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Should You Peel Your Vegetables?

By Sara Butler

Due to the abundance of fresh vegetables around you, you’re probably eating more vegetables than ever. Whether or not you should peel your vegetables is a topic of debate. Some people say to peel them in order to remove pesticides that are bad for your health, but others say that the peel is where all the good stuff for your health is. Here’s what you need to know about peeling your vegetables!

Are They Really That Dirty?

Most vegetables you buy at the store or farmer’s market don’t need to be washed with more than a simple rinse. Even vegetables that grow in the ground, such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, beets, and parsnips really only need a little bit of rinsing to be OK to eat.

It’s a good rule of thumb to always wash your produce no matter what you get and even if it looks clean. And you don’t need anything other than water to do it -- forget about those fancy fruit and vegetable washes that are sold in stores. You should never use hand soap or detergent, either.

The USDA suggests simply rinsing our vegetables with water from your tap and feel free to scrub if there’s some extra dirt you need to remove. Just make sure not to wash them until you’re ready to use them since extra moisture will promote bacterial growth.

If it’s pesticides that are of concern to you, understand that simply peeling the vegetables won’t remove all the danger. The chemicals can still reach the inside of the vegetables. If you’re really worried, buy organic produce or grow your own.

It’s More Nutritious

The peel of most vegetables is where a lot of the nutrition is. Peels often have insoluble fiber and a variety of minerals and vitamins that give the overall nutrition profile of the vegetable a boost. Removing the peel removes some of the nutrients too, so leave the peel on when you can.

Vegetables are delicious and good for you, so don’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to your favorites. If the peel is appealing to you, leave it and enjoy! You may be gaining more from eating the peel than you would by removing it. After all, the peel of most fruits and vegetables is there for a reason.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.

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