and this is my first run at it. I began extracting vanilla from beans a while ago and instead of using vodka, like just about everyone suggests, I used my home made brew. I freeze distill apple jack from apple wine I ferment from apples from my trees.

        The vanilla extract is awesome! So, I decided to try and do the same with lemon peels.

  12. henriqu says

    suggestion: make the juice with the whole lemons, or make a super juice just with the peels (it will be far from sweet though) 😉 but u get used to the taste its worth it for the health!

  13. Suzanne says

    I make perserved lemons all the time. they last forever in a big jar.. the whole lemon is cut but not separated and stuffed with kosher salt then stuffed in a big jar and then filled with lemon juice.. sits on the counter for a few days and then I throw it in the fridge and let them sit for a month or so.. then they are ready to enjoy. you pull a lemon out and wash off the salt and throw the insides out and just use the outside of the lemon.. great in all kinds of dishes and nice and soft and easy to eat.

  14. says

    One cautionary note on using lemon (or any citrus) peel. Lemons (and other citrus fruit) are coated with wax. Organic citrus is coated with a natural wax, such as beeswax. Conventionally grown citrus is coated with a petroleum or water-based wax that contains a fungicide. Ever since I learned this fact (in oranges) several months ago, I have been more cautious about using citrus peel. One recommendation I saw in a canning book was to dunk the citrus in boiling water and then scrub it to remove both the wax and (if conventional) the fungicide. If you can get unwaxed and organic citrus from a source near you, that would definitely be the way to go.

  15. PJ says

    Today I started eating Lemon peels because I just liked the flavor of peel placed on the kitchen platform. Then I started looking for uses of eating raw peels of Lemon. Then I came to know the wonders of lemon peels.

  16. says

    I just did a post on making lavender lemonade and what to do with the peels after squeezing the juice. I referred back to your site for information on the benefits of lemon peel. Thanks for the great post! I love when I can find others that have done their homework and save me some time :).

  17. Marta says

    For cleansing, I use 1 to 12 lemons a day. Start with 1 and add one more every day until you get to twelve lemons. Then go down to 1 lemon a day. 1-2-3-…-11-12-11-…-3-2-1 = 23 days. Hope you now what I mean. I use the whole lemon, peel and juice and all (just seeds out). I cut it in small pieces and blend it with 1-2 cups of water. Drink immediately. If the taste is too strong for you, you can add a bit of honey.
    I do that cleansing 3-4 times a year. It’s fantastic for liver, bowels (lots of fibre) and there’s this beautiful glow effect on my skin. This is an old remedy that my grandma used. She called that “beauty treatment” and she had smooth healthy skin even in her 80s. She never had a flu or cold and lived healthy positive life till her mid-90s.
    I also noticed that my nails don’t break after that treatment. Must be vitamin C. Highly recommended.
    Love your site, will be back (I’m at work now so can’t log into FB ;-)))

  18. Alpha says

    This morning I washed 4 lemons and 1 banana with water, then put them into the blender, peel and all, to make a beautiful yellow juice/pulp drink after adding an equal amount of cold water. I was sipping and enjoying it when I suddenly remember that lemons have wax on them. Mine are Sunkist lemons.

    Is it safe to consume 4 lemons’ worth of wax, or shall I throw the drink out?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      You could use a fruit rinse, I fill a glass bowl with vinegar and water and let the fruit sit for a 10 minutes.

  19. Grace O says

    Do you lose these health benefits if they’re cooked? Just tried a new recipe last night for lemon pork chops in the crockpot and it called for me to quarter the lemon, squeeze the juice in and then throw the quartered squeezed pieces in peel and all. Hubby and I weren’t even sure you can eat lemon peel. I tried a bite and then wondered if it was safe to eat. Thanks for this informative article, now I know it’s safe and good to eat lemon peel. But I know lots of foods have vitamins that break down in cooking. Is that the case here?

  20. Emmy says

    How do you guys store your fresh (always organic), whole lemons? I keep mine at room temperature, but they quickly get spots all over them. What do you do with the ones that start forming dark spots on them? I scrub them under hot running water, and then use the juice and zest from one lemon to make my daily (morning) lemon water with 10 to 12 drops of Stevia. I only add the zest if the lemon is mostly dark spot free. However, I hate not being able to get zest because of the spots?

