Lemons are a great fruit, there are no two ways about it. Whether you use the juice in salad dressings or prepare bake-off worthy delights, there are so many different ways to use this versatile citrus favourite.
They’re healthy too. Lemons are high in vitamin C, potassium, flavonoids, and limonins.1 But it’s not just the delicious fruit that provides a range of health benefits. Before you throw away the peel, it’s worth thinking about whether incorporating it could bring extra health benefits too.
Health benefits of lemon peel
Lemon peels are thought to contain plenty of bioactive compounds. They have excellent nutritional value, with a fair amount of vitamin C, fibre, calcium, potassium, D-limonene, and magnesium.2
These nutrients might contribute to the following lemon peel benefits:
- Improved oral health
- Supporting your immune system
- Improved heart health
- Assisting your digestive system
- Protecting against inflammation3
It’s worth bearing in mind that more research is needed for all lemon peel benefits. Adding some zest to your diet won’t be a ‘magic cure’ or fix all problems. However, you might find that you benefit from including peel in your meals (if only for its zingy taste!).
Lemon peel uses
Lemon peels are incredibly versatile. Whether you use yours in your nutrition plans or try them in your cleaning routine, you’ll find plenty of lemon peel uses that could make a difference.
- Eating lemon peel
There is a vast range of ways to use lemon peels in your meal plans. Try grating the zest onto salads or soups for a fresh taste (you could even freeze your lemon peels, so you always have some to hand). You could make your own lemon peel olive oil too, or add it to butter for a delicious twist on your favourite spread.4
- Beauty treatments
Lemon rinds can be a great addition to your skin and hair care routine. It could help to create a healthy radiance and clear up acne and spots. Some people even use lemon peel to naturally lighten hair too.5
Remember, though, lemon peel can cause skin irritation, so try a patch test before you embark on your natural skincare routine. Alternatively, find out what other natural hair products or beauty routines you could try instead.
- Cleaning solutions
With so many lemon-scented cleaning products on the market, it’s easy to see why lemons are so regularly used in our cleaning routines. These citrus fruits have excellent anti-bacterial properties, as well as a delightfully fresh scent. When infused with vinegar, lemon peel can make an excellent all-purpose cleaner. You can also use the peel (dried or fresh) for odour removal.6
Potential side effects of using lemon peel
When thinking about incorporating different lemon peel into your lifestyle, it’s important to remember that there could be some side effects. These include:
- Skin irritation
- Increased chance of sunburn
- Tooth corrosion7
It’s worth bearing in mind that there isn’t a vast amount of research into lemon peel benefits and uses, which means we don’t know all the potential side effects. Use lemon peel in moderation and stop if you notice any irritation or unwanted side-effects.
Last updated: 23 October 2020