Most of us have no love for grapefruit peels or lemon peels. These items go straight to the trash. That’s wasteful and you could find better ways to go about things.
There are benefits of boiling grapefruit and lemon peels and using them that are worth your time. Of course, there are also things like zest, but that’s just one thing.
There is a lot more you can do with these peels and look at the plenty of benefits that they offer. Let’s take a look at the benefits and uses you can expect from boiling these peels.
What To Expect With Boiling Grapefruit And Lemon Peels
They Have A Lot Of Fiber – Even More Than Pulp
Grapefruit and lemon peels are very rich in dietary fiber. Boiling the peels will release this dietary fiber.
Having fiber in your diet is very good for your digestive system. There are plenty of benefits of having dietary fiber, including regulation of blood sugar. Having fiber with your food slows down the absorption of sugar from the food into the bloodstream.
This can be especially useful for people who have diabetes or otherwise suffer from insulin resistance.
Simply put, the presence of soluble fiber stops food from being absorbed by the body too quickly. Apart from sugar, this can also have a positive effect on heart health.
Since the body absorbs carbohydrates at a slower level when soluble fibers are present, the body gets more time to burn off some calories. So, you get more time before the body absorbs carbohydrates and converts them to fat for storage in the body’s cells.
The Peel Is Rich In Vitamin C
There’s a good amount of Vitamin C in grapefruit and lemons. The peels are as rich, if not richer, in terms of the Vitamin C content. Boiling the peels doesn’t destroy the vitamin and it remains available for consumption.
They’re Rich In Antioxidants
As we know, grapefruit and lemon peels are rich in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. But that’s not the only antioxidant on offer with these peels. These peels also offer hesperidin and naringin.
These antioxidants are good for the body and are seen as ways to ward-off diseases like cancer. Hesperidin and naringin also belong to a group called flavonoids.
These are plant-based chemicals that are known for their beneficial effects on health. They’re also classified as phytochemicals.
These are plant-based compounds which help the body fight against aging and diseases, including cancer.
These Peels Can Boost Your Immune System
Many fruits of the citrus family, including lemons and grapefruits can provide a boost to the body’s immune system. Generally speaking, many citrus fruits provide immune system benefits when consumed regularly in small amounts.
The polyphenols and flavonoids in grapefruit and lemons work wonders for the body. Apart from boosting the immune system, they also help prevent inflammation which is a cause for several other diseases.
Grapefruit peels might also help your body fight and work better against the common cold or influenza A and B.
Grapefruit and Lemon Are Antimicrobial And Antifungal
Amongst several of the uses of grapefruit and lemon are that they’re antimicrobial and antifungal. Given these properties, they can help fight off bacteria and some infections like yeast infection.
Essential Oils In The Peels Are Anti-Inflammatory
We’ve already seen the flavonoids in the peels of grapefruit and lemon as being anti-inflammatory and containing antioxidants.
The essential oil in these peels is also anti-inflammatory. While there are a few essential oils in the peels, the most prominent one is limonene, which is also known as D-limonene.
This essential oil has shown promise as an anti-inflammatory oil. It’s also possible that this essential oil can help fight off diseases like cancer.
However, while there are indications, there is no definitive scientific proof of the anti-disease properties of this oil.
Boiling The Peels Can Make Your Home Smell Great
Peels of several citrus fruits, including grapefruit and lemon, contain an essential oil called limonene. This oil is often used to add flavor and fragrance to foods or other objects.
As you boil peels of grapefruit or lemon, this essential oil (along with a few others) gets released. The steam will carry the oil and you’ll have a fragrant home as it diffuses throughout the home.
This is a quick and simple way to get some fragrance and to get rid of (or mask) some lurking odors in your home.
More Uses Of Grapefruit And Lemon Peels
Make Grapefruit Or Lemon Zest
Zest is wonderful. It goes great with several things from cocktails to pastries, and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, candied zest is a treat unto itself.
To make zest, peel off thin layers of the lemon (or grapefruit) rind. Avoid the white part at the base as it’s bitter and will negatively affect the taste of the zest. Place these rinds in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Pour enough water to cover all the rinds.
Cover the bowl and let it stay for 30 minutes. After this time, drain the water and let the rinds dry. Once you’re done, the zest is ready!
If you prefer sweet candied zest, mix some sugar in a bowl of water and bring it to a boil. Use enough sugar for the mix to be syrupy. Add zest to this and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the zest from the heat.
Let the zest stay overnight, covered, so it can fully absorb the sweetness. If it’s too watery, drain the extra liquid. Your candied zest is ready to enjoy!
Grapefruit Peel Tea
You can enjoy delicious grapefruit tea after boiling the peels in some water. Mince the peels and boil them with water. Let it stay for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
After this, strain the tea and it’s ready to drink. To be clear, this is not a delicious treat. The tea tastes bitter and isn’t all that enjoyable.
However, some people believe that it’s useful during a cold. Grapefruit peel tea helps break down mucus and might make you feel more comfortable if you have a cold.
Make Some Marmalade
Some marmalade recipes can use grapefruit or lemon rind (or even zest) to get a depth of flavor and fragrance. When going through this recipe, remember not to use the zest (or rinds) and avoid the pith (white part on the peel).
The pith tends to be bitter and will play spoilsport with the flavor rather than add to it.
A Homemade Cleaning Solution
The water you get after boiling grapefruit peels has several uses. Thanks to the presence of essential oils and some citric acid, this water is an excellent all-purpose home cleaner.
A big advantage is that it’s not toxic like the conventional home cleaners most of us use.
In a way, you could consider it similar to white vinegar. This too is an excellent, non-toxic all-purpose home cleaner. However, the odor of vinegar isn’t really pleasant.
Thankfully, the odor from grapefruit peels (or lemon peels) water is lovely and will make your home fragrant, while being an effective cleaner.
The Right Way For Boiling These Peels
Though they are quite similar in their uses, both these peels can’t be boiled the same way. There are some differences in how you should go about the process.
How To Boil Grapefruit Peels
To boil the grapefruit peels, start by cutting the peels into thin strips. Next, fill a small pot or saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
As the water boils, add the grapefruit peels to it. Let the peels stay in the water for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pot from heat.
Allow the water to cool down. Once it’s ready, you can remove the peels from water and use them.
How To Boil Lemon Peels
Lemon peels are more resilient than grapefruit peels. They need a more thorough approach for boiling.
Starting off, cut the rinds into smaller pieces. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to boil. Add the lemon peels to this water and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
At this point, you can reduce the heat on the stove and let the water simmer for five minutes before turning off the heat.
Let the peels continue steeping for about 20-30 minutes.
As we see, there are several clear benefits of boiling grapefruit and lemon peels. These benefits range all the way from cosmetics to home cleaning.
It doesn’t take much to boil these peels. They have enough uses to encourage trying these techniques rather than consigning these peels to the waste bin.