  21. says

    If the lemons I have are not organic, I wash the peel very thoroughly before using it, but I”m fortunate this time to have received a big heap of organically grown lemons from a friend’s lemon tree and I’m saving all the lemon peels for later use.

  22. robert says

    Another way to get citrus peel is in dried form at Asian supermarkets or
    Chinese herb shops. I put some when I make oolong tea with cinnamon, cloves, a little lemon or lime juice, sweetened with raw honey and I also add dried goji berries on my tea cup, they get soft and juicy in 3-4 minutes. That’s probably the healthiest tea you can have. Enjoy!

  23. says

    Came across this site googling benefts of lemon peels,..normally i peel the green off,then peel as much of the white also,then i slice in rinds place in a teacup or mug ,pour in a satchet of ginger tea n pour in my boiling water n leave in for 2 to 3mins before learn a lot n I’m blessed,tnx

  24. Rebecca says

    Fresh lemon peel with a little Himalayan sea salt is delicious! I know people usually think sweet with lemon but the salt works better for me.

  25. aletta says

    Thanks for info on lemon peels. I’ve been grating the lemon peels on brown toast with some raw honey over. I love it that way and eat it for breakfast most mornings. Its really yummy.

  26. colby says

    I have no time for a warm lunch…I almost always make a berry smoothie. I cut just the ends of a lemon off and drop it whole into my mix cup them blend it with a mixing wand. It blends smooth and perks up the smoothie. That way I get a whole lemon almost every day. The peel is really nice and zesty too. Look up a recipe for Moroccan Lemons if you like savory dishes…the recipe requires only a Bell Jar, lemons and salt, and they go with lots of savory foods. I have a huge Meyer Lemon tree in the back yard…they grow well in most climates…if it’s cold where you live plant it in a very large pot for temp emergencies…bundle it in a frost blanket in winter…they fruit all year round, and are a tad sweeter that market lemons.

  27. Rachelle says

    Is the wax on organic lemons harmful if I don’t boil or brush off? Also I heard consuming too much lemon peel could cause crystallization in some parts of the body. I wonder how many lemons is too many a day?

  28. Rachelle says

    I’ve just started using lemon peel. Another great idea is using fresh zest and a little juice then add a teaspoon of honey. Apply to face for five minutes then rinse. Very rejuvenating. My skin has been dry all winter and after trying this mix just once, I didn’t even have to moisturize after.

  29. Anonymous says

    I fermented a 2 qt of home grown meyer lemons that a neighbor
    was giving a way. The Nourished Kitchen has a recipe.

  30. Amgela Berni says

    I have realy enjoyed reading your comments.I thank you all for your useful tips.I am very fortunate to haveb3 lemon trees in the garden, plus amazingly sweet oranges.We are living in the south of Spain ‘costa del sol’ and although our house is not isolated, we have no passing traffic whatsoever, or industry.So our fruits are perfect although i still give them a rinse because of dust.We have quite a few tangerines but was quite unsure what to do with so many, now i know.Thank you all. ALI

  31. Mary Bucci says

    Because I worry that I would not be able to digest lemon peel I took about 6 organic lemons after squeezing, put them in the cuisinart, blended welll, added some water,blended again, then strained the mixture, I ended up with a milk like drink. It was bitter,but that’s okay.

    My question is this, am I getting most of the benefits this way as opposed to consuming the whole peel?

    Thanks, Mary Anne

  32. says

    I’ve probably juiced/ingested about 2.5 whole lemons today — so I was Googling to see what the dealio is with lemons. I’m thinking I need to practice the “everything in moderation” rule and not do anymore for the rest of the day. Lol. 😉

      • says

        I alwayshall eat the whole of the lemon apart from the pith, mostly. I often add a locally sourced honey with the lemon washed & chopped into easily chewed size pieces. Let it all brew in a mug, then I drink & eat the mixture. After seeing your reviews I feel like I may have got the cocktail right. 😃

