Can Eating Orange Peels Make You Sick?

Whether you add them in to a savory dish for dinner or a sweet dessert treat, oranges are a versatile citrus fruit with many health benefits. They can add a burst of vibrance to any dish with their fresh, acidic flavor and are a great healthy snack choice. They provide healthy doses of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium (via WebMD). They can also act as an anti-inflammatory, which makes them a great choice for a post-workout snack to quench your thirst and help you rehydrate.

There are a wide variety of oranges, and some are better for snacking than others, but can you snack on the entire fruit? Although we often think to peel fruits before enjoying them, not all fruits require it (apples and pears, for example). While eating an orange peel might seem a little unconventional, before you consider trying it, it is important to know if it is safe.

Health benefits of orange peels

Not only can you eat orange peels, you can actually benefit from doing so, says Healthline. Eating orange peels can help protect against skin cancer, due to the naturally occurring limonene chemical. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory. In addition, orange peels contain polyphenols, which are being studied for potential anti-cancer properties.

Orange peels also contain more Vitamin C than the inside of the fruit, with 1 tablespoon accounting for almost 14% of the daily recommended amount. The increased fiber in them can keep cholesterol levels low, and helps maintain blood sugar levels.

Healthline states that consuming large quantities of orange peel can cause an upset stomach, so be sure to eat it in moderation. Livestrong also notes that orange peel tastes bitter, so you may not want to eat it all at once. Instead, they suggest enjoying it in smaller quantities, or adding it to other things, like smoothies. It can also be turned into orange zest, or candied to make it sweeter.