I'd like to know what are the health advantages of eating citrus fruits with their peels.

By citrus fruits I mean lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, etc. Lets assume we're talking about raw, organic fruits.

  • 3
    I'd like to see future answers also address the widespread belief that non-organic peels are soaked with pesticides and the like; is that really true?
    – Pekka
    Feb 1, 2017 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


The peel part of a Citrus acutally provide flavour without adding calories (well in reality it add very few calories). Infact the peel is very much used in bakery. Now, I'm not sure the peel of all Citrus is the same.

Lime and lemons are widely used, and also oranges are less common but still used. I don't know about other Citrus fruits by the way.

Apples have vitamins in their "peel", probably also Citrus (cannot find any reference right now). However you should be eating only the outermost layer of the peel, because the inner one has just a disgusting flavour.


I went by lemons as an example here.

Lemons have a broad nutritional profile, most of which are in a much higher concentration in the peel.

What's particularly interesting is that the peel contains 3 times more vitamin C and dietary fiber than the remainder of the fruit (by weight).

While it does contain a wicked high amount of vitamin C by any standards, vitamin C is probably the single easiest vitamin to cap off your daily intake of. The amount of lemons you'd have to peel to add a significant amount of dietary fiber to your diet is completely unreasonable compared to simply eating whole grain products or etc.

If you're stranded on a deserted Island with only a few citrus fruits and you want to avoid scurvy, then those peels might come in handy, but for everything else, the sheer amount of it you'd need to make a meaningful addition to your daily nutriments, means it just doesn't matter much if anything at all.

Also, to address the comment on pesticides and etc on non-organic citrus fruit peels, they are generally pretty bad. I strong advice against it. I have included below an article that references its claims fairly decently, but I recommend further reading.

For sources, see:
Lemon Peel nutritional info
Lemon without peel nutritional info
Lemon peel toxins


Essentially: for the flavor/aroma and fiber.

Citrus peel, for instance from orange, are mostly water and fiber, then some vitamins and minerals. It has a strong flavor, so it is common to use them in small amounts in teas and baked sweets. If you can stand the very sour taste, you can eat them for the added vitamins, but it's not that significant when compared to the whole fruit.

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