  33. Rofiah bint khalid says

    I have sensitve skin and each time i change to a new product i end up with skin problem.but lemon is now my no 1 companion.For ezcema i use 2spoons of lemon juice with a spoon of honey in 20cl of hot water,dip a linen cloth in it nd place for some minutes on d affected part.continue until d whole juice is absorbed

  34. mary kay says

    When you are referring to the peel, are you just meaning the yellow outer portion? What about the white rind/pith? Both? I dried some in the dehydrator after making juice and I want to grind into a powder to use in various things. For one, I can get my kids to have more bioflavonoids etc by putting into capsules, but there will be other uses I’m sure.Also, when you speak of whey, do you only refer to whey from dairy making?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Lori says

      Primarily, the outer yellow portion has the most nutrients. I haven’t read much about how much is contained in the rind/pith. I’d be interested to find out though.

  35. ru32bu says

    best relaxant when I can’t sleep is a hoot camomile infusion two slices of lemon (no sugar) then eat the lemon rind ..delish.. please try it Ciao!

  36. Karin Verwoerd says

    I make this really refreshing drink in the summer. I use limes because I prefer them but lemons would also work. Combine about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cold watermelon chunks the zest and juice of 1/2 lime or lemon and 1 tsp of honey in a blender until smooth. Yummy

  37. Ravindra Dabholkar says

    Does eating “peel of lemon” during lunch/dinner, lead to omitting or stomach pain ? Some people say that……..

  38. Heeral says

    Hi Lori.. :)
    Twas just yesterday when I made a juice of the lemon peel and stored it in the fridge for a lemon bath. Is that good or will be expire ??

  39. Renee says

    How do you deal with the effects on your teeth? Lemons make mine so sensitive.
    Is there a reason people crave lemons which is the case for me.

  40. Lisa C says

    Since lemons can have a caustic effect on the outer layer of the tooth enamel, I always brush my teeth immediately after eating or drinking organic lemons (I pulverize one thoroughly washed, cut-up organic lemon every morning, in my Vitamix blender with purified water to drink). So in order to remove the caustic effect of lemon juice on teeth enamel (even though lemon juice is alkalinizing in the body, it can still make my teeth hurt), so I wet my toothbrush in a little purified water, then dip my brush in straight baking soda and brush my teeth to remove the strong lemon and this takes away the caustic effect lemon has on my teeth. I also use baking soda after eating anything that has sugar in it (including organic apples, honey, etc.) because the baking soda alkalinizes the sugar in the mouth. For people with sensitive teeth, baking soda is wonderful. I also take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to alkalinize my stomach if it becomes too acidic and burns.

  41. Anonymous says

    I have been told sodium thiosulfate solution removes pesticide on plants, 10$ is 2# on amazon.
    Very common lab chem salt! removes halides; which translates to internally, and topically freeing calcified flouride depsoits. For chlorine bathing water, drink one grain before a shower (or less than 60 grains dropped in tubs).. Should coincide with buffering supplements !

  42. Anne Belley says

    Great tips on your blog! I love the benefits of lemon but want to issue a warning about “biting into one” on a regular basis. A friend of mine grew up eating lemons fresh off the family’s trees in Florida. Unfortunately, this ate through the enamel on her teeth and she had so many problems as she grew older. If you do eat citrus, or drink lemon juice, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and wait 30 minutes before brushing teeth. Don’t brush right afterwards, as the enamel will have been softened by the lemon.

  43. maines says

    I was wondering if there are ways we could use the lemon peel for skin? I have dark scars I would like to get rid of, how long would it take to lighten up?

  44. Judy Feller says

    I make up what I call my Healthy Concoction to drink when sick. In a blender I add the following ingredients:
    1 Whole lemon chopped, 1 orange, peeled and chopped, 2-4 garlic cloves, 1″-2″ ginger chopped, organic turmeric and cinnamon, black pepper, Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin C powder, 2 tablespoons raw honey, 50ml brandy (could leave this out) and enough water to blend. In my Nutribullet 900 I blend for 3 lots of 60 seconds with a 1-2 minute wait inbetween. To serve, pour half a glass, add some cold water, and top up with hot water. A nice warm soothing drink. Any comments on what I could add or leave out? The black pepper and hot water enhance the benefits of turmeric.

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