If you peel your vegetables before cooking them, you could be removing essential nutrients.
That’s according to nutritionist and registered dietitian Mary Jane Detroyer, who has argued that people should leave the skin on their fruit and vegetables, as it contains numerous health benefits.
“Most of the time, the majority of the vegetable’s nutrients are in the skin,” she told The Mail Online, before adding that cucumber skin contains antioxidants and vitamin K, while potato skin is jam-packed with nutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
If you decide to leave your skin on, as always, it’s important to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating or cooking to ensure they are safe to eat.
“It’s a myth that a little bit of dirt doesn’t do you any harm,” Dr Andrew Wadge, chief scientist of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), previously told the NHS.
“Soil can sometimes carry harmful bacteria and, although food producers have good systems in place to clean vegetables, the risk can never be entirely eliminated.”
Charlotte Stirling-Reed from SR Nutrition told The Huffington Post UK that while it’s best to keep skin on some vegetables, you shouldn’t let it rule your life.
“Food is about more than just nutrients, so if you like your sweet potato mash smooth, not lumpy, then there is no problem with having them peeled every now and then,” she said.
For Stirling-Reed, it’s not a matter of leaving skin on, but a case of getting people to eat more vegetables that is the priority.
“Ultimately, eating any part of vegetables is a good thing, and, as we’ve heard recently in the news, the more the better when it comes to getting your fruit and vegetable intake.
“I’d recommend that people don’t worry too much about the ins and outs – which ones, how to cook them, how many to have, etc – just eat more and include plenty of variety in your diet.
“Making sure you eat a varied diet will help make sure you get all the vitamins, minerals and fibre you need, even if you are peeling some off your veggies.”