Increasing amounts of evidence point to the health properties of apples, which are a major source of polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants are believed to offer protection against the
development of cancer and heart disease. Now research has shown that of all the apple parts, the peel is the richest source of polyphenols.
Traditional advice on eating apple peel was based mainly on its fiber content. More recently, however, scientists have shown that the peel also contains most of the beneficial phytochemicals
believed to be responsible for the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” effect.
Researchers processed over 100 kg of Red Delicious apples and extracted the chemicals found in the apple peel. The results showed that the peel contained more chemicals with anti-cancer and
anti-oxidant properties than the flesh. It was concluded that most of the health benefits from apples comes from the peel, a good reason to continue eating well-washed apples with the peel. The
researchers also mention that ways should be found to include the beneficial compounds from the apple peel in food products.
For more information, see
He X, Liu RH (2007) Triterpenoids isolated from apple peels have potent antiproliferative activity and may be partially responsible for apple’s anticancer activity. Journal of Agriculture &
Food Chemistry. Vol 55, issue 11, pg 4366-70.